Paul and Gina Rae on board their yacht Solace, are making their way around the world from San Francisco. Follow them at their website HERE
In todays Blog they are visiting Kulhuduhuffushi the Capital of the Northern Maldives
Photo - Market Day on Kulhuduhuffushi. We motor sailed to Kulhudhuffushi, the capital for the northern Maldives. This was a very vibrant town with good services. As we neared, we tried hailing them on the radio, as we knew there was a port control as there is a commercial dock. No answer but we went in anyway. There were a few port security officers waiting for us so they took the lines and we tied up along side. It certainly seemed like a very nice place. Right beside the dock is the local white sand beach where the locals came out en masse to swim, fully clothed. It has to be the cleanest commercial harbour we have ever been in. Once the local ferry with 3 containers on board left, we were the only vessel except for the barge and the little tugboat. We were asked on numerous occasions when we planned to leave, thinking they needed the dock, but not. We guess they were just interested. We finally tied up and went to shore the next day. We found the ATM, our primary goal for coming here, and walked around town. The only place open on a Friday is the local mosque. Fridays are like a Sunday. We did find a coffee shop but it didn't sell coffee so the only thing we could do was pick from the array of finger food they had available and from the range of sodas they had in the fridge. It was certainly not like any coffee shop we have ever been too, but the only joint in town open on a Friday. After spending several nights at the commercial dock, we realized it was not quite what we were comfortable with. We were having to adjust the lines as it was spring tides and we had to adjust the fenders against a greasy rubber bumper. We would of done better with a fender board but we didn't have one long enough to cope with this dock. We decided to do the local market in Saturday morning then leave. Paul looked after the boat while I went to the local market and was sorely disappointed. I was able to buy watermelon, pumpkin and cucumbers. There really wasn't much else other than bananas and coconuts. This food is grown by other islanders who come to Kulhudhuffushi once a week to sell. There was some other greenery, but I was not sure what to do with it. Most of the locals do not speak any reasonable amount of English. After seeing oil smeared against the hull, lines and fenders, we decided to move on. We paid the bill (USD 12 per day) and advised the security guards we intended to leave and asked them to help. Now it was blowing 15 knots and blowing us against the dock. It was not comfortable sitting against the dock or leaving. We had to get the dinghy into the water and push the bow out to get off dock. Eventually we got off with a lot of good luck and a little bit of good management. At least we were out in the wind and not being slammed against a dock. We decided to navigate through the lagoon to the next best place we could find on Google earth to anchor.