As I write this, it is my last full day in the Maldives. My bags are packed and I am preparing for the 30-hour or so journey back home tomorrow. In the two weeks that I’ve spent on the island, the internet has been flaky, so I held off trying to blog again until now. By the time you see this, I will either be in or on my way to Dubai.
When last we left off, I shared that I had just arrived in the Maldives and was only just enjoying my first taste of island life. The specific island I visited was Rasdhoo and I stayed in the general area for the duration of my trip.
The first activity I planned was to go snorkelling. After speaking with my host, he arranged a trip to Rasdhoo Madivaru Finolhu, which is a naturally-formed sandbank island.
Typically, this is a trip reserved for groups of two or more. However, my host understood that my friend bailed on me at the last minute and was very accommodating, for which I am eternally grateful. Yameen (the host and the hotel manager) helped us bring our things to the beach on his bike, but only Imran (a member of his staff) and I made the trip to the island.
The first order of business was getting the motorboat ready. I waited on the shore while Imran waded out into the water to remove the anchor and manoeuvre the boat as close to shore as possible.
Getting on board was a little tricky in a long dress, but Imran was patient and helpful. If you’re wondering why on Earth I would wear a long dress to the beach for a snorkelling trip, as a reminder, the Republic of Maldives is a Muslim country. While I did not subject myself to the restrictions local women followed, I followed my own code of modesty.
This is the view once safely seated on the boat. Backing out of the shallow waters was slow business due to the reefs. However, once we moved to the deeper waters beyond, we picked up speed.
This is the view of not the wake created by the motor, but Rasdhoo Island in the background as we moved further and further away.
Within five or so minutes, both Rasdhoo Madivaru (Picnic Island) and Rasdhoo Madivaru Finolhu (Sandbank) came into view. Once we began to enter shallow waters again, the water resumed its lighter turquoise blue.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived at the Sandbank, but what I saw blew me away. The beach was beautiful.
The water also stays the same depth all the way out to where you see the darker blue line on the horizon. It barely got up to my waist — if at all — making it excellent for basic snorkelling.
However, I didn’t go all the way to South Asia for “basic snorkelling”.
There is a blue lagoon close to shore where the seafloor drops and sea life flourishes. It is not as deep as the darker blue on the horizon, and here, there are some corals.
Beneath the Surface
The underwater view was beautiful, but why waste words on it when I have pictures? I’ll separate these pictures into the snorkelling and then the fish feeding. Imran took most — if not all — of these photos of me using the hotel’s GoPro. He took videos as well, but I won’t be sharing those here. Underwater photography is one of the services offered at my hotel and maybe several others. If you ever do visit, I highly recommend it.
Back on Shore
My mom says I tire of things quickly and easily, and she is perhaps right on that account. As beautiful and fascinating as this was, I was eventually ready to get out of the water. This ultimately worked to my benefit, however.
Believing good ol’ melanin and my island-girl conditioning would protect me, I only used sunscreen on my face. Well, so much for that. Within 24 hours, my skin was on fire.
Thereafter, Yameen took extra precautions whenever we went sea-adventuring. Before I left, we went kayaking together around the entire island (all three of us!) …
… and also enjoyed a second snorkelling adventure that was even better than this one.
On the second snorkelling trip, I saw sharks, eagle rays, and a ginormous turtle. However, those are stories for another day.