Halfway through a rather splendid breakfast of omelette fruit and. Pancakes, Ali asked us if we wanted to go on a slow boat trip to Hurra Island. It's another inhabited island. The couple who checked in yesterday were going, the one that made our spidey senses tingle, and others from the Jail Break Inn. It's was a slow boat ride and would take about half an hour or so. Grabbing the opportunity to see some more Islands we signed up for that bad boy. We had 10 minutes to get ready and we were off to the jetty to catch the boat. You will note that this is the third boat I've been on is under a week. I'm still not impressed.
The boat was almost full when we arrived and once another two people turned up we were reversing out of Himmafushi harbour. Outside the protection of the harbour the sea was more than a tab bumpy, and I made an executive decision to hold on to the boat for grim death. Not taking my eyes off the Islands and mentally judging whether or not I could swim should the boat sink I was feeling slightly comforted that I could doggy paddle that distance if absolutely necessary.
There was a little boy wearing a life jacket and I pondered the possibility of becoming his new BFF, He already had one of those in the form of a cute fluffy dog, but I'm pretty sure you can never have too many friends. Besides I have a Bob I'm not afraid to use him should the need arise and I needed to share his little life jacket. Bless him.
The boat was bouncing through the waves which to my terrified eyes looked huge, but in reality were probably half metre or less...(my length perception is poor so this is just a guess) we passed a few resort islands and in honesty they don't look as nice as they do in the brochure. There are so many sea villas and they're all on top of each other. Did I mention the boat creaked a LOT, and it was a tad unnerving. However I'm a brave little solider and I'm gritted my teeth and got on with it. Hero right?
There are several tiny little uninhabited islands that have, what I think are fishing huts on them and not much else, really pretty, but I'm not ready for desert island living yet. The spidey senses man was sat adjacent to me, and he did nothing in the trip to change our opinions of him.
All was going swimmingly (see what I did there?) and one of the boat men walked up to the front of the boat and threw out the anchor. Everyone starts looking at each other and shrugging and then the engine stopped. The captain lifts up the wooden lid that concealed the engine stuff and the other one jumps down into the black hole of doom. Both were wearing quite a serious looks on their faces and a strong smell of diesel waftedout of there. So obviously they decided it would be a good time to light up a cigarette, as you do...
Then the black hole of doom is being peered down into by several of the passengers on board. Judging by the raised voices and perplexed looks on the crews faces, it was a safe assumption that it was knackered. In the silence the boat was creaking and groaning, not dissimilar to Jaws when they're miles out at sea and jaws bumps the boat and Chief Brodie says we're gonna need a bigger boat. I could see land but was no longer confident in my swimming abilities to make it and save Bob too!
Out comes the captains mobile and he's calling for a bit of assistance. It arrived in the form of a speed boat from the jail break inn. Now I'm not hundred percent sure what that little boat thought it was going to do. Our boat being significantly larger than that one. Que another phone call , this time from the guy in the speedboat, calling in for reinforcements.
At this point a poor young girl opposite us is leaning out of the boat and being sick. I felt so sorry for her, the combination of the tossing boat and fuel fumes wasn't doing much for my stomach so I felt her pain!
We were still anchored but we were being bounced around like corks, and the boat was turning in circles and because the waves were bigger they were coming into the boat. The excess water went out of the drainage holes but it was still disconcerting ! Now I'm not sure if they were trying to recreate the scene from Pirates of the Caribbean when they go down the whirl pool, but I wasn't exactly happy about it let me tell you. Bloody boats. I hate boats. There was a lot of shouting and gesticulating between our boat crew and the speedboat, not being fluent in Maldivian I couldn't possibly say what the conversation was. If I was a betting girl however, I would have said there were numerous swear words being exchanged as the voices rose higher and higher and the gesticulating increased.
The next boat to arrive was a bigger one than the speed boat but because of the waves it was unable to get close to us. More shouting hand gestures and we're still what I would call fecked!! They were trying to get the latest boat alongside us so we could all transfer on to it. Easier said than done under the circumstances. One of the passengers suggested it would be easier if everyone jumped in to the water and then got hauled in to the other boat. My reaction to this suggestion was oh hell no!! I'm not getting in there, I can't see the bottom. Nope. I'll stay where I am Thankyou very much. However thankfully the crew weren't keen on that suggestion either, so I was most grateful for that. For a while they tried all ways to get the boat along side us but failed due to the waves and the wind. They all swapped drivers and then the boss of the bigger rescue boat took over the little speed boat in an attempt to turn the boat around. When the little boat took the strain of our larger boat, he nearly went overboard, and god only knows how he stayed in the boat. To give him due credit, the way he threw that little boat around was seriously impressive!
We spotted another boat on the horizon flying a Palestinian flag was headed towards us. It ooked like a fishing boat and was substantially bigger again. They pulled along side to help and threw A rope over the tow hitch ( or whatever the proper name for the thing is) and they began to slowly pull us in closer to the Island, changing direction so that we weren't fighting the wind . The impressive speedboat driver had now swapped back to his own boat, and very skilfully pulled along side us after a few attempts, whilst we were still attached to the fishing boat.
Rescue boat number 3
We were all taking videos and photos of the excitement, but obviously to swap boats the phone was going in the bag, as I needed both hands to make the transfer. However I was slightly taken aback when the male who set our spidey senses off came up to me and got right in my face berating me for filming people swapping boats telling me I was rude and he didn't want to be filmed. You know when you're so surprised and a bit shocked, you forget to use your words? Well that happened to me!! Unheard of I know. I wouldn't have minded but it was obvious to any idiot, that I was filming the boat alongside us and the crew whilst they worked. Also the crew hadn't even tied the boat off so no one was going anywhere. A rather unpleasant individual in every respect. The senses weren't off after all. He was the first one to get off the boat and Unfortunately he didn't fall in. Yes yes, I know I'm a little ball of pure evil, but hey he was just really really rude. Simon
followed him off and then it was my turn. All I can say is that is was distinctly more elegant than the Christmas Eve boat experiences! And we'll leave it there I think.
Once we were all aboard the skylark, we travelled at speed the rest of the way to Hurra Island and I for one were relieved to be almost on land. The boat trip was a lot faster and as we'd got into the first seats on the boat it was pretty bumpy going. We tied up on the Jetty and all got off. A discussion was held between the group with the boat captain as to when we would all be back. The general opinion was 1300hrs was probably more than long enough after all the excitement we'd had.
As people went towards the bikini beach, we followed in their general direction. Passing through colourful little streets, with palm trees we came to a mangrove where there were people on kyacks and canoes, and others were wading in the shallows. We left them to it, confident that the bikini beach wasn't far away. Oh how wrong we were. We'd got to the end of the road and in front of us was sand but all grassed, we could see the ocean beyond it, but there was no way on this earth that we were going to be able to get there. Or rather get there and back in the allotted time frame. We lost sight of the rest of the party in the little streets so had no idea at all where we were going!
Giving up on that we headed back to try and find a cafe, the full heat of the day rather warm. There were lots of little souvenirs shops and ice cream shops, but we wanted a sit down and a long cool drink. No, actually that's a lie. We wanted a sit down and an extra large gin, swiftly followed by another one!!! Leaving me sitting underneath a palm tree in the shade, Si went to see if he could find a watering hole. He came back shaking his head and laughing, just in front of where our boat was tied up was the Harbour Cafe established in 1846. Argh!! How on earth we missed it I don't know! It was bloody massive!
Making our way towards it, the excitement for a cool drink was real!!! Sat inside was our boat driver, having a brew and watching the world go by. It's a pretty little harbour and more scenic than Himmafushi because it doesn't have the fish and water plants. It's definitely a lot more touristy, and the four seasons resort is just adjacent. I'm guessing the beach must be quite something and we were a bit disappointed not to have made it there.
The Harbour cafe was shaded and cool with the strong breeze blowing through it, keeping the patrons lovely and cool. Dried our sweaty bodies off in no time at all! Yea I'm gross but it's true!!
Come 1300hours we were on the jetty ready to jump on board and get the hell out of dodge. The boat was refuelling and once that was finished it was moved into a different spot so everyone could get on. The driver advised us to sit at the back as it was way more comfortable. And he wasn't wrong!! Once everyone had boarded and they were seated the driver was taking selfies with us all on his phone. The individual who was incredibly rude covered his face completely with his hands, which Si and I spotted instantly. However, he didn't go up to the captain and tell him he was being rude and not to take his photo or film him. To be fair, I've no issue at all with people not wanting photos taken of themselves and being plastered all over social media. I don't like it myself, so it's not something I would do to others without asking them first. What I do have an issue with is bad manners, and rudeness. Of which he had both... In spades. On the upside , because there is always an upside, we spent the evening discussing what criminal activities he was guilty of and how many places he was wanted on warrant in. Childish but amusing.
Being sat in the back of the boat was a lot more comfortable than the front, and more enjoyable too. The speed the boat was travelling at, it was throwing up huge amounts of spray. The boat had zip up covers on the sides to protect the passengers from rain and waves. Unfortunately the zip was broken on the cover we were sat next to and when we took off from the jetty a huge spray came up the side of the boat and soaked me through. I had to use my fingers as windscreen wipers to clear the sea water from my sunnies. It cooled me down tremendously and made me cackle with laughter, and also the rest of the passengers in the vicinity who witnessed it!
It being our last but one day in The Maldives, we'd asked Habibur to cook us supper. Every other night just the two of us had eaten, but tonight Mike and Carly were eating too , and you've guessed it the rude person. His company didn't detract from the excellent spread in Front of us prepared by Habibur and Habesh. Soooo much food so little time. With more of us eating, there was even more food, and we savoured every mouthful. The lovely custard desert was on offer and this time it had mixed fruit in it as well. A real throw back to Auntie Evelyn and Mamgu era of Sundays!!
After another busy day, and lots of excitement on the boat trip in the sunshine, we were again exhausted and retired soon after supper. Tomorrow is our last day in Himmafushi, and Ali has very kindly allowed us to stay at the Molar Wave until the last fast boat leaves the Island for the airport. That is a huge relief because our flight out isn't until 2320hrs and with not a lot going on in Male we'd be sat around for hours waiting to get into the airport. He's a diamond.