Ten days after setting sail from capital Male on his sailing 18 feet Catamaran, water sportsman Abdul Ghafoor(Gabbe) has reached Addu city, the southernmost atoll of the Maldives, completing half of his journey to circumnavigate the Maldives. The trip is organized by “Atoll Sailor” in association with the Tourism Ministry. Gabbe’ embarked on the journey on the 31st of January aiming to complete the journey in 21 days.
Gabbe arrived in Addu on Tuesday ( 9th of February) 4PM after a pit stop in the island of Fuvahmulah in Gnaviyani atoll. Upon entering Addu waters Gabbe’ was escorted by vessels from MNDF Coastguard, speedboats, Jet skis and row boats. Gabbe also received a water cannon salute from two anchored Dhonis in the lagoon. As Gabbe’ skillfully sailed and beached to the Hithadhoo swimming track area, hundreds of local residents were there to welcome him. People of all ages were happy greeting Gabbe’. Traditionally dressed kids presented flowers and many more were anxious to take pictures with Gabbe’. Brass bands from schools and Boduberu traditional music was played as Gabbe’ arrived.
Addu city Mayor Mr.Abdulla Sodig welcomed Gabbe’ to Addu city and presented a traditional fisherman’s cap ( Koari ) worn by early Addu fishermen. Gabbe’ wholeheartedly thanked the people of Addu for their warm welcome and pointed out that such support always alleviates his exhaustion. Gabbe’ and his team stayed in Addu City for 2 nights. Gabbe’ did a tour to the atoll’s natural and heritage sites including a visit to the island of Hulhumeedhoo. Gabbe’ will make a U-turn and begin his journey to head to the northernmost tip of the archipelago on Thursday.
“I’ve made it to Addu. Up next is going back north along the western rim of the atolls.” The sailor told the local news.