02 April 2021
Some adults of a certain age, probably endowed with the moniker of "grand" something or other, may well have heard of, or worse, sat through an episode of Mr Blippy on YouTube. Worse still, you may have endured or even sung along to Mr Blippy's agonising, "Excavator Song".
Well, while he may not be a hit with said Grand-somethings, with over 93 MILLION views, the kids obviously love him. One thing's for sure - he'd go down a storm here. On perhaps every second island we pass, there's an excavator or three, either lying idle and rusting while Covid takes its toll or busy shovelling dredged sand and coral into giant piles, reminiscent of the slag heaps adjoining, now redundant coal mines of Britain referenced in the last doom and gloom, yet amusingly informative posting. (I hesitate to use Great Britain as these days, well, ...... you know; breweries and piss-ups come to mind).
Anyway, excavation's the name of the game here, constructing new sea defences against the rise in sea levels as a result of global warming, reclaiming land, although it was a long time since it was there anyway, or, as is mostly the case, creating yet another luxury eco resort.
Despite all this shifting of sand and coral, finding a safe haven is a bit of a challenge in the Maldives. Tonight, we're in Guraidhoo, having sailed twenty miles south to find two
prospective anchorages untenable, then backtrack six miles to finally get the hook down on a seven metre hump of, I dont know what, drifting back into twenty metres of black and reefs all around. Paul and Chris on buddy boat Georgia? Well, they're anchored out in mid ocean somewhere just on the horizon. Reefs all around.
Coincidentally, once anchored, fed and watered I picked up my book; "The Pacific: In The Wake Of Captain Cook". I couldn't help but smile when I read his explanation of a reef, penned in one of his many Admiralty reports, probably shortly after he'd had intimate relations with the Great Barrier Reef. "A reef, such as one speaks of here is scarcely known in Europe. It is a wall of coral rock rising almost perpendicular out of the unfathomable ocean, always overflown at high water generally 7 or 8 feet, and dry in places at low water."
Well, that's our lot to a T. The good news is our "buddy boat" Georgia is equipped with a forward looking sonar.
Probably like Cook, I wish I had one.