Voyages of Petite Ourse

31 August 2016
31 July 2016 | 200 miles from Victoria, Mahe
20 May 2016
11 April 2016 | Maldives
24 March 2016 | Maldives
19 March 2016 | 50 Miles from Uligan
15 March 2016
12 March 2016 | Offshore Southeast Sri Lanka
09 March 2016 | Trincomalee Harbour
01 March 2016 | Trincomalee Harbour
23 February 2016 | Bsy of Bengal
20 February 2016 | Bsy of Bengal
18 February 2016 | North of Sumatra
16 February 2016 | West of Butang Islands
13 February 2016 | Telaga Harbour Marina, Langkawi, Malaysia
24 December 2015 | Langkawi, Malaysia
18 December 2015
30 November 2015
10 November 2015 | Kelayang


31 August 2016
Already we have been in Seychelles for almost a month arriving on August 3rd after a 11 day passage from Gan. We had to slow the boat on the last two days to ensure a daylight entry to Mahe. It takes a very short while to realize that this now the African continent, quite different than Asia.

We are berthed at Eden Island Marina North amongst many charter boats and a handful of world cruising sailboats. The marina is on an artificially constructed island at the base of the main mountain in the middle of Mahe Island and about 5 kilometres south of the capital town of Victoria. It is a very picturesque setting during both the day and night when the houselights climb the slopes. The Seychellois are trilingual with Creole their every day language and, for business and tourism, French and English. The place names are reminiscent of the colonial days when first the French and then the British occupied the islands.

We have been so far preoccupied with maintenance items - the old diesel genset has been removed and a new unit installed, the wind generator repaired, a new dyneema main halyard installed, and the AIS replaced because of a faulty display screen. Yet to come is a repair to the watermaker and installation of an Iridium GO. We were impressed with diesel generator replacement supplied by John Vidot of Power Marine and installed by Chad, with Silu, from Cascade Slipways. Everything was on schedule including genset delivery time and installation. The Northern Lights generator was installed through the cockpit locker with a great deal of manoeuvering but no cutting of fibreglass to get it to fit. It did make me wonder why Northern Lights made the new 5 kilowatt generator a touch bigger than the 26 year old unit of the same power which makes refits in tight quarters all the more difficult. We have the use of the air conditioning again. However, nights here are quite comfortable temperature wise, compared with Asia, and we rarely use AC during the day.

We visited the neighbouring islands of Praslin and la Digue where the main source of income is tourism. It was on Praslin we had a bad experience with one tourist taxi driver who did not want to go where we wanted to visit only where it was convenient for him. Finally with another taxi driver we made it to the house of the locally well known painter Raymond du Buisson. He has some of his paintings on display and a guest house he is building is decorated with shells and coral. La Digue had very attractive white sand beaches interspersed with granite boulders.

There are giant tortoises in the Seychelles like Galapagos but Dominique says the Seychelles tortoises are more attractive. Some residents on Praslin keep a tortoise or two as sort of a yard pet and you see them frequently eating grasses in the yards. Curried fish dishes are the most common local dish in restaurants but you can pretty get anything at a price. We have a fish market and veggie market stalls within 10 minute walk of the marina plus a supermarket in the marina so we do eat mostly eat on board.

Seychelles Passage

31 July 2016 | 200 miles from Victoria, Mahe
We are eight days out of Addu, Maldives and slowly approaching the Seychelles. Very light winds of 6 to 8 knots from the southeast and a 1 to 1.5 knot current against us. Currently doing about 3 knots over the ground. At this rate we would expect landfall on August 3rd.

Very little activity on the passage with a few sea birds every day and once in awhile some dolphins No boats sighted after the first nite near the Maldives. Around the 4th and fifth days we had 25 knot winds and very rough seas of about 3 metres. It appears that the wind waves develop over the south Indian Ocean swell in a slightly different direction giving a rougher ride than normal for that wind speed. We had a wet cockpit a couple of times.

Hulumale to Gan, Maldives

23 July 2016
We left the Hulumale anchorage on April 30th and arrived in Gan on May 22th. Then after waiting for repairs to the skeg at Gan we finally departed the Maldives on July 23rd.

Male and Hulumale

20 May 2016
Weather changed during our stay with SW monsoon beginning about 3rd week of April
We spent three weeks from April 8 to April 30 in Hulumale the anchorage area for cruising boats visiting Male the capital of the Maldives. The anchorage was dominated by dive boats. Staff on the dive boats were quite friendly and provided transport to shore with their tenders. In particular the personnel on the Honors.Legacy were very helpful. The use of Petite Ourse's tender was restricted since at the time, Richard was recovering from a sore neck and then it was holed by rubbing against the davits during a large thunderstorm. The inflatable repair delayed our departure from Male by a couple of days.

There was constant boat traffic past our anchor position by barges and boats carrying materials to the land construction north of us. The amount of land built on the coral reef surrounding the Hulumale lagoon expanded dramatically during our stay. There were frequent ferries from Hulumale to Male so getting into the city was quite rapid. What was missing was a protected area to leave a boat's tender. The rumour was that a marina is being built at the north end of the lagoon for cruising boats.

Male is a modern small city of about 150,000 people but with one of the highest population densities in the world. There is no room left on this island and consequently the expansion of Hulumale is being undertaken for population increase. It is modern looking and very compact with a large population of motorcycles making road crossing quite hazardous for the unaware. There was a museum (photo below), supreme court, Islamic centre and government buildings. Some of the specialty import stores provided cheese from Europe and Australia as well as French cookies and biscottes. Although, one of us particularly liked the Maldivian snack food which was a small ball, about 1 cm in diameter, of deep fried batter covering a hot spicy tuna mix. We were also able to find hypalon glue to repair the inflatable in one of the several chandleries in Male and there are several ACE hardware stores.

Photographs from Indonesia have been added to the gallery.

From Uligan To Male

11 April 2016 | Maldives
We day tripped from Uligan to Male. There never was enough wind to sail with average wind speed below five knots. So every day we motored from 10 to 25 miles ensuring that we arrived at the new anchorage around 2 pm in order to navigate through the anchorage coral with some time to spare in case we needed to move. We have encountered the hottest and most humid weather ever. Sweat glands get a continuous workout even at night if there is no breeze. Cold beers sitting next to the freezer were our mid-day treat.

The first stop after Uligan was the Island Hideaway Resort for Easter weekend. The resort has a "marina" which was a secure dock for Petite Ourse to tie up. The water and electricity on this dock were not operational. The "marina" fee was expensive at $100 US per night but it did allow complete access to the resort including snorkelling reefs, pools, sports centre, electric transport buggies, cultural entertainment and restaurants. They had happy hour with half price drinks at one of the bars to which we were the only ones to avail ourselves of the opportunity. We had two huge Easter breakfast buffets with a mixture of Asian, Maldivian and European food. The breakfasts were $35 US per person and worth it. During the day, Dominique took a Maldivian cooking lesson featuring rosti and visited the spa, Jacqueline hung out at the pool, and myself I spent an afternoon in the air conditioned sports centre downloading some needed program updates from the internet. We stayed two nights until Easter Sunday before continuing south.

The next night we anchored at the entrance to the Nolhivaramfu lagoon and then went outside the lagoon to Feevah the next day. The chief of the island invited us to go ashore. The island is one of the few vegetable and fruit producing islands in the Maldives and we were not disappointed We got rose apples (also called Malay apples), bananas, mangoes and a large assortment of vegetables.

On Tuesday, March 29 we were anchored in the lagoon of Dholhiyladoo which is the sight of a deserted resort. A British sailboat was also in the anchorage. Continuing south we stopped overnight at Randheli the sight of the French resort Cheval Blanc after getting permission by phone the day before to anchor. Dominique and Jacqueline went ashore as the captain was suffering from a sore neck. This was the most luxurious resort visited with the top villa on a private island going for about $50,000 per week.

We crossed to the Faadhippolhu Lhaviayani atoll and tried to anchor off the Kuredu resort but we moved after a security boat came out asking us for $150 for the privilege of anchoring. We had tried phoning the day before with a Lonely Planet phone number which was incorrect. When we got the right number from security the next day, the manager was unpleasant. Definitely not your friendly resort, so we moved our anchorage away from the resort but at the west end of the reef of Kuredu. This is a place to avoid.
With over 100 resorts in the Maldives it is hard to avoid them all as they usually have the best anchorages with guests being moved by boat or seaplane. The Four Seasons at Landaa Giraavaru was our next stop and we were welcomed there but it was clear they were not used to cruising sailboats. We were asked to move our boat at night because a large resort boat had unexpectedly returned. We refused since the area is strewn with coral and eventually they found another solution for the returned boat. The next two nights we spent in nearby Dighu Faru. Extremely peaceful with only one charter boat the second night and surrounded by beautiful turquoise water.

On April 4th, we crossed to the Gaaru Falhu, part of the North Male atoll, and anchored just east of the north east pass into the lagoon. It was not easy to find a suitable anchorage with bommies strewn throughout the area. It took us six tries before we were satisfied and spent a peaceful night. The next day we got in the main body of the North Male atoll and anchored in a deep bay in a reef north of Helengeli. Again surround by turquoise waters and no other boats in the anchorage.

Our next to last stop was Thulusdhoo. No resort but a bar boat anchored in the lagoon. In May the boat reverts to be being a surfing safari boat. Two young men operated the bar boat, one Maldivian, Mohammed, and one Italian, Michelli. They were brother-in-laws. Michelli's sister was married to Mohammed.
We are now in Hulumale, the anchorage for Male. The anchorage is mostly populated by safari dive boats north of the ferry dock. There is also 4 or 5 other cruising sailboats mixed in. Boat traffic is constant even into the night, not your peaceful anchorage but quite secure. Landfilling is going on a frentic pace and the once resort at the north end of the anchorage is no longer operating.

Our resort rating
• Island Hideaway Resort ◊◊◊◊
• Cheval Blanc ◊◊◊◊◊
• Kuredu avoid like the plaque
• Four Seasons ◊◊◊


24 March 2016 | Maldives
We arrived in Uligan on March 20th after a slow 10 day passage from Sri Lanka. Clearance in was efficient with our agent Hammadh arriving soon after we anchored with government officials . The boat stamp was used repeatedly as the multitude of forms were filled out and signed. After about an hour we pulled down the Q flag.
Our days here have been busy with a ferry trip to Dhidhoo, the region capital, a Maldivian meal at one of the homes on Uligan, and a visit to the nearby resort on Manafaru island. The ferry ride to Dhidhoo took two hours each way and the ferry was packed with families going shopping to the capital. On the way back there bags of goods including one motorcycle.
I had read in a travel book called Misadventures in the Maldives that an enticing local food was garudia made of smoked fish cooked in a broth and eaten with limes, chilles, onions and rice. I mentioned it to Hammadh and he arranged a meal in a home on the island and in addition to garudia we also had a baked fish, and roshi (roti) eaten with tuna with coconut and lime (mashuni).
We took a speedboat to the Ja Manafaru resort for a sunset drink; however at sunset we were deep in a wine cellar two metres below the coral surface with a very knowledgeable sommelier. They had close to 3000 bottles of wine from around the world ranging in price from 40 dollars to 11,000 dollars. A very surprising structure on the remote edges of the Maldives. bottle.jpg
We now start heading south in day hops to visit the various atolls. We are limited by our cruising permit to go ashore on certain islands but can anchor anywhere.

Vessel Name: Petite Ourse
Vessel Make/Model: Valiant 40
Hailing Port: Toronto
Crew: Richard Kolomeychuk, Dominique Aucouturier
Extra: Started in Toronto, Canada July 2009
Petite Ourse's Photos - Main
March 25 - July 23
1 Photo | 7 Sub-Albums
Created 15 August 2016
February 25 - March 10
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Created 9 August 2016
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Created 31 December 2014
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Created 30 May 2014
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August 17-21, 2013
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Created 19 September 2013
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38 Photos
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Ocean passage from Galapagos to Marquesas
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Created 18 July 2012
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Created 7 May 2012
1 Photo | 4 Sub-Albums
Created 7 May 2012