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Published: February 1st 2014
Greetings again readers from the wonderful island of Maafushivaru – it’s still beautiful weather here, sunny with a nice light breeze and the outlook is much of the same… Welcome to my winter!
Hope those in winter ski seasons are getting plenty of snow… And those in the UK are checking Google for trips to see me on Maaf… Come on guys you know you want to…
You may remember me saying that Gordon the baby gecko had bailed on me – well we think he may have moved into the room downstairs… Marie, who lives below me has said she’ll look after him but Ron, her hubby, wants to charge him rent so I reckon he’ll be back with me soon… If he doesn’t come back there are plenty more geckos to choose from…
This blog is very much about naming things – I’ve had a busy week naming Manta Rays and Turtles! And yes I have still been working.
Firstly I have some educational news… I found out the collective noun for turtle is a bale… so we have a bale of turtles on our reef here
on Maafushivaru… And their names are – Barb, Aude, Karol & Marie – All girlies so never mind turtle power this is Girl Power! We got to name them after ourselves as the Turtle peeps just give them ID numbers and we felt they deserved proper recognition… If I manage to get photos of them I will pop them onto a future blog but for now, if you are on FB search for Maafushivaru Marine Biology – there are fantastic pics and videos of all the stunning marine life around here… Whale sharks and Manta Rays mainly but also dolphins and turtles… And now I am getting a little bit more adventurous with my snorkelling I will soon be seeing these creatures in person.. Well that’s the plan anyway.
I have been snorkelling a couple of times since my last blog and am much improved – I can nearly go into the big sea now – which roughly translates as out of the lagoon… Staff & guests on the island have been very proud of me, so special thanks to them all for their support, encouragement, mickey taking and most importantly bribery… Next I have to practise my jumping… when you go on an excursion you jump from the boat into the water and although it’s not a long way down it can seem like a big drop so it has been suggested that I jump from the main jetty – where the water is very deep… and then snorkel back round to the steps, or ideally over the reef and onto the beach… Not sure about this jumping thing so I will see…
And now, some more educational stuff – it’s not like a maths test or anything as boring so please carry on reading… This is how you identify whale sharks, manta rays and turtles… With turtles the scaling on the sides of their head is like a unique fingerprint so a photo of this part of their body means it can be checked to see if it is already known to the turtle peeps, of course getting it to turn to the other side can be tricky and if you try to swim around them they tend to follow you, so although ideally you should get a picture of both sides of the turtles head, one side is a step in the right direction… Manta rays have their individual ‘fingerprint; on their tummy, between their gills they have a series of markings – and get this… if you photograph a Manta and send it to the Manta peeps, if it’s a newbie, you get to name it!! How cool would that be – I want to name a Manta… And thanks to Per, our marine biologist I have! More about that in a minute… Now for the wonderful whale sharks… they have an all over pattern on their upper side and their individual identification is just behind their gills – again both sides are preferable however whale sharks move quite slow so it’s usually easy enough to move around them (apparently) – and this is the good bit – if you send your pics to the whale shark peeps they use an adapted programme originally used by NASA to identify & place the stars to identify and monitor the whale sharks – I’m guessing if you find a new one of these they let you name it too… And so back to naming Mantas, Per, had photographed some new Manta Rays over the past few weeks – and he let me name them… so I now have 6 Mantas… There were 10 but we are waiting for the rest of the confirmations to come through but so far we have… Ebony Ems, Holly-Berry & of course Travelling-Tallulah, and for the boys we have Maaf Marco, Kinky Kevin & Mrs Browns Boy! The boys gave one of the male Manta Rays a rude name so that one won’t be getting a mention… well he will but we’ll just be calling him Frank!!
I’m not sure if I’ll be confident enough to mess about with a camera in the water but I know for sure I want to be confident enough at snorkelling to get in the big sea off a boat to see these marine creatures… One day I’ll maybe even get to see the Mantas I was lucky enough to name! (And the turtles)
So apart from learning all about the marine life here I haven’t been up to very much, we have had a couple of very successful Maldivian nights and I am now getting quite good at Bodu Beru – well I like to think I am… I’m sure our fabulous Bodu Beru team on Maaf have other ideas… DJ night is always a good night out and this week the film for movie night was Love Actually – great film!
The food here is just too good so my waist line is still expanding, with the hot chocolate pudding still number 1 favourite! Better get in that warm azure blue ocean and start snorkelling to shift a few pounds… the gym is still here but it’s not on my to do list at the moment… The Mafiose have other ideas though and apparently as it’s the 1st
of Feb we are starting a 30day exercise plan – I don’t recall agreeing to this but I guess I should give it a go – I may even enjoy it – not!
Well that’s about it for this blog – lots of educational stuff about marine life, the very important naming of Mantas and Turtles and my fab social life on Maafushivaru… No medical issues, my toe is 100%!a(MISSING)nd happily nothing else to report. Wishing you all safe and exciting travels Love Tallulah x
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