We only touched two of the atolls, which you see above and at the top of pages 3 and 4 as well.
Original itin- "Snorkelling, swimming and sunbathing at Kuda Bandos. Evening underwater marine slide show followed by bridge and
card games. There will be a check dive in the morning plus an afternoon dive for Scuba Divers. Late afternoon
cruise to Giraavaru."
There were no activities after dinner and we stayed here- no visit to Giraavaru.
It looks like we approached the island from the northeast, with the larger left island
here being Bandos Island Resort, and Kuda Bandos on the right.
North Male Atoll (Kaafu)
Here you see the bridge.
After arriving on an island I would make it a practice of first taking a counter-clockwise walk around the whole thing, generally 5-20 minutes,
before settling in for snorkling and relaxation.
Some baby black tipped reef sharks.
Powderblue surgeonfish are a common site here, and my favorite fish for this region.
Here you also see some type of butterflyfish.
The edge- where the maybe 2-3 foot depth drops off to deeper water.
The common type of starfish I would find here.
Here you see my trip buddy Alan, an avid snorkeler. He and his wife Audrey were the other Americans
and they have been living in Sri Lanka- she works there for Victoria's Secret.
We had lunch brought to the island and right on the beach today.
Apologies, forgot to take a pic until I was almsost done eating. Excellent lunch today, don't know what made
this spaghetti so special or maybe my body was just craving carbs, but it was fantastic. Also boiled eggs.
Today's island is concerned "uninhabited"- no one lives there, but tourists frequent it so there is infrastructure like chairs and shelter and tables to
eat at. It was a decent size, over 20 minutes to walk around at a slow pace.
We had several other groups there- one boat from a resort dropped off a group that had a family of beautiful girls that turned out to be from Norway.
One of them several times kept doing the change out of one bikini into another in front of everyone without showing a single thing routine.
So beautiful, beautiful place...but a very long way to go. You could argue the Caribbean is just as good (and with more alcohol), but
less than a days journey, versus
about 2 days for here. But the atolls do make the pace unique, and of course every place is different with its own charms.
Dinner every night at 7:30. Yep, pretty ugly pic, sorry I forgot again. The remnants of some breaded chicken cutlets, some chili sauce
I was using to help flavor it, and I'm not sure what else.
A fun day, but not much to do at night. I would typically go back to my room, download the pics from the day, and fall asleep. Wasn't really in the mood
for chit chat, perhaps since I do it for work a lot.
Original itin- "Early in the morning cruise to
Velidhu. Visit the island for swimming and sunbathing. Bar and Spa facilities
on the island. For divers there is 1 local dive in the morning and 1 in the afternoon. Night fishing trip.
Evening competition for the best photograph
of the day above and underwater."
Here we go past Male.
Breakfast- the same every day but very good. All you can eat eggs cooked to order, cold baked beans, tasty sausages,
toast and butter. Cereal also available.
Alan and I were typically the first out there every day before 7:30. In fact I was generlly waking up around 5am. Audrey would sleep through
South Male Atoll (Kaafu)
Today was a "resort island"- an island with a resort on it. So we would be with its guests, and I bought a few
souveniers from the gift shop here.
The bar which was right by where we sat.
The black band you see in the water is actually a school of fish.
This type of bird seems typical of the Maldives since I have seen it in pics on the internet, and didn't have much
fear of people.
We decided to stay on the island as opposed to going back and forth to the boat, so we had to have lunch at the
resort. There was surprisingly little choice- the buffet restaurant, or some bar choices. Pizza sounded good, but wasn't available until after 3pm.
So I got some french fries, and had some of Audrey's fish sticks which were OK. Also seen here is a nice cold coconut water- I should have had
Several spotted eagle rays swam below me.
A giant clam among some coral.
Oriental sweetlip- don't think I've ever seen these before.
In the background a scrawled butterflyfish.
Awesome wavey brain coral.
On the way back to the boat we saw this lionfish by the dock, a really pretty fish I was hoping to see. The way this one
was moving though I think it might have been dead.
Dinner? was cream of carrot soup, beef gulash again?, french fries, fish mourney, fresh fruit.
There are two itineraries for the boat that alternate- one week "north", the other week"south". I had heard the south was a little better, but this one
is what fit my schedule. There are often specials where you can do BOTH weeks for the price of one, and it turns out I was eligible for that. Man, that
would have been incredible value. I still couldn't justify being away that long though.
I knew this already, but taking to the Brits, even a young, entry level worker would start with 5 weeks vacation. Many of our passengers had 7 weeks or so.