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.
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)
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.
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!
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:
- 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.