My First Real Sunset

Well folks I have to say, if it’s not Scottish its shite, is absolutely true. My new Scottish friends Kat and Arni from Edinborough have proven to turn the experience on Fulidhoo from solitary and lonely into entertaining and exceptional.

So let me back up. When last we met, I was feeling a bit lonely and down as I truly was the ONLY visitor in the hotel. Then there was a one night stay by an Indian couple who were very nice but left the morning I met them.

Then my fortunes started to turn. That day on my dive we did whats known as an exploration dive. Going somewhere none of us (including the dive masters) have been and seeing what is there. Well it turns out to be a magnificent dive.

New Channel and Plateau to Explore

If My Head Wasn’t Screwed On….

As an aside, my photography skills while getting better suffer my lack of ability to remember shit. First dive, I don’t have the screws to the strobes and my hotel room door lock is broken so I have to do without. Second dives, I forget to put the strobe sync cable on. Third dive I put my battery in the camera backward… ARGH!

I swear to God I’m surprised they haven’t floated me out to sea and left me there. But the dive masters soon figured me out and started ribbing me at every turn.. did you remember your air.. where’s your regulator…. did you take your battery today? LOL How quickly they figure me out!!

The Sound of The Pipes

OK.. there weren’t any pipes, but the sound of the scottish accent and actual english being spoken at dinner perked my ears up. Soon enough we had struck up a conversation about diving and it turns out Arni will be diving with me the next day and Kat is doing her open water cert.

As they would say.. Life was Grand again. I had someone to talk to, and not just talk to but connect with as well. Such nice and energetic and funny people (even if Kat, you worry too much about red button or grey button! LOL)

Me and Arni

I get a wicked chocolate craving and it turns out so do the others so we decide to walk down to the market (10 feet practically) and get some snacks. So yesterday, I got a full sized can of pringles, a chocolate magnum ice cream bar and a snickers. $6, not too bad. Well it turns out tonight I was going to get the same thing plus one other thing and it is $11 so I tell them to take back the one additional thing. So EXACTLY the same order as the night beforee except tonight its $8.. WTF.. I’m in too good a mood to argue so I just suck it up this time.

After that we took a short stroll down to the jetty to look at the stingrays swimming around. They are pretty docil and used to people as I guess they are routinely fed. I’m not a fan of this feeding of the wildlife but I guess I can’t change the world. I just prefer wildlife wild.

And Then Jhonny Shark Shows Up

Well the next couple dives are VERY nice but I decide to do the night shark dive. Well let me tell you I wasn’t sure what to expect from the hype but it exceeded all expectations. As Jhonny (aka Scotty) has taken to calling me, Jhonny Shark turned out to be absolutely apt.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Well it tuns out that they have seen upwards of 75 sharks at this site before. But fear not they are all nurse sharks which feed on vegetation not human limbs.

So in the water we go. Before I can even descent 10 feet there are sharks swimming around my fins and I’m not sure where to look. I’m taking pictures frantically.. video like mad and in general grinning from ear to ear.

To the bottom we go and we hang out on the sandy bottom for a treat of a show. First these sharks are insanely curious. Swimming straight at you then turning to come at you from behind. Then the do a little showing off.. rolling in the sand to scratch their backs.. opening their mouths to gulp seawater.. and in generall just swiming the graceful circuit that only a shark can do.

Finally they get bored with us humans and just chill on the bottom in the sand with us. They let us come right up to them for great photos and video.. but no touching that is verboten!

Thanks to Jacqueline for the video here

Post Dive Ride

So on the way back home we have Chris from Reunion Island, Jacqueline from Singapore soon to be Hongkong (originally from Fairfax), Arni (Scottish rouge), myself and Rafat our fearless leader. We are all up on the sundeck of the boat as we slowly head home watching sunset, munching on apple slices and chocolate biscuits!

And then the sun sets. And then the stars arrive. And a new showstoper the stars are. I see sattelites cruising by in the sky, every constellation I ever knew (not many really) and just a general riot of pinpoints in the dark purple soon black sky. The temp is about 85, the breeze is cool, I’m just lying back in my bathing suit, no shirt and just enjoying life because, hell its really good.

I take a moment to reflect on the ups and downs of the trip and realize again for probably the thousandth time in my traveling life that this is why I go. I endure the loneliness and the little losses and the stressful moments, for the times like this. New friends, and sheer peacfulness.

Shout-out’s and Acknowledgements

So as I write this I’m sitting in Male, mulling over my next entry full of entertainment again. But before I leave the topic of Fulidhoo I need to give a few shoutouts:

Faisel the MAN!!“Don’t b sad b happy, Allah is with you “
  • Rafat and Ali from Fulidhoo Dive: You two truly set this destination apart and you should be incredibly proud of how professional and hospitable you are. It is rare indeed to find such great people
  • Ramzee and Faisel from Kinan Retreat: Both of you went out of your way to reduce my stress from having very little cash on hand. And Faisel, you went above and beyond in your helping to get me to my next destination without having to pay $400 for a seaplane ride!
  • Kat and Arni – You two saved me from the solitude and loneliness of the island with no other tourists.

So as I go to bed last night, all was definitely right with the world and my trip to the Maldives was certainly and most definitely worth the effort.

9 Replies to “If It’s Not Scottish It’s Shite”

  1. Hills and valleys friend. Glad to hear you made some new friends. Beautiful trip so far, hope to cross your path one day again.

  2. I HEAR the HAPPY again. Yay!!! What a fabulous experience. Not sure I would describe an “open mouthed’friendly’ shark as a peaceful experience, but I know you and I am sure it was. The sunset even appeared to end your day along with the stars. What more can one ask for…….well, maybe you could fit a sailboat excursion into the mix a long the way. I await the next page in this wonderful adventure.

  3. What an excellent few days! So glad to hear of it, Billy. Such highs and lows in your travel adventures. Thank goodness the highs outweigh the lows! Swimming and photos of sharks. Sunsets and stars. Awesome.

  4. Bill it seems to me that you just need to stick to “the island life mon”…I too can give you movie quotes 😉

  5. Me again. Looked more closely at the pictures this time. Oh my goodness!! Those sharks are big. I can not believe that you are so comfortable
    UNDER THE SEA! Under the Sea,
    Darling its better
    Down where its wetter
    Take it from me
    Up on the shore, they work all day
    Out in the sun, the slave away
    While we(you) devotin’
    Full time to flotatin’
    UNDER THE SEA
    Hope you find yourself a MERMAID!

  6. I like the sharks. Reminds me of Jaws. I like the pictures you took. Michigan won the first CWS playoff game. One more and they are the champs. Go Blue. I am starting golf today. Nick’s cousin is going out with me. He will be my patner if and when you can not play. irst night is skills. Miss you.

  7. Love being able to follow your trip, great pictures and stories. More adventurous than I would want to take on so fun to hear how you navigate through it and end up having a great time no matter what.