Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
The global site for cruising sailors
Sections
You are here: Home / Countries / Maldives / Our Maldives Experience: Uligan, Male and Gan

Our Maldives Experience: Uligan, Male and Gan

By SV Pipistrelle — last modified Jun 01, 2015 03:44 PM

Published: 2015-05-24 23:00:00
Countries: Maldives

Uligan

Pipistrelle arrived in Uligan, the northern most check in harbour, at the beginning of March, 2015.

We had chosen Real Sea Hawks Maldives as our agent, and from the first email contact Assad was the epitomy of efficiency.  Arriving at the weekend does not cause a problem or additional cost, and Assad came out to us with Customs and Immigration, together with a frozen tub of ice cream as a welcoming present!!  Now that is a first, together with the efficiency of handling the paperwork, the whole exercise was completed within the hour.  The officials were polite and courteous, and also happened to be mates of Assad, which makes a big difference!

Male

Male is different.  We had sailed from a tiny island to a bustling city, where despite the outward appearances, poverty and cramped living conditions exist.  Rasheed runs the agency here, and is involved with shipping and security issues which a previous report has touched on.

Rasheed never met us, everything was done by email or phone, or for payment of the invoice and delivering gas and packages, he used an individual on Hulhumale where all the yachts anchor.  It is essential that 
whatever you ask for, you ask if there is a charge, and if so how much, and then negotiate if you don’t feel the price is fair.  If you are shipping parts in, either use Rasheed’s personal name and address, and expect to pay $30 US, or ask DHL to hold what you have ordered, and collect it direct for free, but check whether customs duties are payable.  Maybe ensure the value shown is less than $300 US.

Finally, be aware that if  you pay the invoice in local currency, Rasheed might quote an unfavourable exchange rate, because he wants US dollars.  Do not involve Rasheed in laundry, take it to the excellent laundry on Hulhumale and deal direct.  They will collect and deliver, or take a taxi, 25 ruffiah each way.

Fuel barges provide fuel to the dive boats that operate from Hulhumale.  They are generally there on Saturday when guest changeover occurs.  Use this opportunity to obtain fuel, and I suggest you do not put the fuel direct into the tank, but into jerry jugs.  The meter had been tampered with on the fuel barge we used, but there is no argument when the jerry jug is stamped with 20 litres!

We then continued our passage south, but regrettably on an overnight passage between the atolls, we suffered a direct hit by lightning, which electrically disabled Pipistrelle, and with no wind or engine we were left just drifting with the current.  A full account can be found at https://yachtpipistrelle.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/lightning-never-strikes-twice/

We were lucky to find yachtie friends close by, who came out to help us, and after guiding us to a secure anchorage,  then bypassed the electronic engine controls and gave us limited power.  We decided to make for Gan to effect repairs.

Gan

Maththi is Real Sea Hawks agent in Gan,  Addu Atoll, and over the 6 weeks that followed, he was incredibly helpful.  We had loads of new kit shipped in from Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Germany and the US.  Fearing the same approach that we had experienced in Male, Maththi quickly put our minds at rest.  By using DHL, and his business address, he arranged for onward shipment from Male to Gan, the cost is minimal.  Maththi then applied a minimal charge for his management and dealing with Customs at the airport, and delivering direct to us.  The cost was a fraction of what was required in Male.  But deviate from DHL at your peril, one shipment came via Emirates, and sat at Male for a week until it was “found”!

He also introduced us to individuals who had skill sets that were useful, but we arranged for Steve 
Gilmour of Category 1 Marine, Auckland, NZ, to fly in and stay for 10 days to repair the damage.  We 
knew him from our stay in NZ, and he works incredibly hard and is very clever and able.  Being a sailor is another big asset!

Anchoring arrangements at Gan are basic.  There is a lagoon between the islands of Gan and Feydhoo, which we used initially as we still had limited manoeuvrability.  Whilst the holding is good, we had two bow anchors deployed, the flies and mosquitos are dreadful.  There is a shallow patch outside, but otherwise you are anchoring in water 30—40 metres deep.

Supplies are limited, all eggs are imported from India or Sri Lanka, and potatoes and other supplies can be difficult to find.  Whilst the repairs were going on, Elaine stayed at the Equator Village resort, a few minutes walk from the lagoon. Very reasonably priced, excellent food, and relaxing after a long day.

If you have any issues, contact Assad, he is simply brilliant and a great ambassador for Real Sea Hawks!  He has kept in almost daily contact with us throughout our ordeal and stay in the Maldives, and we could not speak more highly about his support.

Bob
SV Pipistrelle

Related content
Uligamu
Male
Gan
Share |
Countries
Albania
Algeria
American Samoa
Angola
Anguilla
Antarctica
Antigua & Barbuda
Argentina
Aruba
Ascension Island
Australia
Azores
BIOT (Chagos)
Bahamas
Bahrain
Barbados
Belgium
Belize
Bermuda
Bonaire
Bosnia
Bouvetoya
Brazil
British Virgin Islands
Brunei
Bulgaria
Cambodia
Canada
Canary Islands
Cape Verdes
Cayman Islands
Channel Islands
Chile
China
Christmas Island
Cocos Keeling
Colombia
Comoros
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cuba
Curacao
Cyprus
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominica
Dominican Republic
East Timor (Timor Leste)
Easter Island
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Eritrea
Estonia
Falkland Islands
Faroe Islands
Federated States of Micronesia
Fiji
Finland
France
French Guiana
French Polynesia
French Subantarctic Territory
Galapagos
Gambia
Georgia
Germany
Gibraltar
Greece
Greenland
Grenada
Guadeloupe
Guam
Guatemala
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Haiti
Hawaii
Heard, McDonald & Macquarie Islands
Honduras
Hong Kong
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Ivory Coast
Jamaica
Japan
Jordan
Juan Fernandez Islands
Kenya
Kiribati
Kuwait
Latvia
Lebanon
Libya
Lithuania
Macau
Madagascar
Madeira
Malaysia
Maldives
Malta
Marion & Prince Edward Island
Marshall Islands
Martinique
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mayotte
Mexico
Monaco
Montenegro
Montserrat
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar (Burma)
Namibia
Nauru
Netherlands
New Caledonia
New Zealand
New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands
Nicaragua
Niue
Norfolk Island
Northern Marianas
Norway
Oman
Palau (Belau)
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Peru
Philippines
Pitcairn Island
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Qatar
Reunion Island
Romania
Russia
Saba
Samoa
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Sint Maarten
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands
South Korea
Spain
Spanish Virgin Islands
Sri Lanka
St Barts
St Helena
St Kitts & Nevis
St Lucia
St Martin
St Pierre & Miquelon
St Vincent & the Grenadines
Statia
Subantarctic & Southern Ocean Islands
Sudan
Suriname
Sweden
Syria
Taiwan
Tanzania
Thailand
Tokelau
Tonga
Trinidad & Tobago
Tristan da Cunha
Tunisia
Turkey
Turks & Caicos
Tuvalu
US Virgin Islands
USA
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Uruguay
Vanuatu
Venezuela
Vietnam
Wallis and Futuna
Yemen
Add/Update Your Business
If you would like your business to be listed, or the details are wrong, please update your business