We are now en-route from Uligamu (in the north of the Maldives) to Galle (in
the south of Sri Lanka).
The reason for this diversion from the original plan? Answers on a
Answer one: We were running out of tea, and I heard that Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
has pretty good stuff available.
Answer two: The new government in the Maldives necessitates that to travel
from the north to the south of the Maldives in our time frame, we must go
via another country, such as India or Sri Lanka.
Yes, it is in fact answer two! A new government was elected in The Maldives
last November- the first change in about thirty years. Widespread rumours
that the new government are friendlier to cruisers have unfortunately turned
out to be bull. I've received a wealth of information from different
sources- cruisers, official websites, unofficial websites, agents... and at
least one part of each source has turned out to be completely wrong.
The new government is making a point of visiting The Maldives independently
as difficult as possible. If you take a moment to study a map, Galle isn't
exactly on the way from Uligamu to Gan...
I've developed a healthy attitude over the last few months and years of
taking adventure from adverse situations (including this whole trip) and
after a few days at being pissed off with this unnecessary diversion, have
accepted the adventure in it. The cruising guide notes "Sri Lanka navy
occasionally depth charge the harbour to dissuade Tamil activists..." How
can we not be excited about the adventure in that!?
Seriously, we'd planned to attend our house maid's wedding last year, but
cancelled fairly late in the day due to a few Tamil incidents in Colombo
around that time. We'd planned then to visit several parts of the country,
including Galle and its colonial Dutch fort and town centre, so it's great
that we're now getting that missed opportunity to visit.
We are making good progress, assisted by a one knot current in pretty much
the exact direction we want to go. We are aiming to arrive early on Friday
I must check that my insurance covers depth charges...