Face-to-face with macro marine life in Maldives

S.P Rajan
Monday, February 5, 2018

“Maalai-theevu” means “Garland of Islands.” Sparkling emerald dots in the middle of Indian Ocean in formation like a ‘garland’ concluded to English name as Maldives and this country is a real treat for marine life fans. When sky is blue and the weather is fine, Maldives water appears like a blue green tinted glass on a sunny day. We headed out to this Island with our family, leaving all the real world glitches at the surface and sank beneath the surface of the blue water to escape the surface tensions. You are out of this world to dance on its pristine white sandy beaches in bare foot, watch your footsteps washed away by waves and thus you are awed and add oxygen to your life. No other water has mesmerised us as vividly as Maldives, which has hues of changing blues underneath its water from dawn to dusk.

‘Atoll’ is a ring shaped coral reef formed naturally. Private resort island “Sun Island” at South Ari Atoll was our dream destination and Mr.Elbin ‘Travel club’ Kuwait, mob-94465177 crafted this memorable package. The transfer from capital Male was by a small scenic flight and a speed boat combined. The domestic flight gives you prospect to sight the Atoll’s islands and topography from top views. A travel package with half board accommodation, flights and inland transfers to resort with all tax inclusive, is peaceful. The best weather is from November until June. Rare tropical cyclone may be there during November and December. Maldives is Indians accessible tourist destination with a permit on entry, but with minimum 6 months valid Passport and US$ proof for expense cover during stay. Don’t take me wrong, spending is a nice feeling on any holiday with a smile and please don’t hesitate to spend for activities and do it for the benefit of the local community there.

Fun and family retreats happen in this private island year-round and one will feel no regrets ‘at all’ for having chosen this luxury South Ari ‘Atoll’. “Maamigili marine sanctuary” here is diver’s aquarium which gives the best snorkelling pleasure to see colourful schools of tropical fish, powder blue fish, common rays, eagle rays, colour turtles, Moray eels, octopus, whale sharks and if lucky, to see dolphins chasing the flying fish like the scenes in ‘Life of Pi’. At Maldives, remain in your island resort and that’s fine till you are an expert with the ocean expanse there. Join the resort’s own chartered excursions every day and adventure sports for safety and enjoyment. We had a fear for the ocean until our ‘Dive master’ Shiam soaked us fully in Dhiggaru Island’s shallow water reef which was less than three meters deep, near LUX resort and we gained confidence. To keep us energetic, he taught us angling a huge wahoo fish in the deep sea from our lovely sports fishing boat step by step, which was a nice trophy to be grilled that day night. The boat had a mini toilet inside and we had peace of mind. Spotted eagle rays congregate on water surface near the Dhiggaru reef and your chance of spotting the elusive gentle giant ‘whale shark’ is high. Keep watching the shadows inside water.

Maldives contains 3% of world’s coral reefs, but coral bleaching and sea level rises are becoming severe nowadays. The water is always about 28 degrees close and you will love to look under in the guided chartered territories wearing your snorkel gears. Snorkel and swim with a guard’s guidance in ocean or in resort’s safe marked areas. Our guide Shiam was a competent PADI Dive master from the resort. Though there are no other dangers, a sudden muscle cramp or an underwater current may be a risk for the swimmer. Please don’t go far from the clear shallow waters to the dark blue sea, until unless you are skilful and right in the path of mighty ocean. Snorkelling is an amazing whole different experience to see another ‘world- underneath’ which is clear, dark, beautiful, mysterious, sparkling, whistling, wild and free. If you like Jacques Cousteau and love the seas, then we are all in the same boat. Inspired from the first day’s snorkel trip, we bought our own Snorkel kit in the Island’s shop inside and started practicing daily near our villa. TUSA is a good brand recommended.

‘Sun Island’ is a contemporary manifesto and an intimated setting offering breath taking views, we loved its swaying coconut palms vibe and clean maintenance on its 1.6 kms length island stretch. It operates its own flights and an airport under ‘Villa Resorts’. Hundred plus similar island resorts in Maldives offer absolute freedom, luxury, yummy food options and green lush chlorophyll bursts inside their islands and compete to give the best value. Coloured clouds matching the sea, sun set contrast colours, the calm and clear atmosphere without traffic and noise is ideal for relaxation. Better pack an empty bag, with your dresses and all the rest are available inside the island at decent prices including a clinic. No need to be panic packing. Evening of everyday, exotic guests like giant Ray fishes, gentle Sharks visit the island at feeding times and these creatures are punctual visitors even on a rainy day. Black tip baby reef sharks hunt small fish and play with us very close to the shores and there is literally no trash anywhere. Hire a cycle inside and sightsee the island slowly.

Charismatic Manta Rays species are seen much in ‘Hanifaru bay’ which we planned to include in our future visits to Baa Atoll. Mantas hover there to clean their skin and many such ‘Manta cleaning stations’ are there in Maldives. Every Atoll and resort island is special and exclusive that one need not be much stressed in selection. Maldives has about ninety fabulous island resorts, but Indians prefer Sun Island, Paradise Island, Fun Island, Summer Island, Holiday Island, Lily Beach Island, Bandos, Biyadhoo Island, Centara etc., to chill out in warm water and everyone is proud of the Island in which they have stayed and enjoy repeating the stays. Real world signal, Wi-Fi is available in most of the Island spots.

Maafushi, Hulhumale are islands having guest houses for budget travellers near Male. Everyone behaves well in Maldives including the tourists inside resorts. Doing just nothing itself is a pleasure, but if you are for unforgettable experience, go fishing, parasailing, banana rides, Jet Ski and join the evolution of Scuba diving. As for the island itself and to appreciate, it is glorious and wake up morning to see the gorgeous ocean views at your door with the rhythm of sparkling and splashing waves. On the final departure day, your heart says’ I loved snorkelling here!’ and your soul will say, ‘come again here!’ We, Indians have “Laksha theevugal” meaning, a lakh of islands “Lakshadweep” geographically on top of Maldives to cherish. But positively, the infrastructures might take few more years. Any time, for marine tourism, Maldives is marvellous. God willing, we must connect to such natural reef lagoons, on our way back to home during vacation trips and cover the entire Atoll’s aura one by one! But, Sun Island is our passionate pleasure and home address in Maldives. Shall we Dive?...

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