One focus of our research in Raa was to gain information on maritime practices. Accordingly, we spent a fair bit of time on the sea, in a sailing boat expertly piloted by our guide Ibrahim. We quizzed him on how he navigates – currents, spotting the reefs, wind direction, recognising the various islands.
Kinolhas, Fainu and Inguraidhoo from the air
Kinolhas, Fainu and Inguraidhoo from the sea
Raa is supposed to be a relatively shallow atoll, with a mean lagoon depth of 26 metres. So I was wondering three things about this relative shallowness. Does it mean that the marine life – cowries in particular – might be more or less abundant? Does it mean that currents might have a specific strength or direction (and as a related question – is it relevant that Fainu, Kinolhas and Inguraidhoo, which have historical connections, lie opposite an opening in the chain of atolls – would these be the obvious place to hit the Maldives as you sailed from Sri Lanka)? And does it mean that there are larger vegetated islands here, thus potentially more archaeological sites?