Snorkeling by any other name

Snorkelling name

This week is the world famous Scripps Spelling Bee. The contestants should hope they don’t get the deceptively simple word of “what do you call the activity of using a snorkel?”

First, there is the UK/American variation. In the USA, it is “Snorkeling” and in the UK, it is “Snorkelling” (the way to remember is that the UK is “double-barrelled” with the “LL”. Sort of like a shotgun on a bird shoot or a double-barrelled name like “Baron-Cohen” or “Parker-Bowles”).

But, Maldives’ number 1 activities comes by a number of other monikers as well…

  • Skin Diving
  • Surface Diving
  • Snorting – rare, but comes from the “snorkel” on a submarine which is called a “snort”

I confess that I have used the two interchangeably. In the post body that’s okay, but it breaks up the tags so with this post I have done the housekeeping of updating all the tags for posts on this subject to the both versions (so that anyone doing searches will find either).

Best of the Maldives: Signs – JA Manafaru

JA Manafaru - signs

A number of islands have guide signs to help introduce guests to the distinctive flora and greenery, but JA Manafaru has helpful signs for just about every aspect of their property. I’ve already posted about their outdoor workout course where your ‘trainer’ is a series of signs to help you along the path. Their photo op sign was one of the first in the Maldives (now many have them) and the coral fragment frame is a delightful way design.

JA Manafaru also feature quite an intriguing showcase of a traditional Maldivian village which they bring to life with very informative and well designed sign posts telling the story behind the display (see below). It makes the exploration of their distinctive exhibit into a museum quality adventure.

JA Manafaru - photo op sign

JA Manafaru - guide signs

Green Can Be Big Like the Ocean

Emma Golijanin (Bosnia) – AaaVeee

It may not be easy being green, but in the Maldives it sure is easy to be surrounded by it.  Possibly the unsung colour of the Maldivian palette over shadowed by the bright white coral sands and the sea to sky tapestries of blues.  But the fashionista set appreciates a bit of green as much as any singing frog.  Here are the Maldives Complete verdant vingt…

  1. Emma Golijanin (Bosnia) – AaaVeee [ABOVE]
  2. Tasha Finish (Russia) – Rasdhoo
    Tasha Finish (Russia) – Rasdhoo
  3. Sonia Ben Ammar (France) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Sonia Ben Ammar (France) - One & Only Reethi Rah
  4. Louise Thompson (United Kingdom) – Atmosphere Kanifushi
    Louise Thompson (United Kingdom) - Atmosphere Kanifushi
  5. Gizel (Brazil) – Angsana Velavaru
    Gizel (Brazil) – Angsana Velavaru
  6. Katya Nizhegorodtseva (Russia) – Coco Palm Bodu Hithi
    Katya Nizhegorodtseva (Russia) - Coco Palm Bodu Hithi
  7. Karolina Wozniak (Poland) – AaaVeee
    Karolina Wozniak (Poland) – AaaVeee
  8. Katrina Kaif (India) – Shangri-La Vilingili
    Katrina Kaif (India) - Shangri-La Vilingili
  9. Karri Nicholas (Australia) – Amilla Fushi
    Karri Nicholas (Australia) - Amilla Fushi
  10. Liliana Montoya (USA) – AaaVeee
    Liliana Montoya (USA) - AaaVeee
  11. Natalia Siwiec (Poland) – Kurumba
    Natalia Siwiec (Poland) – Kurumba
  12. Nika Andryskova (Russia) – Amari Havodda
    Nika Andryskova (Russia) - Amari Havodda
  13. Eryka Yar (USA) – AaaVeee
    Eryka Yar (USA) - AaaVeee
  14. Katie Yudina (OAE) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Katie Yudina (OAE) – Sun Siyam Irufushi – Surreal Beauty
  15. Lily Marie (USA) – AaaVeee
    Lily Marie (USA) – AaaVeee
  16. Mona (Russia) – Kurumba
    Mona (Russia) – Kurumba - 2
  17. Innessa Dudakova (Austria) – Constance Halaveli
    Innessa Dudakova (Austria) – Constance Halaveli
  18. Aleona Lynx (Russia) – AaaVeee
    Aleona Lynx (Russia) – AaaVeee - 3
  19. Ekaterina Dmitrieva (Russia) – Taj Exotica
    Ekaterina Dmitrieva (Russia)
  20. Eunyi Jung (Japan) – Velassaru
    Eunyi Jung (Japan) - Velassaru

Best of the Maldives: Floating Garden – Constance Halaveli

Halaveli - floating garden

What really floats my boat when it comes to this hobby is discovering something I haven’t seen before. Having stayed at more Maldives resorts than anyone in the world, as well as regularly researching and scanning the digiverse for the latest developments, it’s harder to stumble upon something I haven’t seen. By my recent Instagram trawling yielded this nugget from Constance Halaveli. A HamacLand canopied garden raft described as “a cross between a personal island and a private VIP floating lounge”. Complete with his and her hammocks for swaying in the gentle ocean breeze and undulating ocean current.

Why I Do It – My Trains

Gapingvoid - unhappiness hobby

One of my most frequent FAQs is “why do I do it??” (why put so much time into researching and update the Maldives Complete website). I often respond to people that “Maldives Complete” is my hobby. To which they respond, “Sounds like an expensive hobby.” My response to that comment is usually, “Well, most hobbies are expensive…travel, golf, cars, etc.” Maybe not knitting and jigsaw puzzles. But I came upon a drawing by my friend Hugh MacLeod (above) and I think he captured the sentiment even better. Simply put, immersing myself in paradise 365 days a year makes me happy. J

Today is Train Day today celebrated by people whose hobbies are trainspotting and train sets. My Maldives hobby is a bit like both of those. Like trainspotting, I get a big thrill to find a unique feature I didn’t know about, a missing resort picture or piece of information, or (recently) spotting a fashionable celebrity photo. And the website itself is like my own little train set that I am constantly tinkering, tweaking, adding, perfecting.

It’s also a different type of “training” altogether. I actually first started the site as a sandbox to play with, experiement with and learn new Internet technologies. As the digital world has progressed, Maldives Complete has been the locomotive steaming me through the landscape of new interactivity (eg. porting Silverlight to HTML5), social media (blogging, migrating to WordPress, engaging with Instagram).

Thomas the Tank Engine:  You’re a really helpful engine.
Lady:  And helping each other, brings to life the magic in all of us.
[In “
Thomas the Magic Railroad”, the conductors finally get their supply of magic gold dust]

Best of the Maldives: Beyond the Surface Innovation – LUX South Ari Atoll

LUX South Ari Atoll - flyboarding

The Maldives is all about the surface. The nexus of sea and sky in this land of boundless horizons. Where the islands themselves are just inches above the waterline and the reef wonders just inches below. But LUX South Ari Atoll has been pushing this boundary above and below the water taking their guests to new heights and depths innovative ways…

Many of these activities have been replicated and even prevalent across the holiday destination, but as the posts describe, in most cases they were the pioneers to introduce these far flung experiences. LUX is always pushing the boundaries of luxury and perspective.

Best of the Maldives: Tandem Jetovator – Velaa

Velaa - Tandem Jetovator

If you are looking for a passenger seat with a bit more adrenalin, then it doesn’t come much thrill-seeking than Velaa’s new tandem “jetovator”…

“This is a really unique toy as it can be used by two people at the same time, so beginners have it easier than ever to experience this thrilling activity as they can have one of our instructors on the back. It is also a great couple or parent/child activity! Tandem Jetovator is an aquatic toy that mimics the feeling of riding a tandem bike over the ocean. With a top speed of 25 miles per hour, it can fly up to 25 feet or drive down to 10 feet. And for those more experience, it can even do flips and barrel rolls inducing the so loved adrenaline rush. The state of the art toy has twin controls allowing it to be controlled from the front or rear seat and making it more comfortable for first timers as they can feel secure with their partner or instructor on the back seat that can take over the controls at any time.”

No more fears of jet-powered head dunks for novices.  Double barrelled rolls!

Best of the Maldives: Beach Huts – Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru

Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru - beach hut

If you want to keep from getting pink in a carcinoma-inducing sun over-exposure way, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru offers private beach huts for guests:

  • “Beach Pavilions, located on the public beach in front of the Dive / Watersport Centre. They can be used by in-house guests that do not want to stay in the privacy of their villa and we also use them for guests that arrive early and have to wait for their villa to be ready for check-in. Three beach cabanas at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and in-house guests can reserve them via our Resorts Hosts / front desk.”

We often struggle with the delicate balance of being as close to the water as possible, but having access to more sun protection than an umbrella and/or palm frond. We find ourselves moving back and forth from our beach perches back to the shelter of our villa set back further. Vabbinfaru provides sort of the best of both worlds with this bonus villas.

Sort of a home away from home away from home.