Posted by yachtcamomile
Camomile, Tintin and Inspiration Lady left Kulhuduffushi harbour in the Thiladhunmathee atoll on 14th March. Once into the deep water we put the genny out and sailed south. Makes a change from motoring. I run a net on the SSB radio on 4036 (the old BWR 4A) every morning at 05.00 utc or 10.00 Maldives time and I can hear vessels calling in better with the engine off. We managed to chat to Sara on Norsa this morning. It was good to hear her voice.
At 13.00 Camomile arrived at Farukolhu in the Miladhunmadulu atoll. I had looked at it on google earth and we had waypoints for a passage across the reef. Bill started to manually steer us in while I stood on the bow watching the coral getting closer under the boat. We were down to 2.8 metres of water with .8 under the keel in a half metre swell when Bill decided it was too dangerous. We could see clear water up ahead and the lagoon looked superb but it wasn’t worth putting Camomile on the rocks for it so Bill carefully reversed out. There might have been a way in a bit further north but the swell was more there so the entrance was aborted.
We continued south to Dholhiyadhoo island. There was an extensive reef to the south which we skirted round and then headed north when we could see clear water. You can see by this screenshot that the chart is out because we were anchored south of the island in front of the derelict resort and the screenshot puts us out to the east. You need mark one eyeball to navigate here.
Tintin were in first so they were able to let us know on the vhf what the anchorage was like. Inspiration Lady and Camomile crossed the reef together and anchored either side of Tintin. Then we had a problem. Bill had dropped the anchor but when he tried to reverse the engine to get the anchor to set he had no control of the steering. At first he thought the gearbox had broken!
Bill looked in the engine bay and said the gearbox looked ok and it must be further up. When he opened the side of the binnacle where the throttle and gear cables are this is what he found. The tube on the right is supposed to be straight. It was the gear cable. As this has happened before we carry a spare so Bill set about fixing it. At that moment we had no control of the boat and if the wind picked up overnight or the anchor dragged onto the reef there would be nothing we could do so it needed to be fixed straight away.
Bill and I spent the rest of the afternoon and into the evening trying to route the cable through into the gear box below. Unfortunately as the old one was broken it was really difficult to thread it through. I was trying to poke it through the hole and Bill was trying to catch it coming through into the engine bay. Sounds easy but as you need to be a deformed midget to do anything inside the engine bay it wasn’t. The cable kept going behind the fuel tank and as usual a 0ne hour job became a day and a night job but we managed it eventually.
While Bill was grovelling around the engine he noticed another breakage. This should be around the stern tube and is the only thing stopping the boat flooding and sinking. Fortunately Bill always has 2 jubilee clips on all the external hoses so we weren’t in danger of sinking but it will need to go on the shopping list for Male.
Bill wasn’t happy with our position so with the gear cable fixed we re-anchored the boat our position was
Having spent a day and a half sorting the boat we decided to go for a walk. The beautiful crescent island of Dholhiyadhoo has a half finished resort on it which was probably started about 6 or 7 years ago looking at the timbers on some of the buildings and the dilapidation in general. Tintin and Camomile took their dinghies to the jetty on the west side of the island. This is where the staff quarters are built and it looked fairly finished. The little mosque taking pride of place.
As we walked further into the resort it was obvious it would never open. The buildings were so derelict that a new owner would need to take them to ground level before they could rebuild. The restaurant had gaping holes in the roof. The kitchen, the only building with a metal roof, was just being used for storage.
Even though it looked like everyone was going to have their own pool there was still a big pool that faced north which had a number of buildings surrounding it that were probably intended to be a bar and spa. The rainwater that had collected in it was full of mosquitoes.
The accommodation built on the north side of the island was based on land and not overwater so it was possible to look inside them. They were all derelict except villa No 2. It had been finished to presumably show potential buyers what they could look like. It seemed futile considering the state of the rest of the resort but it was an indication of how the finished buildings could look like. The photo above shows how most of them looked but this is the finished outside bathroom with his and hers basins.
The photo above is looking out across the bedroom. This photo is taken from the corner looking across the room to the bed. The curtains were drawn to prevent the sun getting in. Also behind the wall behind the bed was an amazing dressing room with an enviable set of wardrobes.
Each villa was going to have it’s own pool but most of the pools were full of dirty water but at villa no 2 it was being kept drained and clean. It looked out onto the beach.
All the overwater bungalows were derelict and you couldn’t get any where near them.
The next day we left Dholhiyadhoo island and Inspiration Lady and Tintin. Norsa had reported on the net that they had electrical problems and we decided to head to Male to meet them when they arrived. There wasn’t any wind so we motored for 4 hours to the Viha Faru reef at
The anchorage was good for an overnight stop.