The last time we visited Maldives was in 2011. Back then, Ankur could barely swim and I would gulp gallons of water while snorkeling. Four years later, as certified Open Water SCUBA divers, we revisited this enchanting country where everyday is a perfect summer day. Our home this time was the pristine Reethi Beach Resort.
Our stay was short – four days and three nights only. We had to make the most of the time we had at hand. Ankur chose to do so by tanning himself with endless glasses of martini, I chose to skip the alcohol and get high on air – compressed air at Sea Explorer, the resort’s dive school. Eels, stings rays, shrimps and their kin…watch out! Here I come…armed with my new underwater camera.
Snorkeling and diving is something that one must have on one’s bucketlist. Diving is the only time one gets the feeling of weightlessness, unless you have already been to outerspace!
I went diving after fifteen months with Mohan, my instructor. Fifteen months sure had wiped off my memory and shaken my confidence. The air from the cylinder made my mouth dry and my mask got all foggy. I panicked a little. It took few deep breaths for me to calm down…along with a fair amount of patience and guidance from Mohan!
I think the dive school does anticipate that forgetful students like me would want to come and dive. Hence, the first dive has to be an introductory dive, with an instructor at the house reef, something I truly appreciated. I enjoyed the dive at the house reef so much that opted for the same the next day as well and saved myself the effort of bobbing around on a boat to another dive site. Maybe that could have been better….maybe not. I was a happy diver at the house reef.
My first dive was in the afternoon, the time that the sting rays arrive at the house reef. I was so close to them, that for a second, I was a little scared. I also managed to catch a fleeting glance of a honeycomb eel and a guitar shark. While the name says ‘shark’, its part of the ray family. I understand that its a rare sighting at the reef…lucky me!
I totally loved swimming by the live coral. Their ‘tentacles’ ducked inside when my hand accidentally touched them. Oh! What an awesome feeling!
And here is a ‘Find the Pipe Fish’ picture for you! Can you spot the pipefish here…its camouflaged perfectly…or you still haven’t found it?
And here is one of my favourite pictures of a giant clam. I loved the vibrant colours. Like a little kid, I wanted to stick my finger inside it, but obviously restrained myself.
Have you ever dived the pristine waters of the Indian Ocean at Maldives? What did you see?