Weavers dye makers
Healers magicians
Historians storytellers
Navigators seafarers
Determiners of auspiciousness
Growers and qaib researchers
Nurturers of earth
In conversation…

We met Abdul Wahhab on the verandah of Maagasdhoshuge on the night of 7th January 2023, the day we arrived in Gadhdhoo. It was the second day of Uthuruhalha, the third Nakaiy of Iruvai monsoon. Zahir, our host recommended that we meet Wahhab, a retired navigator from Gadhdhoo.

Wahhab told stories of how Gadhdhuans travelled the seas on sailboats in the early times and about the history of trade and travel in the region in relation to seasonal (monsoonal) weather and winds, and of navigating through his life among the ambient political realities that surround.

Nevi, Abdul Wahhab, Gadhdhoo

“Sometimes, depending on what happens, Kethi ends, Roanu also ends, and when Miyaheli comes calmness sets in. If the winds are low too there might be a stopover. When Miyaheli arrives, the wind may change to the southern side a bit. If that change happens too we might have to wait. In that sense, sometimes, very rarely it may happen that way, we may have to wait for up to two months, in Thaa atoll. Thaa atoll, near Veymandoo, in front of Veymandoo there are two reefs.”

Following Sounding the Limits of Life (2015) by anthropologist Stefan Helmreich, we use “sounding”—as investigating, fathoming, listening—to describe the form of inquiry appropriate for tracking meanings and practices of the biological, geological, meteorological, aquatic, and sonic in a time of global change and climate crisis. The notion of ‘fathoming’ has a productive double valence