Wednesday, 15 April 2015

50 Shades Of Blue - Maldives South Ari Atoll & LUX* Resort

Never Mind 50 Shades Of Grey - here there are 50 Shades Of Blue.  We spent three delightful days on the Lagoon at Dhigurah, South Ari Atoll, Maldives.

While others were chasing whale sharks on the outer reef, or manta rays on the inner reef, we relaxed, read books, swam and beach combed.  This is a very peaceful anchorage, with easy access from the ocean.

The entrance over the inner shoal showed around four meters at low tide (03deg 31.77 North, 072deg 54.34 East).

The anchorage is marked just off the sand spit islands in the this image (03deg 31.03 North, 072deg 54.74 East).

Whilst you could anchor further to the north, it is advised not to anchor further south, to stay clear of the seaplane landing area there.

Many resorts in the Maldives do not welcome cruising sailors, applying steep landing fees or simply banning yachts all together.  In fact we have friends who were literally chased out of the anchorage by security guards, at the nearby Hilton resort.

So we were pleased when on our second day a catamaran approached us with a crew and guests from the Lux* Resort, to the south in the image at right.

Onboard was the resort director, Dominik Ruhl, who is a keen sailor and happy to invite visiting yachts to the resort (when they are not running at capacity).

He did invite us to make a booking so we went for lunch the next day.  

This is a very beautiful place, with a great food and beverage selection at reasonable prices (for the Maldives). Staff are extremely relaxed and friendly - no snobbery here at all. 

They also celebrate coffee culture, flying in green beans from around the world and roasting each day in a glazed coffee house that is a design feature, just off the main lobby.

Domenik suggests calling reception to book, or emailing him, the day before.  Contact details are in the Maldives Cruising Services Guide that can be downloaded here.

There are about four seaplane flights each day to the resort, direct from Malé.

Google Earth KAP charts for this location can be downloaded via the tabs at the top of this page.

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