Cruising the Maldives for over a month
Published 8 years ago, updated 4 years ago
We just left the Maldives after sailing the islands for more than a month. Below are some of our comments.
With so many islands, it is logical that good anchorages are not far away, and it is so. There are some cruising guides for the Maldives with descriptions of possible anchorages (each guide lists hundreds of different anchorages) as well as the very useful web site www.goodanchorage.com with more than a hundred good anchorages all around the Maldives.
Unfortunately, existing charts are imprecise and insufficient for finding good anchorages. We have extensively used Google Maps for navigation. Due to excellent 3G/4G coverage all over the area, an ordinary smartphone is sufficient for that purpose. With such a powerful tool it is extremely easy to spot a good place for dropping the anchor in a radius of just a few hours sailing from where you are. So, we anchored in about 20 places, nowhere described in the books. All offered very good protection in clear sand (never on coral!) and all with a depth of around 4-8 m with swell protection from most, if not all, sides.
That said, there should be another few hundred still “undiscovered” good anchorages in the archipelago. According to our experience, the Maldives is definitely one of the easiest cruising destinations for finding good anchorages.
The Maldives have a multitude of fishing ports, where yachts could go. A lot of them are only a few years old. It is not allowed for pleasure craft to use these ports (but you can anchor outside the port as close as you wish) if they are not listed on your cruising permit (and they normally are not). But, if because of the weather, refueling, or an emergency etc., your agent can arrange that you can go into virtually any port, close to you.
We were there in the so-called wet season, during the SW monsoon, and only had two rainy days, the rest were sunny with less than 10 knots of wind in the southerly atolls. According to local knowledge, there is not much difference between seasons in the south. The northern atolls are a different story, of course.
We used Assad ([email protected], mobile +960 7934946) for clearing-in to Uligan and Matthi ([email protected], mobile +960 7906609) for clearing-out in Addu. Both are excellent, especially Assad who is fantastic and extremely helpful. He “adopted” us and took really good care of us for the whole time we were in the Maldives. If we had any questions or a problem, we just called Assad and within minutes everything was solved. And it is also worth mentioning that his company – Real Seahawks Maldives – is much cheaper than their competitors in Uligan.