Troubled, But Beautiful Waters

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Asia » Maldives » Lhaviyani Atoll
June 17th 2008
Published: June 17th 2008EDIT THIS ENTRY

The day started with a very nutritious breakfast to sustain us through our morning’s snorkelling trip organised by the resort, which consisted of two pastries and some pineapple! The resort puts on two snorkelling trips a day, one at 10am and the other at 4pm, but apparently the best viewings are in the morning when conditions are better. The morning trips are further away and tend to be about an hours boat ride by dhoni, and today we had eight Italians and the British couple, who in fact are the only other British people on the island! They fly home tomorrow so it’ll just be us flying the Union Jack from now on.

Well, the sea decided to be at it’s roughest we were told by the Brits since they have been going, so we were expecting it to be quite eventful. Due to the choppy waters our skipper decided that we would not go to Turtle Head Point where all the turtles are but instead an hour east of our island to a coral bed there. Once there we donned our fins and mask and looked forward to the underwater cinematic show! Everybody sat down on the edge of the boat and eased themselves in the water like woosies including myself except Liisa who took a spectacular flying leap much to the surprise of the dive staff who are used to almost having to carry people into the water.

Once in our diving guide guided us to the best areas to see the fish and would now and again point and shout out the different names or types of fish that he came across. Liisa and I were both having difficulties with our masks and snorkels which kept letting in water. On one occasion as I tried to sort out my mask a 3 foot wave caught me by surprise and rolled over my head and I drank a gallon of sea water whilst flailing around like a fish caught in a net.

Having observed all of this and several unsuccessful attempts to clear my fogged mask, the diving guide decided to come to my aide and completely removed my mask and snorkel at which point another huge wave overcame me and I began to flail and grab my mask back from him before I drank another gallon of sea water, all the while he kept on shouting wait, wait, wait this is the way you put it on, mask first then put the strap over your head. It didn’t really make much difference unfortunately. Our diving guide had very little confidence in my swimming ability after that and not wanting to fish me off the bottom of the coral bed he instructed me to swim right beside him at all times - how embarrassing! Although it turned out to be great because he would grab my hand and point to a fish and then shout out its name, it was like having my own personal guide, swallowing sea water has its advantages! After 40 minutes of snorkelling it began to rain and visibility became very poor, but we still managed to see some beautiful fishes and a stingray, but unfortunately Liisa wasn’t able to get great shots.

The journey back our island was even worse with the waves tossing the boat up and down, we began to have a few casualties amongst the Italian group who were very rowdy on the way out and unusually quiet on the way back, one spent the whole journey back in the toilet. Brian the British guy turned an odd shade of green and I wasn’t feeling my best either. We were told by Wendy the British lady that that was the worse trip she’d been on and was not a great introduction for us, so we’ve got the best too look forward to yet! The only highlight on the way back was the pod of pantropical spotted dolphins that swam near our boat. We were all relieved to be back on dry land although Liisa hadn’t yet regained her equilibrium and could still feel the motion of the boat later on that day.

After dinner we were going to take a long walk on the beach when I spotted Wendy and Brian in the bar and as it was their last night we decided to stop by and say goodbye to them. We ended up staying and chatting with them and then Shemica the Japanese rep joined us and remarked that it was so nice to hear English spoken. That’s when Wendy decided to give us her account of what she thought of the other guests. Funnily enough she remarked on how much they ate, but termed it ‘troughing’! She said “they’re troughing it at breakfast, troughing it at lunch and troughing it at dinner, I don’t know how they pack all that food in and they’re all as skinny as rakes!” Well Brian says “you wait till they turn 45 it’ll start showing then!” All said in a thick Yorkshire accent! Wendy also mentioned to us that the waiters kept asking for us as they want to speak English with us as the others don’t talk to them.

Shemica informed us that there was going to be a diving film show on the beach at 11pm followed by the canoeing show. The film was stunning and would definitely entice me to go on a dive and it was accompanied by music, DJ’d by our very own multi talented diving guide! Next the canoe show started with the entrance of canoes approaching from each side of the pier with flaming torches at both ends of the canoe. It looked spectacular against the black backdrop of the sky. They gently circled around in a large circle about five times before they lit up a sign saying RICORDATIO NO, which means don’t forget us…. and we certainly won’t!

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