Mar 17 - Fahala, Kolhumadula Atoll

Pos: N02deg23.844min/ E073deg21.393min Departure was at 0730 and it didn't take too long to get around the reef to make a line for the pass. Once there, we put up the Yankee and full main and were making tracks. Unfortunately, we were way off course due to being swept by the current. It was so strong that we figured it was easily 2-3 knots, pushing us to starboard and way off our rhumb line to the entrance cut at the next atoll. Seeing the handwriting on the wall, we started the motor, and kept it going the entire time until we anchored. Even motor sailing, at times our speed was less than 2 knots! This is, indeed, Serious Current. We finally went thru the pass at Kolhumadula Atoll, and coordinates are as follows for our route: outside wpt: N02deg33.602min/E073deg06.975min; midway thru the pass our coordinates were N02deg33.466min/E073deg06.991min; the lowest depth we saw was 36'. We dropped anchor in 36' at Fahala, with excellent protection from N-SE directions. There are plenty of bommies close in, but finding a patch of sand to drop the hook wasn't too difficult. Two other sailboats were at anchor, so there are now four of us, more than we've seen for weeks!
Pic: We've finally found what we had envisioned for the Maldives...a thin island with a 4 mi. stretch of sandy beach with no development! Unfortunately the high tide line has the sad trash line very disappointing.

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