Friday, July 17, 2009

Photo Friday - My Favorite Spot

Maldives - Embudu

Another of the Photo Friday entries. This one wants to know more about "My Favorite Spot" and the thought process took about .5 seconds. The Maldives! (wiki / my blog post) Of course! Now don't get me wrong, I love where I live, I love how I live, but when I want to envision peace, tranquility and pure enjoyment I think about our visit to Embudu Village in the southern atoll of the Maldives, nestled in the fantastic Indian Ocean.

The picture was taken on our first day in paradise. After settling into the bungalow which would be home for the next two weeks, we took our first steps in fluffy white sand, felt the cool breeze off the sea and enjoyed the warmth of the water. This picture was taken in those first precious moments as we walked a few steps away from the bungalow through the shade-giving coconut trees and directly onto the beach. As we dipped our toes in the bath water temperature sea I looked to my left and snapped this keepsake of our magical time in paradise. What a wonderful place, absolute relaxation was ours within hours.

With fast currents, a beautiful house reef and azure water with visibility at 100 meters, the diving was of course perfect, but the time I enjoyed most was the early morning. No and I started our days at the sun rise. She would jog around the island (around and around and around - it was about a half kilometer in circumference) and I would head out for the beach on my way to snorkeling on the house reef.

Imagine complete serenity, floating in the water face down, the night fish heading off to their hideyholes, the day fish waking up and catching the first food of the day. The parrotfish munching on the coral fills the ears with constant cracking and popping which becomes the background noise of the sea. Occasionally a small sting reminds you that the ocean is filled with little creatures with defenses against you and your kind, but they aren't too serious, and by the time the sun has come up the whole way, those little guys will be gone.

I saw huge eels which were twice as long as me coming back to the shallows from their nightly hunting grounds in the deep. There were huge Napolean fish slowly lumbering through the coral garden, dwarfing all the other skittering fish. My heart would pitter patter as I caught a glimpse of a Blackfooted Clownfish family, also known as Maldives Clownfish. He is the cousin of Nemo except his lower fins are black (insert black sheep of the family joke here) and his type is only found in the Maldives.

Maldives - Black-footed clown fish

For more action I could come closer to the beach to watch the Black-tipped Reef Sharks in their early morning bid for small fry fish found in schools by the thousands in the shallows.

Maldives - reef sharks

While diving we saw many beautiful things and encountered LOTS of fish, too many to mention here. Swimming is simply more fun when done with the Lionfish, Manta Rays, and Tangs, oh my!

Things which I had only seen in aquariums and books were swimming all around me filling my mask's narrowed field of vision. Ah yes, the Maldives were paradise above and BELOW water.

Maldives - surfacing after a late afternoon dive
No surfacing after a low-key afternoon dive finding the sun is setting.

See more pictures of our Maldivian paradise.

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Jan said...

The photo of the clown fish and anemone is nothing short of spectacular.

And those are, eek, sharks in the next one!


CrackerLilo said...

Oh, how beautiful! I never thought of the Maldives, but I am now!

maldives dive travel said...

Great shots! Maldives is a perfect destination for scuba divers, clear waters and abundance of underwater life.

Michelle said...

That looks fantastic!

hezamarie said...

Your first photo reminds me how much I miss Florida. How easy is it to hop between the islands?

Goofball said...

Your description of your vacation makes me totally envious. The pictures even more. oooooh you got me drooling now.

we actually had a quick look at the Maledives when choosing our honeymoon destination (which ended up being Bali) but we dismissed it for the price (was your village payable?) and also because we feared that above water there was less to do except staring at the water. We'd fear to be stuck on a little atol and wanted to explore also a new environment above water. Are we mistaken?

I actually think that looking at your pictures, I wouldn't mind diving 2 weeks non stop :D.