Back in my fins

Sunbathing

Since being severely reprimanded by my cousin Shelle about sunscreen, being out in the sun and skin cancer, I have developed the new mode of sun bathing, pictured left.  Sunscreen and towels.  My goal was to be the whitest person who got off the boat, unfortunately, I’m a bit tall and my ankles got some sun so I have some funny tanlines.  See Shelle I do listen. 

I had taken a load of decongestants the night before and was feeling somewhat better, but not 100%.  The plan was to try and get down and if I had to abort, abort.  Our first dive of the day was Holiday Beyru, we were looking to Scuba with Whale Sharks, but they wouldn’t come out and play.  Instead we were joined by the usual suspects, Triggerfish, Parrotfish, a Giant Moray, then two Blotched Sting Rays, a Trumpet fish, the fish with the really long body and the long snout, violet Soldierfish, a pin cushion star fish and a Magnificant Sea Aneonme, like Nemo’s home, with a giant purple base and green tentacles.  In addition, I saw a noduled sea star.  I had difficulty getting down, but was confident that I would get a least one dive in and I was really hoping to see Whale Sharks.  After we surfaced from the first dive we hunted Whale Sharks again and ended up seeing two more.  I was so close to one of them that was about seven meters long that I was drafting off it and I could have reached out and touched it at one point.  They are maginifcant.  I swam with it for as long as I could and then it descended beyond my view.

Our second dive was at Manta Point II or Rangli Madivra.   I had a harder time getting down and was about to abort when I realized I had caught up with the group.  I caught them just as they were entering a narrow canyon.  As I was above them I saw them try and get through a school of blue stripped snappers who wouldn’t move and I was accompanied on my bubble following quest my my buddies the big-nosed Unicorns.  I was so glad I didn’t abort the dive, it was like we were exploring in small caves and narrow passageways,.  I saw three White Mouth Morays, they are black with white spots. I also saw three Lionfish, they are beautiful, they were hiding in the narrow canyon.   We passed through a cave to get back to the outside of the reef and inside the cave was a Giant Moray out of his hole, I left the cave quickly, but on the outside there was a second Moray who it appears was having a argument with the Moray in the cave and he or she kept poking his head in another hole and then quickly drawing it out again.  There were Powder Blue Surgeon Fish, Spotted Box Fish, a Round headed Parrot Fish and one Clark’s anemone fish that was no bigger than the tip of my pinky, he was so cute.  In addition, I saw one Manta passing byand a Sea Turtle 

Our final dive of the day was at Dhigga Thila, famous for its Tabletop Coral.  It once again took me along time to get

The crew and our very own Whale Shark

 down, but I hung out between five and ten meters with a school of Yellow Fuilsai,  there were Threadfin Butterfly Fish and Long-nosed Butterfly Fish, a Dracula Shrimp Goby which is a bit frog like in front and beautiful sea fans and a forest of Tabletop Coral.  I came up from all three dives with blood in my mask, but it was worth it.  After diving we were headed to a small uninhabited island Dhigga Island for a beach party. 

Adhem, the guy who cleans our cabins and has a variety of other chores made a sand Whale Shark, then the Maldivians squared off against the Europeans for a game of Volleyball.  The Maldives had the younger team and it was amazing how Ali could play with a cigarette in his mouth and they beat Europe, which was mainly Austria  with one Brit and one German in the first match.  However, then the Maldives lost Little Chef and another Two Kilo to dinner preparations and Cheddi stepped in.  I believe Jen termed his play as “rubbish.”  “He is completely rubbish,” she said.  Pretty soon Europe figured that out and started serving to him and Tom coined the trip’s phrase “Cheddi Bonus.”  So everytime Cheddi missed it was a Cheddi bonus, but then other things also became a Cheddi Bonus. 

Evening Entertainment

The crew had set up candles all around our table and placed three candles in the Whale Shark and we had an amazing meal with kabobs, grilled fish, salad, and it seemed like there was so much food, but we managed to eat it all.  I had to use the restroom of which there was none, so  I took a torch and went in search of my own and on the way I kept encountering crabs, medium sized ones.  During the day, I had see tiny white sand crabs with their blue eyes perched on top of stalks.  Our crew brought out drums and as we waited for the entertainment to begin I warded off mosquitos.  We were waiting for the guests of another boat to join us, it took them forever to finish their meal.  Finally the entertainment started, drumming and dancing and we were joined by two lovely ladies, who turned out to be Adham and Cheddi. 

Dancing

The dancing went on for awhile, Tom noticed that one of the white sand crabs had become mezmarized by one of the candles, he caught it and we both held it and then tried to get him in a trance with the candle again, but he scurried off casting one eyeball back for a final look at the candle.  It was one of the weirdest things I had seen.  When we finally got back to boat there were Trumpet fish feeding off the back.  They would catch little fish in their long beaks and then scarf them down.

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