At midnight we calculate our remaining distance at exactly 100nm, so we continue to remain confident that we will arrive later today. Dolphins join us in the morning to accompany us for a little while, almost like wanting to escort us into Maldivian Waters.
It is time to prepare for our arrival and get the required documents ready, as well as the yellow ‘quarantine’ flag.
But of course our arrival is being made a little more difficult due to gusty string winds, very heavy rain showers and limited visibility.
Our first communication with the coast guard is a nice sign of civilization but to our surprise they advise us that the entry into the Atoll is much further North than what we had anticipated, so a change of course is being done. Sure enough we have to find out that something was lost in communication and we have to return to our initial coordinates, which adds another hour to the long awaited arrival. Due to the very heavy storms, the coats guard arranged for a local boat to assist us with the entry into the atoll.
At 1520 hours, we have arrived! According to our instruments we can report the following:
Distance covered: 1066 nm
166 hours of travel time
average speed: 6.4 knots
max speed: 11.7 knots
As I live in the Maldives and am lucky enough to know a few people the arrival process is being assisted by several people and a colleague of mine has flown from Male to Gan to ensure a smooth arrival.
Carl unfortunately decided that this was the end of his journey and wishes to return to Germany for some very well deserved rest and recuperation. What was amazing is that after 6 days of being very seasick, he recovered almost immediately after setting foot on dry land.
The next hours is all about waiting for customs officers, immigration and other officials. Since we are actually importing the catamaran, the procedures are a bit more lengthy than one would expect. Among other things the value of the boat must be estimated as the government wants their 25% share of the value of the boat as import duty, a very heft check I am still dreading to write!
In the evening we have our first meal on dry land in over a week and despite rain, we enjoy the excursion away from the water.