Maldives resort Oprefooshi has combined the top two reasons to visit this bucket list destination – honeymoons and snorkeling – into a single, once-in-a-lifetime experience: Snorkel Wedding.
Couples are provided with a Snorkel-Guide/Wedding-Officiant. Unlike underwater weddings (which have been conducted at various resort), snorkeling allows the bride and groom to share their vows by actually speaking to each other (while treading water). Why have a seaside wedding when you could be *in* the sea?? And you don’t require special training and certification to opt for this nautical nuptials (in fact, if you are a weak swimmer, the property has a special wedding dress with buoyancy aids sewn into the garment (which also add a special buxom look for your wedding photos).
We can fully appreciate the romance of the house reef venue as Lori and I celebrated our anniversary snorkeling (see photo below).
With interest in sustainable local sourcing of foods (and now some of the supply chain constraints with the coronavirus pandemic), the Mookowfushi resort is expanding its chef’s garden (where it has grown a range of herbs and vegetables) into a chef’s pasture that will support a small herd of Angus steers for the property’s dinner plates.
Their initial trial of the husbandry hit issues with the island not providing enough grazing land. But they quickly determined that the bovine palettes were as happy with sea grass as they were grass on land. The problem was that sea grass washed up on the beach was dead and sandy. They needed the bovine buffet to be fresher to the animals. So they experimented with the classic Maldivian accessory – the mask and snorkel. The animals took to the devices very readily (see photo) and were happy to use them to see and find fresh sea grass in the lagoon shallows that they can graze on.
Mookowfushi doesn’t just serve “Surf and Turf”…it puts the turf in the surf!
…and you will find them in amongst the vibrant and varied marine life of the Maldives! Snorkeling and diving has long been one of the great appeals to this aquatic wonderland. Triggerfish, reef sharks and wrasses are ubiquitous, but some species are much more elusive. After 20 years of visiting the Maldives staying at over 90 resorts, we have yet to see a whale shark. Mind you, I would be just as happy if I spotted one of these rare creatures in my underwater meanderings…
- ZEBRA BAT FISH – Swimming in schools, their stripes confuse the predatory Lion Fish (above).
- LACCADIVE CROCODILE – Distant relative to the African variety thought to have migrated from Madagascar (below).
- SEA-REX – A living fossil as ancient as the Megalodons that prowled these waters millions of years ago (bottom).
Today is the International Day of Failure. Which happens to be, along with Maldives resorts, my other specialist subject. I’ve written about as much about embracing failure as I have about quirky features at Maldivian resorts. And today I get to combine the two. Enjoy!
- Helengeli – According to Wikipedia, “HANE” is either “Hereditary angioneurotic edema” or “High-altitude nuclear explosion”. Neither is probably a happy occurrence to a new bride. [ABOVE]
- Cinnamon Dhonveli – The guests weren’t being rude when they said he’d married a cow.
- Amilla Fushi – I guess at Amilla they keep track of your achievements and this guest is now at “5”
- Atomosphere Kanifushi – I’ve posted about Babymoons, Blood Moons, Full Moons, Coconut Moons and Super Moons, but somehow I’ve missed out the basic “Happy Moon”.
- Dhigufaru – Is the “Valentine 2” performing for a romantic duet?
- Hurawalhi – Wow, a baby born on the resort itself!
- J Resort Alidhoo – Unless this is some cryptic formula, this appears to be text slang for “Welcome, Oh My…”
- Kuredu – For smaller achievements, I guess this is appropriate.
- Meeru – But this one for really big, heavy achievements.
- Meeru – It’s no big holiday, it merely Christmas.
- Mirihi – I know, I know, everyone’s a chritic these days.
The Maldives has long been synonymous with honeymoon romance and spectacular reef diving. In recent years, it has established itself as a world class center for other things like Michelin star cuisine and top flight surfing attracting top talent to its shores. Its natural tranquillity has also turned it into a bit of a yoga haven. No premium resort is complete without sunrise and sunset yoga sessions for the guests. And its uniquely placid, reef-sheltered lagoons have afforded yet another opportunity for such Asanas practice – Underwater Yoga. So much so that the International Federation of Floatational Yoga (IFFY) are hosting their annual World Yoga Championships in the Maldives today. They are being hosted by the resort Apreelfulshi Spa and Villas. Below are a few snaps from the early qualification rounds.
Above and below, a top contenders in the Ladies Levitating Lotus (Heat 1)…
While below an entry in the Men’s Seafloor category warms up for his heat (Quarterfinal-FInal)…
The shallow lagoons of the Maldives provide an ideal venue for the popular Semi-Submerged Padmasana (Semi-FInal round)…
A number of demonstration workshops were also featured for aspiring fans attending the event. Below one of the master classes is led by an underwater guru…
Namaste #1! Go team! Winning!
This cartoon could have been my wife Lori 20 years ago. We had been living in the UK for a few years at that point and the grey, dreary British winters were taking their toll on her psyche. Eventually, she gave me an ultimatum, “Bruce, either take me on a sunny holiday or put me in psychotherapy. The choice is yours, but might I suggest that either way you are going to pay and you might enjoy the holiday a bit more.” And thus started our nearly annual trips to the Maldives laying the groundwork for Maldives Complete.
Today is National Depression Screening Day 2016 in the USA. So if you have been feeling a bit more down than you probably should be, look out for the many seminars and events being held to provide information and guidance. There many effective ways to address and treat depression these days…even if you can’t make it to the Maldives.
With the cancellation of the Sri Lankan Airlines direct service and British Airways curtailing its own London-Male service in the summer months, most UK travel to Maldives has required the tedious stop-over. But the customer-focused Virgin Airways has not only stepped into the breach with its own daily direct service to the Maldives, but it has done with an aeronautic innovation so appropriate to the destination…glass bottomed planes.
Richard Branson himself announced, “The Maldives is a destination renowned for its spectacular seascape. People marvel at its aquatic sights underneath the surface with glass floors in many villas and they do so when they fly above this amazeballs azure archipelago. It is the perfect destination to launch our new state-of-the-art planes which lets every passenger enjoy this turquoise tapestry when they arrive.”
Using the same pressure-resistance, high tensile strength glass that the famous underwater restaurants there use, every seat is a window seat! The scenic wonder is ideal for that climactic arrival to the otherworldly archipelago as the distinctive tapestry of blues emerge in the seascape below. I much prefer these windows-full planes to the windowless planes the industry has been talking about recently. And lest you think this can’t be real, see the full details on Virgin’s website – “Virgin launches glass-bottomed plane”.
With all of the effort into providing a guide to the best snorkelling (and diving) in the world, only fair to provide a further instalment on some sites to avoid. The latest was the photo of West Bank snorkelling in Israel featured in a number of this past week’s news galleries which becomes our third instalment in our photo gallery of the snorkelling spectrum’s other end. Not quite azure expanses and the accompanying creatures a bit less colourful.
From nutty to knitty (and maybe not much difference between the two even). The less known Haa Pril Fulshi resort has introduced new developed crochet dive suits. This new fashion must-have for the trendy diver combines colourful whimsy with soft natural fabrics instead of the awkward conventional neoprene gear. Unfortunately, the suits can only be worn once due to shrinking. Available on Etsy.com.
Underwater marvels are some of the signature features of the Maldives paradise. And with the flood of underwater restaurants, bedrooms, night clubs, function rooms, spas, cabinet meetings, golf courses, Christmas trees, art, and even scuba massage, innovative new offerings are demanding more and more creativity. So many are there that I have introduced an ‘underwater’ tag to the blog today (not the natural features and creatures, but the man-made stuff).
The lesser known resort of Maaprolfulshi has tossed its hat into this watery ring with its newly introduced underwater pool. No, not a ‘pool’ that is underwater. That would be just silly! But an underwater pool table. It also accommodates games of billiards and snooker (see above).