April 2006- One week on "Atoll Explorer" and
another week on Paradise Island spa resort-
20 mins by speedboat, north of Male. 16 of us
boarded (caters for 40) at Kurumba- near
Male, and headed south to Maadhoo,
Theluveligaa, Rai Dhigga, Huruvelhi, Fenfushi,
Dhigurah and back to Kurumba- round trip I
guess at 150 miles at 12 knots. About 200
miles short of Equator. Explorer would sail 2
to 3 hours at daybreak and drop anchor so
we could spend the day on the mostly desert
islands. Surprisingly, not many insects or
birds ??!!
Main pic is first desert Is. stop with our
floating hotel in background.
Great fun on nite fishing trip- first time for
most of us- easy... just hook, line and sinker +
bait. Some of the fish we caught ended up on
our BBQ grill, bot-left.

The captain was most hospitable without
being stuffy and made sure his all-male crew
spoiled us. Mid-left is their Bodu Beru dance.

The water and sand combination I rate as
best I have seen- temp, colour & clarity,
content... dolphins, manta rays, hawksbill
turtles, conger eels and reef sharks- didn't
see the whale-shark tho'.
A few bits of coral underfoot was tolerable.
Last day with Explorer was an afternoon
shopping visit to capital island, MALE- top
row. Mid top is corner where the boys hang
out for a chat. We call it LIMING. I guess they
call it MALE BONDING. Most goods are
imported so not as cheap as expected. Rite
top and bot. is air-con speedboat with 600+
bhp. sits on tail for a twenty mins funfair type
ride.. till the top canvas canopy was
displaced.... lady driver !!! Most utility and
emergency services have similar vessels due
to the environment- mid-bot.
Saw lots of boats with tall masts, but all
running on diesel even though there was lots
of wind..??
Most of the islands are sandbanks and are
developed to suit a purpose- commercial,
domestic, recreational or just for halfday loaf
by sun starved tourists. Like Cancun,
Veradero, Miami and the Keys, now the Gulf,
they move sand around to create more real
estate. They can form contours that could
look natural, like sheltered lagoons where
you can see nature in placid surround- ie. no
predators or strong currents.
Main pic is Paradise Is. with its lagoon and
footbridge from where you see plenty, and
make a thousand friends, including sharks, if
you had a crusty bread roll.
Some of the chalets are built on stilts and
joined by a walkway / jetty- bot rite.
Mid left are more upmarket and scattered
with boat access only.
Top left is a fruit -I think.