Monday, 3 January 2011

Huvadhoo atoll

Couple of hours later we enter the Huvadhoo atoll and anchor near the main Island of Tinadhoo. 

Fish drying racks S of Tinadhoo

Small shallow lagoon but gravelly beach

Same again

We reconnoiter the nearby Islands that looks very picturesque from afar but find the beaches pretty mediocre with rough coral gravel at the shores. The lagoons though would make excellent snorkeling grounds with a lot of live coral heads in 1-3 m depth. Unfortunately the entrances are a tad too shallow for our tenders. At one Island we spot multiple fish drying racks for tuna.

Locals going by their daily life

Disappointed in the Islands nearby we head to the nearest Island inside the atoll, Havodigalaa Island. The beaches there have white powdery coral sand beaches and th word goes to setup a beach BBQ there. As we approach the beach we can see a lot of people milling around on the beach and Mr. Siraj, our dive guide, explains that is a public holiday in Maldives and that the people are probably just picnicking here. I am also told the Island is actually a nature reserve for breeding birds that migrate here. From the quick look I get from the beach I can only see a few chicken running around. We are approached by two men that are revealed to be the caretakers of the Island and actually hails from Bengal. Luckily we have on our boat people who are proficient in Bengal and we make immediate friends with them.  

Havodigalaa Island

Picknicking locals

Havodigalaa beach

In the evening the weather spoils the BBQ plans yet again as rainy squalls keeps passing above us.  

Locals heading off

Our agent Shafeeq arranges a local group of Maldivians to play music on the aft deck. They start with golden oldies but soon change their music to traditional songs that involve clapping and a drum with singing together. Quite special performance and everybody enjoyed the beat. They are also accompanied by a young Russian girl and after a short chat I find out she's the girlfriend of one of the guitarists and plans to marry and settle in Maldives, ah the folly of youth and love...

Later some fishing is attempted from aft swimming platform but again with a poor catch.

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