Blue Horizon II

Maldives

Solo surfers are accepted for trips to the southern and central atolls. Smooth surf trips with excellent management!

Blue Horizon II - April/May 2017 by Cliff on May 26, 2017
For our surf trip there is plenty to be enthusiastic about.
The crew were very attentive. They took us to the surf breaks when we wanted to go and were always on hand to pick us up in the dhony when we were finished. The made sure to anchor in calm locations overnight so that we always had a good restful sleep. At first we thought that moving from the surf breaks was not great for getting in the water at first light but then we realised how much more comfortable it was for getting around the boat and sleeping when in calm waters. When we needed to get in the water early because we were concerned about the potential crowds they moved the boat at 5:30 so we could get into the water early.
The Sri Lankan chef kept us well fed with quality food and the 'steward' (for want of a better word) was outstanding, even to the extent of tidying up the cabins and making the beds each day!
The dhony crew were also very attentive, looked after our gear well and were very helpful getting our boards and us into and out of the water.
The cabins are all en-suite and although not modern are nevertheless adequate and comfortable if a little squeezy for two people. The cabins and the rest of the boat were kept clean during the whole trip.
The boat had two dining areas - one inside for wet weather and one on the foredeck. There was also another area for sitting (and after surf beer / gin and tonic consumption) up on the top deck with deck beds. It was quite a spacious and comfortable boat overall.
The crowds:
We expected much fewer people but I think the mostly west to southwesterly winds limited us all to just a couple of breaks. Blue Bowls was the best break but also the most crowded. When a boat with 18 surfers turned up (and stayed for a few days) it meant that there were 40 people in the water at times. We had hoped for way less than that. To find less crowded breaks we went to Tiger Stripes and Antiques about half the time and that was a successful crowd avoiding strategy but the waves were not as good as Blue Bowls.
Given the westerly winds I speculate that we might have been able to find more breaks and less crowded ones on the eastern side of the atoll and a little further north from Vaadhoo and Gadhdhoo but our surf guide, Kabo, was not keen to go there and said the boat was generally restricted to the southern islands in the atoll.
This is my only real criticism. Finding more breaks to spread out the crowds when there are mainly westerly winds should be a priority. We also would have enjoyed a bit more variety in the surf. I, of course, don't know how productive it would be with the tide restrictions and shallow reefs but allowing the boat to roam more freely to Kanduhulhudhoo, Gemanafushi or Dhaandhoo should reveal some more surfable breaks.
Surf pictures (at an additional cost) were promised at the time of booking but it was not clear that we would need to order this in advance. As a result we have only our own pictures to look back on. That is not too bad but it would have been better to make this clear at the time of booking.
Overall then - great service from the staff, good food, good serviceable boat are the positives. More variety in the surf and a bigger choice of breaks would have made the trip perfect.
Cliff
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10 / 10 by Dr. Patrick Morad on October 27, 2014
Was a great trip. Super boat with a super crew. Food was excellent. 5 stars! Highly recomanded!
I will be back!
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A lone surfer by Simone on August 1, 2014
The news upon my arrival at the charter boat, after flying from Cape Town to Singapore, Male and then the local flight to Khadoo, left me feeling inadequate and in trepidation. A group of 7/8 surfers cancelled their trip, which left me, a 41 year old Aussie female, cruising alone on the charter boat in the middle of Maldivian atolls with a crew of 8-10 Maldivian Muslim men whose English was limited. I had no choice but to grin and bare it (while not baring anything at all!)

While the surf and the Maldives were pretty good, a 6-7 out of 10. I had a constant feeling of awkwardness and inadequacy. To have a boat to oneself cruising around the tropics for 10 days surfing may be someone's idea of paradise but not mine. Despite having the surf, my books, music and great food on the boat, I felt quite alone and I felt I could not totally relax. If I was a male, it may have been different. I felt I couldn't bare too much skin and sun bake for one.

Additionally, i believe the captain took it upon himself to make his own decisions as to where we would go and where I would surf. He seemed to consider what he wanted to do as opposed to what I wanted, even though I flew all that way and I was the paying customer.

Ramadan; my surf guide, Issey was great to a certain extent. However, he was bored with my company and he was also famished by the afternoon as he could not eat or drink due to Ramadan. I respect religious duty and tradition but I would not holiday in a Muslim country during Ramadan again. The crew were tired and sometimes irritable it seemed. As a non-Muslim, and a paying customer, it should not really have been my concern. But since alone on this boat, it was. I went up to the upper deck at one stage and one of the captains was saying his prayers, so i was limited to where i could go on the boat. Often, i had to leave the surf early or by a certain time to get back for the crew's meal at 620pm, the time they were allowed to eat. I ate after they had eaten and they ate and gathered at the front of the boat where I probably would have spent more time if they were not there.

The on a few occasions the captain attempted to dictate to me that I was only to surf for 2 hours at a particular place, even though we had all day. I believe that if there were other customers/surfers and male ones, I would not have been 'bullied' into going where the captain wanted and told how long i could surf for. I was NOT happy! The captain would not moor with other charter boats, he insisted on taking the boat 30-45 mins away to a lagoon, which meant it took 30-45 mins to get back to the surf break in the morning. Then other surfers were already in the water. Plus, it meant that I could not mingle and talk to other English-speaking people. I felt bad for the crew on many occasions when I wanted to surf long and they had to wait in the dhony for hours because the captain didn't want to use the main boat to go to the break. At one stage the captain took the charter boat and left me in the surf because he wanted to go to the lagoon. He left without telling me and then blamed the Issey the surf guide for not translating the information. However, I had already advised the captain that I didn't want to leave as I was having a great surf and i was surfing with a nice bunch of Australians who i could talk to have a laugh with. They also invited me to their boat but the captain left so i had no clothing, no towel, no drinks to take with me. I believe the captain just wanted to meet up with friends on the island and watch the world cup football (which he did take me to, twice, it was the one nice thing he did for me).

How was I to adequately tip the entire crew on my own? How would they be motivated to do their jobs well if they thought I was not able to tip adequately at the end of the trip?

On a previous trip with World Surfaris in September 2013, none of this was ever a concern. I will not book with this boat/captain again and, respectfully, certainly not during Ramadan.

A lone surfer

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Dream come true by Sigurd on March 20, 2013
Maldives are a dream come true for every passionate surfer. I’ve surfed in many other places, but so far nothing can’t compare to my Maldives experience. Thanks to crew which always took us to the right spot. You can see that they’re experienced in what they do and this is what I value the most.
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Surfers dream by Nate on March 8, 2013
I'll never forget this trip
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Good times on Blue Horizon by Gustavo on February 23, 2013
Honestly I can tell just the best about Blue Horizon. Before I came I was a little skeptical abut sleeping on the boat. But that turned out just great. Cabins are big enough and comfortable and it’s no problem at all. Team is the best – always helpful and fun to hang out with. Everything was good and surfing was GREAT. The best I ever had. Wanna do it again, as soon as possible.
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