Fantastic Underwater Beasts

Unusual creatures 3

…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. Sad smile Mind you, I would be just as happy if I spotted one of these rare creatures in my underwater meanderings…

  1. ZEBRA BAT FISH – Swimming in schools, their stripes confuse the predatory Lion Fish (above).
  2. LACCADIVE CROCODILE – Distant relative to the African variety thought to have migrated from Madagascar (below).
  3. SEA-REX – A living fossil as ancient as the Megalodons that prowled these waters millions of years ago (bottom).

Unusual creatures 1

Unusual creatures 2

Bed Decorators Need Spell-Check

Hanemoon

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!

  1. 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]
  2. Cinnamon Dhonveli – The guests weren’t being rude when they said he’d married a cow.
    Cinnamon Dhonveli - spell check
  3. Amilla Fushi – I guess at Amilla they keep track of your achievements and this guest is now at “5”
    Amilla Fushi - congrats
  4. 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”.
    Atmosphere Kanifushi - happy moon
  5. Dhigufaru – Is the “Valentine 2” performing for a romantic duet?
    Dhigufaru - spell check
  6. Hurawalhi – Wow, a baby born on the resort itself!
    Hurawalhi - spell check
  7. J Resort Alidhoo – Unless this is some cryptic formula, this appears to be text slang for “Welcome, Oh My…”
    J Resort Alidhoo - hyphenation
  8. Kuredu – For smaller achievements, I guess this is appropriate.
    Kuredu - congratulation
  9. Meeru – But this one for really big, heavy achievements.
    Meeru - congratiuations
  10. Meeru – It’s no big holiday, it merely Christmas.
    Meeru - Christmad
  11. Mirihi – I know, I know, everyone’s a chritic these days.
    Mirihi - Chritsmas

World Underwater Yoga Championships

World Underwater Yoga Chamionships 1 - April Fools

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)…

World Underwater Yoga Chamionships 5 - April Fools

While below an entry in the Men’s Seafloor category warms up for his heat (Quarterfinal-FInal)…

World Underwater Yoga Chamionships 2 - April Fools

The shallow lagoons of the Maldives provide an ideal venue for the popular Semi-Submerged Padmasana (Semi-FInal round)…

World Underwater Yoga Chamionships 6 - April Fools

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…

World Underwater Yoga Chamionships 4 - April Fools

World Underwater Yoga Chamionships 3 - April Fools

Namaste #1!  Go team!  Winning!

Tropical Anti-Depression

Maldives anti-depressant

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.

Best of the Maldives: Windows Seats – Virgin Airlines

Virgin Airline glass bottom plane

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”.

Virgin Airline glass plane

Worst Place in the World to Snorkel #3

West Bank snorkeling

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.

Best of the Maldives: Cozy Wet Suits – Haa Pril Fulshi

Dive knitwear

 

 

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.

Best of the Maldives: Underwater Pool – Maaprolfulshi

Avrilfulshi underwater pool

 

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).

Break!

Flat Empty Water

XKCD flat empty water

 

 

Red Nose Day today. No, not a rash of under-applied zinc-oxide, but the UK’s day for goofing around for charity. I love the XKCD cartoon and it’s ‘deeper’ message about how much richness is below the surface. An apt metaphor for the always adventuresome and somewhat mysterious paradise of the Maldivies.

In the spirit of the day, I will donate a £1 for every comment to today’s post that provides something missing from the cartoon above if it were a Maldivian island.

Beach Wedding Fail

UK Beach Wedding Fail

 

 

 

Is this some kind of April Fools Joke? Or maybe just a joke by some fools in April?

More evidence that the British Isles are twinned with the Maldives in Opposite Land. At first, it is hard to believe that a country with 11,073 miles of coastline (compared to the 36,122 miles of coastline in the Maldives) has never had a beach wedding. But then again, as I write this post sitting by my cozy fire in near May with a freezing, wet gale blowing outside…maybe not. Wedding recessional complements of Keyboard Cat methinks…

As the olde English rhyme says “April showers bring May flowers”…but the UK might just want to keep the ‘wedding showers’ contained to exchanging presents over tea in the front room and leave the beach weddings to the Maldives.