I got home yesterday feeling pretty bluesy from such bright days in the Maldives.
Yet, I am reminded that it’s in the contrast and in the variety of landscapes and emotions that resides the richness of life.
That reflection helps me find some kind of sweetness in being where I am as I write today, buried under blankets and pillows to keep myself warm from the cold French autumn.
The Maldives is a long and narrow country formed by 26 natural atolls that lie south west of Sri Lanka and India. An atoll is ring-shaped coral reef with a coral rim that encircles a lagoon, in other words: #a small paradise.
Best known for its spectacular diving, the Maldives also hosts uncrowded world-class waves.
I am lucky to be part of a surfing family and this year, my dad had the awesome idea to book us into a surf charter for 10 days to explore this part of the world.
We arrived in Malé at night and took a small and scary internal flight to the Southern Atolls.
At the airport we met with the crew, and the 5 other guests whom would be sharing the boat with us: 3 Argentineans and 2 Swedes.
We took a small dinghy from the Warf to the boat, the ocean was glowing from the plankton and the sky looked alive from all the shooting stars. It was a magical first night.
My sister and I shared a small cabin in the hull of the boat, with air-conditioning and a private bathroom.
Exhausted from the 20+ hours of travel, I dove under the sheets and let myself rocked to sleep by the boat.
Surfing in the Maldives in an extraordinary experience.
There are so many empty breaks, its ridiculous.
Total, I have counted 37 different spots, 17 of which are located only in the small South Atoll. The fact that most waves are only accessible by boat is a massive barrier to entry, which keeps the crowd away.
I’ve never seen such turquoise water and such abundant fauna. There are so many turtles, sharks, dolphins and colourful fish that live under this sea.
Most waves we’ve surfed were quite forgiving but not very longboardable to my opinion.
Also, I snapped the rental longboard of the boat. Oopsy.
Swell is pretty consistent especially at that time of the year. It only got flat and windy for a day, and we were quite happy to not surf, as you can imagine that everyone’s body was sore from extended hours of surfing.
In such idyll context, we were also very blessed to have epic people on our boat. Everyone connected and became life long friends and it was really difficult to say goodbye. That was such a great reminder that Life is truly about sharing, meeting and laughing and, if there are waves involved, that’s just bonus.
On the boat, we ate delicious freshly fished fish (hope that's correct English) everyday. Our cook was Sri Lankan and he made the most delicious curries, local food, and even pizzas and burgers.
One night, the crew told us we’d have a barbeque on the beach. We all thought of a standard bonfire with a grill, but they surprised us with an incredible setting with lights everywhere, and table shaped in the sand and the most amazing buffet.
A surf charter is little bit more expensive than the usual indo trip, but so worth it if you’re looking for good uncrowded waves in warm water. Being on a boat is also super resourcing because for 10 days you will be totally cut off from the “real” world, away from phones, wifi, and toxicity, just living from the sea.
Happy Days people, keep your smile and go to the ocean if you can.
Words by Anouck Corolleur