Friday, 20 May 2011

Male'

Next morning 17th I wake up and start phoning Mr. Shafeeq for finding out contacts on the Island. He appoints me one of his clerks to take me around, not a big job actually but better to go with one that has the local knowledge already instead of re-inventing the wheel.

Residential Is

Dolphins

Thilafushi Is.


So, I was picked up by Mr. Arish on his trusty Honda Dream and after a small discussion of what I wanted to see we started our round. I ended up visitin gon MaleƤ the Yamaha showroom, the Suzuki showroom, Northern Lights rep. and then the Furuno shop. After this we took the ferry over to the Thilafushi Island (unofficially called the Garbage Island as all waste is processed there (read: burned)) but it also houses all the heavy industry and services one could need on an Island. On the way I could see more underwater reef was being claimed for Thilafushi and Arish explained to me that all the godown's on Male' Island are being relocated in way of residential requirements.

Shiplift


Wooden dhoni


Once we arrived we went to see the Gulfcraft yard and met with their rep. and discussed a possible overhaul. Usually yards give slots out but here they told me that tell us when you want to come and we'll see...(!?). Well, I could see they were pretty full as they are the biggest yard with the largest lifting capacity and the season was coming to an end so there was a lot of boats queuing up for service. Our next stop was at UEL, they did not have the capacity to lift the yacht but they had a good refit jetty. The foreman was a paan chewing chap in his 50's and we spent half an hour chatting with him via Arish translation as well as sampling his paan. I learned that he was originally from Indonesia but had somehow stranded on Maldives in his early age. After this it was late lunch time and Arish took me to an eatery for the workers on Thilafushi, the facility was clean and airy and the food was really good, it came as a real surprise.

The UEL foreman & me


Modern glassfibre dhoni


On the 18th I meet with the underwriters, Mr. Deeptha from Ceylinco and discuss the premium of the yacht and chat with him for a good hour. The quote is fairly high for a yacht this size and Mr. Deeptha explains me that the claims in Maldives are massive on an annual basis, no underwriter will give any cheaper price. I have my doubts but I can well understand their point of view and I also believe there is a good number of accidents as well.

People waiting for the ferry


Rubbish trucks coming from Male'


In the afternoon I was supposed to see the dive dhoni but it is allegedly still at the other resort with steering gear problems (how convenient). At this point I have all my points on the list crossed out so I book my flight for the next day to depart for India. I also happened to get in touch with an old acquaintance, Ms Victoria Hilley who is working on a nearby resort as Marketing Manager. She invites me for dinner and get instructions of how to come to the Island by their ferry. I arrive at the staff jetty and am fairly soon picked up Victoria and we head for the Japanese restaurant on the resort. The setting is very nice as always is in Maldives and we order dinner accompanied with one bottle of sake. During the course of dinner we catch up on things that has happened since we last met in Langkawi in 2008. Soon she notices that the last ferry to Male' is about to leave so we hurry to the jetty and I say my goodbye until next time, time runs fast in good company.

Male'


Time travel available in Maldives


19th I wake up 8am for breakfast and prepare myself for taking the flight to Bangalore and onwards to Mumbai. All goes well and I arrive Mumbai at 7pm and get to spend the night in Elphinstone Hotel as I don't have a gate pass to board Kalizma now at the M-wall.

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