Friday, July 30, 2010

Mental waves in the Maldives ~ And a return to Shutter Island ~

Guraidhoo, South Male Atoll – Stepped off the ferry to the sights and sounds of another beautiful evening in the rural islands; surfboards being off-loaded, a man-made tidal pool with sharks and turtles, the chatter of locals and the gentle murmur of the Imam’s call to prayer. Apart from the island being home to the local mental asylum and a few scary looking loafers, the streets looked relatively safe and clean and the waves curled and crashed at Riptides and Natives breaks, in the distance.

Four English folk, two locals, a Brazilian, a Finn, a Sri Lankan and a South African clambered aboard a local ferry at 13h30 local time yesterday, lightly laden apart from a barrage of boards of all shapes and sizes. Reef breaks were everywhere; with The Taj Exotica, Embudu Island Resort and Anantara all showing off waves. Our local Saturday surf dhoni always heads for the same North Atoll breaks and we decided there and then that the next time there was any big swell around we would definitely venture due south.

After a very relaxing and uneventful boat ride south, we docked at Guraidhoo at 15h30. Bags and boards were off-loaded and dumped at our accommodation for the night and within half an hour of coming ashore, we were whisked off to meet one of the local Guest House owner we were hoping to do business with in the future. Once done with business it was time to get down to some serious wave hunting and we climbed aboard what looked like the original catamaran to be taken across to the waiting surf dhoni. The original plan was to check out Riptides, the Guraidhoo home break, but the waves were so good at Natives (Kandooma Resort corner) that we stopped right there and splashed in. An Aussie, a Norwegian, an incredibly beautiful Danish lass and heavy, 6ft barrels greeted us. Life was good! With a good two hours of banter, epic sets and wipe outs requiring a good dosage of testicular fortitude we pulled ourselves back aboard the waiting dhoni and set-off, quite literally, into the setting sun.

Once back amongst the group, a few fresh fish were purchased along with the necessary spices, as we looked forward to another cracker evening out amongst the palm fronds of the tropics.

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