Epic Surf Trip to the Central and Malè Atolls aboard the Ocean Sapphire
First impressions of the boat had us frothing. The Ocean Sapphire feels solid and confident – she’s an impressive vessel (later in the trip we met other surfers who were experiencing serious bouts of ‘boat envy’ when they anchored nearby).
The cabins are spacious and very comfortable, with ensuite bathrooms and plenty of storage space. The main saloon has large, wrap around windows so you can see what the waves are doing while you eat, or kick back in the lounge area. Up the stairs, the bar deck is a great spot for sunset drinks or an early coffee, and the upper sun deck is perfect for a sunrise yoga session or taking in some Maldivian rays. On the subject – we didn’t see much sunshine for the first few days, but it didn’t really matter as the surf was cooking! Our fist sessions were at Jails, it was 3-5ft and breaking really nicely. When I was guiding out here I often referred to Jails as a soft, warm water, J bay (sorry Jordy, I know it’s not quite the same level but you get the idea!) and that first day had a few waves that fitted the description perfectly – take off, stay high, bank a couple turns before setting up for a high-line barrel, come out, cut down and do it again. Definitely a good start to the trip.
The next day dawned dark and moody but there was a lot more motion in the ocean. We pulled up to Sultans and were amazed to see that we were the only boat in the channel. A bit of a froth-frenzy followed as a rushed breakfast was washed down with cups of Fonzie Abbott as bigger boards were waxed up and fitted wityh longer/stronger leashes. Sultans is a swell magnet but it also tends to attract quite a crowd, but on this morning the only other surfers in the water were an old boy from Uludulla and Scott Dennis (Leroy Bellet’s tow partner) Old mate was looking for an easy one in, but Scott was amped, getting some nice barrels, he was really impressed with the quality of the waves, which is quite a call considering the waves he frequents!
Five hours later we were still out there. More surfers had paddled out but the vibe was all-time, I think everyone who was out there appreciated that it was a special day. It was so special that when we did return to the boat for a late lunch, the only questions were when should we go back out and can you pass out from too much coffee!
The swell backed off slowly for the next few days, but we had more sessions at Sultans as well as Cokes/Chickens. To be perfectly honest the surf ended up pretty bad for the last few days (though we picked the eyes outta it and were out there for the best window every day – a bonus of being on a boat in the channel!) but no-one really cared – in fact the guys who had packed fishes, longboards and mid-lengths were stoked to have the opportunity to ride a variety of craft. All in all an epic trip and are now planning a Central Atolls trip on the Sapphire in 2023.
World Surfaris are going to be operating the Ocean Sapphire in the Central Atolls for 2023 so if you’re interested in a trip on a safe, reliable, comfortable boat, with a great crew, please get in touch.