Midnight Swim to the Pavilion

Male Travel Blog

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light in the dark

Last night I was invited for a drink at the airport hotel by Udo, our Dive Centre Manager, we took the boat to Male at 7pm and then took another 10 mins boat ride to Hulhule Island Hotel. while we are on the boat It started raining so I called Ali a friend of mine who works in Hulhule asking if its raining in the Pool side restaurant.  And he said I my craving for their lovely steak just died down.  the ferry to Hulhule island was full, we were wondering - ah! the weekend in the Maldives falls on Friday and Saturday! hmmm..

when we arrived, indeed hardly no one was sitting outside the Pool Bar Restaurant, except for those guest who are swimming and having a drink at the bar.

the pavillion from a distance normally accessible by boat
  So, it was an easy decision to go inside the Champs bar - well there is no other place to go! When we walked in, it was apparent that we were not the first ones..all tables are taken and so as the seats.  We were standing next to the bar couldnt think where to sit or go.  I called Ali to make some arrangements, and we got a table in 10 mins...Voila! the beauty of networking! Ali joined us for drinks I had the usual cuba libre..Oh by the way the cuba libre in Champs bar is good - and after a couple of glasses it's really great! Udo was having tiger beer and Sanae (Japanese diving instructor) she had heineken, and Ali - being Maldivian sticks to a can of coke! The locals in Maldives are forbidden to drink any alcoholic beverage. so, we chat and chat - one drink - another drink - and another - its was flowing like a river... Then Percy joined us, while Ali was running back to work - it was like a handover of duty between them.  Sanae and Me ordered Dinner while Udo and Percy were happy with thier beers.  I got a Salmon Steak and Sanae had the Bento Box.  My food was yummy...and Sanae's food looks yummy but enormous portion!  didnt know how she managed to finish it off..I guess Udo being next to her might be a good buddy to help clean the plate. 

when coming back to our resort I was seated next to Udo on the speedboat, we were talking about diving and Maldives in general, I told him how much I love swimming and sun.blah blah blah..then suddenly we saw the red light blinking from the Pavillion. Then I told him that I used to swim to the Pavillion every Sunday afternoon.  Then, suddenly he said he would fancy swimming there and drink a bottle of wine.  hahaha! I kinda like the idea though. when we went off the speedboat, he told me that we will have a race to the pavillion for a bottle of wine.  hahaha..I didnt know what I was thinking but I was into it.  It was 11.30pm so I hurried to my room and changed, into a swimming costume and head off to the dive center.  From the jetty I could hardly see the pavillion as it is situated in the breakwater of the lagoon, far end.   Its about 800 - 1000meters away from the jetty and in the night it doesnt seem to exist, except when you see the red light blinking from a distance!

So, Udo jumped into the water first, he said the water was cold, but I didnt believe him, when I jumped off it wasnt that bad, infact the water was so cool and it gave me a great feeling - well I guess after 7 glasses of cuba libre - it helped to cool my head, but one thing I realised the current was so strong.  At this point I knew that the race is impossible.  so, we swam like 30 minutes and we still havent reached, with the speed I was swimming, i thought I could get to the pavillion in 25 mins..I was mistaken. The current was pulling me back! what seems like a 20 min swim took almost an hour..fighting with the current and since it was so dark we hardly saw the paviliion, at some point we were disoriented for a while, so we were like not in a race mood anymore but just to get to the pavillion.  when we got godness! What a relief? the place was so peaceful, yet so dark, the only noise you can hear was the waves splashing on the pillars of the pavilion. we seated and was looking at the resort from a distance, I havent seen the kind view before.  I used to swim to the pavilion but I usually come back before sunset.  this time its midnight half of the lights are gone.  there was no moon that night, so the sky was full of stars! Its amazing!!

Udo, was so excited opening the bottle of wine. The only thing was that we didnt have a corkscrew to open the bottle! he pushed the cork inside the bottle and we started drinking..hahaha...what a night.  I never talked to Udo casually in my 11 months in the maldives, let alone swim and drink with him at midnight...We talked about just anything , from stars to craters of the moon, to naming the planets..the conversation revolves on whatever that comes to mind. After the bottle of wine we sat there hoping there was another bottle to open, but there wasnt. As we sat looking at the resort like a fading light from a distance, Udo asked me "By the way, have you figured out how to go back?" hahaha...this time I burst laughing! coz actually I havent thought of it. We waited, perhaps there will be a boat that will pass by and we may hitch a ride but there wasnt... huhuhu..the wind is getting chilly and the time is ticking.  when I asked UDo the time I didnt wait for his reply, just wanted to plunge into the water and swim back... We reached the jetty almost 3am... with only him and me walking at the jetty at this hour... we knew that what we did was crazy but it was amzingly fun! I Will never forget this swim...thanks UDO! cheers until another bottle!





jenyenh says:
hahaha..yeah and I would have regretted it if I didnt dare..
Posted on: Apr 17, 2007
CrazyLisa says:
That sounds like quite an adventure. Wow on the 7 cuba libres
Posted on: Apr 17, 2007
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light in the dark
light in the dark
the pavillion from a distance norm…
the pavillion from a distance nor…
photo by: jenyenh