Thirteen hundred miles hand-steered and no foresail, just two of the challenges we faced when completing our fifteen hundred mile trip from the Maldives to Malaysia. A complete account with observations, events, our turtle rescue and some great HD video clips including the one of Liz helming in a Force 6. Not to be missed!
Tomorrow we leave on an epic journey, and if the winds are in our favour we may get further than the horrific Equator trip of last week! We hope to be updating our progress via satphone, which will log our position on a map. Check out our progress over the next few weeks as we sail the 1,400 mile trip from the Maldives to Malaysia.
Our shipping agent, Muzhid Rasheed of Seline, is a young and ambitious man. A supporter of Nasheed, he is like many of the local people we met in the Maldives. A man of integrity, honesty and professionalism, he is in the vanguard of the new-school Maldivian outlook on life. Sadly he has to contend with the corruption and insider dealings of competitiors who pull strings in an attempt to put him out of business.
We’ve learnt about the politics of the Maldives, met young, enterprising businessmen and finally seen the ‘other’ side of the Maldives. Mafushi and Guiridhoo were real eye-openers for us, a side of the Maldives we hadn’t expected to see. Having spent quite a few days tied to a mooring buoy in the bay of Guiridhoo, it was time to move … Read More
Politics in paradise? Backpacking through the atolls? The Maldives may be a luxury holiday destination, but people still have to make a living, and political agendas are alive and kicking. Taking inspiration from India’s homestays, Maldivians are opening up their houses to travellers. Liz describes the two islands on the next part of our trip, and profiles the new generation of Maldivians looking for a fairer future.
Despite being at anchor these past few months I’ve managed to stay on top of my photographic duties. The Urban Picnic Street Photography Competition, which I helped set up with Rob Hill of Urban Picnic was a huge success, drawing in hundreds of entries from around the world. As a spin-off to this Rob has set up a bi-monthly ‘inspiration’ feature where two street photographers come together to work on a project with a common theme.
Finally, after two months of shaking down Esper post her three year snooze in India, Liz and I had an opportunity to kick back and relax and enjoy the Maldives for what it is. Mum and Dad Furlong were out for two weeks and we looked forward to this break, referring to it as a two-week holiday from the trials … Read More
The Maldivian island of Thilafushi was infamously documented in the BBC series Indian Ocean with Simon Reeve. Venturing onto this island Reeve was pictured gagging as he made his way around the huge burning rubbish tip where refuse is constantly smouldering. Reeve spent most of his time swallowing flies on his visit here. Would our visit to Thilafushi be any different?
A week in a boat yard is never much fun, and after hauling Esper our misery was compounded by the discovery of some serious osmosis (water ingress). The joy of sailing the idyllic Maldives went out the window, at least for a few hours, as we inspected the water blisters covering many parts of the hull. Experts reassure us that osmosis isn’t as bad as people believe, but when you see the pictures of our rudder you might think twice before agreeing with them.
After returning from a coffee we found a group of lads looking over the harbour wall, waves smashing up the side. There, in the water completely submerged, were our dinghies, barely afloat. Even the outboard was underwater!
Boating can be an expensive lifestyle, but yachties are notorious for taking advantage of anything with the price tag of ‘cheap’ and ‘free’. In this little piece I estimate we saved ourselves over $700 today. One hundred and fifty dollars just to visit an island, I ask you!
Island Hideaway is paradise on earth. There, I’ve said it. What was supposed to be a quick two-day stop-over turned into a five day mini-break as Liz and I indulged ourselves in the seven-star luxury facilities at Island Hideaway. This is a resort island, with villas ranging between $500 and $3,500 a night, and where the most expensive Burgundy sits smartly on the menu at $13,500 a bottle. Want a taste? Check out this little video clip…
Having dropped anchor in Uligamu, after a frustrating four-day crossing from Cochin, India, we put our worries to one side with a wander along the desolate beach of the Maldive’s most northern (but one) island. This is a little photography slide-show for your entertainment. Just click on the image below to begin and don’t forget you can view it in full-screen mode to get that “I’m-really-there!” sensation!
Saying goodbye to friends is hard enough. Saying goodbye to friends we’ll probably never see again had me choked. It caught me by surprise but as I hugged Gladwin, my Indian brother, I was lost for words and my eyes welled up. The pontoon at Kochi marina was a hotch-potch of our close friends, our Indian ‘family’ and the marina staff. They all waved us off as Esper slipped her lines and it was at that moment it struck me exactly how much I would miss India. Surely a passage to the Maldives was just the tonic we needed. If only!