Words by Gavan Clark.
Photos by Bob Fawcett.
In 2008 I was surf guiding in the North Male Atolls of the Maldives.
Fast forward 10 years to 2018 and I was running a First Aid/CPR/Surfer Rescue training business specialising in the surf travel industry in Indonesia and the Maldives.
One of my long term clients is Perfect Wave Travel, I train all their surf guides operating in the Maldives.
At last year’s training camp my room mate and Perfect Wave Travel surf guide Bob Fawcett filled me in about how good the Southern Atolls are as a surf trip destination.
So when i returned to Aus I got in touch with my old mates from 2008 and organised a 10 year reunion trip to the Maldives Southern Atolls.
Five of the original team, two of their sons and my best mate Ned jumped onboard for the trip.
Charlie at Perfect Wave Travel organized everything and we put the wheels in motion in on what turned out to be an epic early season trip.
One non-negotiable request I had was that Bob Fawcett my room mate from Aus, and one of Perfect Wave Travel’s more experienced guides and an awesome photographer to boot be rostered on for our trip.
Charlie made that guarantee and so on March 23 our epic journey began and everything went like clockwork.
We were met on arrival at Male airport by our Perfect Wave Travel rep and shuttled to our overnight accommodation and onto our early morning connecting flight down to the South Atolls.
This is when the real adventure began as we all looked in awe from our small plane at the beautiful Atolls, Resorts and Islands that passed beneath us on our one hour flight.
On arrival we were greeted by Bob and his co- guide for the trip Martay and guided down the cobblestone road to the harbour and onto our home for the next week, the mighty surf boat “Cobia”.
Well I thought the North Male Atolls were special, but what I experienced over the next 10 days was mind blowing. The Southern Atolls are a surfers heaven on earth. Over those 10 days we snorkelled, fished and surfed in the clearest most pristine water I have seen in all my travels.
At one of our favourite surf spots “ Love Charms” we were continually surrounded by friendly turtles bopping their heads up to check us out. But the gem of all the breaks “Blue Bowls” we scored to ourselves for days.
As for the Cobia, it might not be the biggest or fanciest boat in the fleet, but it is absolutely great value for money, with its full shade top deck, great captain and crew and awesome food. It is the boat that best suited our crew by far.
Nothing was to much for our Maldivian guide Martay. It just happened to be one of our crew’s birthday, so Martay gathered his friends from his home island and put on the best BBQ/Bonfire party on a neighbouring pure white sand beach i’ve ever seen.
So as we sat at the airport hotel bar reflecting on our epic trip, my mate Ned made the statement of the trip, “Sometimes the beauty of the natural world and the ocean simply blows your mind.”
We all raised our glasses and toasted.
So here I am a week later back at our home and the phones ringing hot as the crew are onto me to book again for next year. The next call is to Charlie asking him lock us in for another epic trip.
To anyone out there thinking of booking a surf trip trip, the best advise I can give, is do your research, book through a reputable surf travel company such as the Perfect Wave Travel Group and ask “Are your surf guides first aid/rescue trained” as you may end up a long way from medical help.
Thanks again to Perfect Wave Travel for what was a trip of a life time.
Cheers and Happy surf adventures!
Senior First Aid/CPR/Surfer Rescue Instructor
Aable Training Australia