Maldives Day 4
Monday today, and started as early as normal at about 8ish. Walked to the restaurant to get some Brekkie. As per usual it was a full English mixed with a bit of continental cheese and meat to help me fit in with the Germans.
We headed back to the hut, via the reception yet again. And hit the pillow, I’m really not sure if it is the heat that is knocking us all out or if it is the time difference. But we all managed to sleep in our lovely air conditioned hut until lunchtime.
Lunchtime, we went across to the restaurant and grabbed some food. I polished off a litre bottle of water and needed some more when I got back to the hut again.
Ali our room cleaner eventually woke us, so we sat outside for a bit. He said that he had been given the day off to go back to his home island to see his family. He has 2 children, a boy of 14 and a little girl of 6 months. He asked all about Charlie and his age. He said he would be back once more in the evening to do our beds and then he would be off on the Tuesday.
I didn’t want to waste the afternoon, so Charlie and me got creamed up and we headed to the watersport centre, where we hired a Kayak.
I sat in the back and Charlie in the front with his own oar and a life jacket. We didn’t really know what we were doing, especially with the rowing bit but we headed straight out of the watersports centre to the stoney island we could see in the distance.
Didn’t realise how hard this bloody rowing lark was, but I kept on going and Charlie stayed very quiet in the front. We eventually hit the island, and when I say hit I mean we grounded the Kayak. The waves kept pushing us on it.
We had a bit of a rest whilst grounded and looked at all of the litter that was on it. Along with our mate, the heron. We looked back at Velidhu and it was just like looking at a postcard, I tried to video it with the underwater camera but it didn’t come out very well.
Charlie asked to go back so I attempted to push us off the island with the oar. Eventually we were in deeper water and I started rowing. Boy, this was hard work. The sea kept pushing us back, and the minute I stopped rowing we were taken back out.
I treated the rowing as a fitness work out, and kept rowing sometimes grunting to try and spur myself on. Charlie was mute, except for the odd can we go back now. When we were closer to the island, we saw Sam on one of the loungers recording us coming in.
We managed to beach ourselves at the watersports centre and the guy pulled the Kayak out. I checked my watch and only realised we had been out 25 minutes. I signed the bill for an hour and he said that we could come back to finish our time.
I think if we had of been longer then I would have fried, my factor 50 was bubbling in the heat and my arms were red raw! The heat is so intense out here, it really difficult to describe.
We headed back to the hut and decided to keep our swimming gear on and head down to the beach.
I grabbed my snorkel and bits and Sam grabbed things for her and Charlie. We headed down to the front Jetty and this time went for the left hand side. I immediately hit the water for some snorkelling.
I was trying to keep the Jetty to my right so I could then head to the end, but I kept losing my barings and at one point headed back into the beach.
I eventually managed to swim to the bottom and stayed mainly under the end. The amount of fish under the end was fantastic, the things were massive. Some actually looked like they could eat me!
I ventured past the end to the darker blue sea. I knew it was going to be deep here, but didn’t realise it would be much colder. I still ventured on and turned around. It looked fantastic. The only way I can describe it is a cliff face full of coral and fish that went deeper down still.
I could see now why so many people wanted to do diving around here. I was just on the surface and hadn’t even seen a tenth of the stuff. It was quite a sensation for me, even though I was just bobbing along the surface, the feelings I had were those of weightlessness and at the same time, my fear of heights came to me.
I felt as though I should be falling down this cliff face but I wasn’t, I was just floating a above this fantastic sight looking down.
I swam back to the steps of the jetty and attempted to climb up with my flippers on. I had a bit of a paddle with Sam and Charlie before we went back to the hut for showers.
At 5pm I was due at the diving centre for my video and test paper. Winnie one of the German instructors welcomed me in, still getting my name wrong and Akmed explained the video to me.
I didn’t think I would pick anything up from the video, as sitting in a room watching stuff that is mandatory on such a dangerous subject doesn’t always grab my attention. I normally like to jump straight into something and make my own ways and rules up as I go along. Trial and error I think they call it.
I did pay attention and found the video a bit of an eye opener. You don’t realise what kind of equipment a diver requires. Plus there is other bits to understand such as the pressure and even clearing your mask. I think I did really well picking it up, and this showed as I received full marks in my test.
Winnie told me to see him at the Divers presentation in the bar that night and he would let me know a time to do the dive.
I headed back to the hut and Charlie was fast asleep, and Sam was playing Sim City on Charlie’s iPod touch. Ali nipped into do a quick tidy of our beds and I gave him a few dollars to enjoy himself with his family.
After a while we woke Charlie and headed to the TV room to watch a bit of the news. When the restaurant opened we went in, ordered some drinks and sat and had yet another fantastic meal.
I even ventured to the pudding section and had some sponge with custard. I finished the meal off with a nice cup of tea.
After dinner we headed to the jetty to watch the fish be fed, but we were a little late as the island guys were already heading back in. So we went to the lighthouse bar in preparation for the under the sea presentation.
Rows of chairs were laid out in front of the screen and Winnie, Magnus and Akmed presented a bi-lingual speech. The DVD started and the music played.
The video contained some of the most amazing photographs of the sealife around the Maldives, from Flying Mantas to Sharks. The video lasted 15 minutes and again the 3 guys hit the stage explaining a little about euro divers in the Maldives and how it started.
These guys really have got the best jobs in the world, with sights like these you can see why they get such pleasure in helping people learn how to dive.
I missed Winnie, when the presentation was over he ran out the door with his hand in the air. I didn’t really want to ask him about the Scuba dive as it meant I had to commit.
Sam, Charlie and I grabbed a table and chairs and another one of Charlie’s island friends served us a couple of glasses of beer and a Sprite for his lordship.
When it got a bit later, we went back to the hut and hit the pillows. Another day in the Maldives complete.