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Addu Atoll, The Maldives

By Val Ellis last modified Feb 05, 2008 11:50 AM

Published: 2008-02-05 11:50:37
Countries: Maldives

We would like to pass along information on the southernmost atoll in the Maldives, Addu. We arrived there on the 23^rd of December from Chagos. The night before our arrival, our engine failed. The wind was west/northwest and sailing in the entrance by Gan and tacking up the west side of the atoll in the lee of Gan island was straightforward (as straightforward as possible without an engine!).

We proceeded to try to find a place to anchor near shore as the middle of the atoll is deep and we had been told there was a marked entrance to a boat basin at the northern end of Gan Island. The markers to the entrance to the boat basin are gone and there is a shallow bar across the entrance but it is negotiable (minimum 2.5 metres at low tide in good visibility - sun overhead because it is narrow with reefs either side). The small boat basin is situated just adjacent/east of a causeway for vehicles traversing between Gan and Feyhdoo island, is about 5 metres average depth and is good holding in sand (rough coordinates 00-41.3S/073-08.61E). There is a landing for dinghies with steps and a place to tie up the dinghy right in front of the police station. We put our yellow flag up and waited at anchor in the boat basin – the officials (about 6 of them) arrived the next morning on a boat and we were cleared in 30 minutes. They let us use their cell phone to call Ships Agent Mohammed Saeed - 778-1967.

What must be mentioned is the outstanding service and assistance we received from the ships agent – Mohammed Saeed - and his contact for diesel engines and refrigeration - Ahmed Rasheed. Both were exceptionally helpful, exceptionally honest and truly lovely people to know. Ahmed tackled our hydraulic fuel pump issue without hesitation after narrowing down the problem methodically and quickly. Addu has a long standing and very good reputation for remarkable boat building and servicing the fishing fleet so haul out facilities and service is very good and charges very reasonable including diesel and electronic repairs. Provisioning at Mohammed Saeed’s 2 stores was very good (for fresh, provide a list and he will try to access your needs) and there is a handy ATM and excellent air conditioned ethernet/internet access along the main road on the island north from Feyhdoo as well as a café within walking distance. You can also purchase a SIM card (pre-pay) from Mohammed that works in both your phone and your laptop data card (3G connection) for very reasonable rates. Mohammed’s main store has an electronic swipe machine so credit and debit cards are not a problem. There is a lovely bakery (“Queens”) right by Mohammed’s main store on Feyhdoo.

The dignity and lovely outlook of the people of Addu were a real highlight of our visit to the Maldives. The service was better than we had received in quite a long time and Mohammed and Ahmed made it seamless. Hope you can make this destination a part of your trip. While we do not hope anyone requires repairs, do not hesitate to call in at Addu for assistance and a surprising range of services and hardware all smilingly delivered.

K&M; Cathcart

SV Swanya