Sunday, March 23, 2008

Male, Maldive Islands

Maldives Islands
February 19, 2008

1300 miles and two time zones later we reached the Maldives Islands. Great winds the first 7 days, light winds for 2 days and no wind for the rest. Shipping traffic finally died out the last few days but other interesting things always keep us entertained. About 125 miles south west of Sri Lanka little green biting bugs that resembled aphids, we figure were blown across the water to visit us. We rounded out the crossing with some high jumping dolphins and haircuts for the boys. The two smaller
boys that is, never fear, the big one still has his Samsonian head of hair.

Male and the Maldive Islands!!! Who knew!!!
As we approach the capital of Male we were astounded to see a skyline rising up out of the ocean that could rival any major metropolis in the US, complete with air traffic buzzing all around. Float planes to giant international birds. These were not the atolls we had grown accustomed too in the South Pacific, though the word "atoll" technically comes from the Maldive language of Dihevi, flat coral islands surrounding lagoons of water and reef. They certainly have the clean water clarity as we
could spy the bottom in 50 feet at times.

The country of Maldive is made up of 1,190 islands. 192 of which are inhabited, with a total population of 300,000, 100% Sunni Muslim. Since the tsunami in 2004 many of those inhabitants have decided to move to the capital island for safety due to the fact that no one here died. 75,000 now live in Male alone. 90 various resorts throughout the habitable islands from The Four Seasons to Club Med. Therefore, use what you've got. Their number one source of income is tourism. Aside from that they
have the largest tuna in greater numbers than we have ever witnessed in our entire lives. The fish market at the end of the day is a site to behold. Everything else they need is shipped in and we do mean EVERYTHING, IPODS to ice cream, cereal to cars, including drinking water, since even that is in scarce supply.

Amazingly they have found ways to utilize every square inch of this island and planned right down to shipping out their garbage and shipping in rocks and sand from Sri Lanka in order to reclaim and build new islands if needed. The airport itself being one of those. They have really found ways to make their world work well for them. Of course we were able to sniff out the coca-cola bottling plant and the sword fish packing plants. There are lots of boat building facilities and great repair places
for what ever ails your boat.

We have signed up for one month here so time to go explore.
Until next time,
Your Ohana Kai crew

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