Charles was in the US the week before Thanksgiving for an intense bout of work and then had to be back in Singapore to follow up on this work and Singapore doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving anyways so it was a good time to be in the office. When things are slow in the US, we are able to get done a lot of the internal things in Singapore without having to worry about early morning and late night conference calls and fewer fire drills.
Anyways, after cramming out some work in Singapore, Carrie and I were lucky enough to spend a few days with family in the Maldives.
The Maldives is a set of coral atolls and island, located southwest of India. They are known for their white sand beaches, turquoise water, and teeming coral reefs. The Maldives was quite literally a vacation, unlike some of our past travel adventures which are very tiring and in some ways more tiring than work; this was truly a time to relax. We met up with my Aunt and Uncle from India. We also met with a dear family friend Kathy from the US.
For those of you who have not heard of the Maldives, it was quite simply amazing, but I would recommend you NOT going there so I can enjoy my uninterrupted ocean front property.
We arrived in the Maldives at night and stayed one night in Male, the capital city, before
our transition to our boat.
The following morning we took a Maldivian Taxi, see photo below, to Landaa Giraavaru atoll where we met up with the other three members of our party and quite literally the next four days were a party. The boat has a weekly rotation for three day cruise south to north and four day cruise from north to south. We were on the North (Landaa Giraavaru) to South rotation (Kuda Huraa).
|One of many Atolls from the Air|
|Gorgeous View from the Resort|
After a few hours at the atoll we boarded the boat and were off on a four night adventure that included at least one or two stops everyday at different locations that centered around scuba diving, sitting on the beach, eating wonderful food, snorkeling, fishing, wake boarding, water skiing, or whatever else people wanted to do. We did not do any wake boarding or skiing because we were just too busy relaxing. Our group of 5
represented over half of the 9 passengers on the boat which has a capacity of 22 guest passengers.
|Home Away From Home|
Some of the highlights of the trip including the following:
- Thanksgiving dinner (really the welcome dinner) was not turkey, but was good nonetheless.
- BBQ dinner on the beach with everyone wearing sarongs, surf and turf food, and sand built furniture (which the staff made) for our table and chairs, all on a secluded island just for our boat.
- Scuba diving – besides having some challenging and fun dives with intense current we had amazing views of tropical fish, turtles, sting rays, eagle rays, tuna, barracuda, lionfish, upside down fish, nudibranchs, huge white tip reef sharks … and more. We did one night dive and at least two day dives everyday on the boat in lovely warm, incredibly blue tropical waters.
- The crew, especially the dive crew, was top notch. The service was impeccable and it felt like they took care of everything including pushing us off the boat to go diving.(we joke that for diving, all we had to do was breathe)
- Fishing the last night by just using hooks and fishing line. There were no poles or technical gear–just a line and a hook with bait– but we caught some fish anyways.
- Indian Food night-the irony of having Indian food for Wally and Eve was too hilarious and I thought the food was good as well.
- breakfast everyday on the back deck of the boat, with yummy fresh juice, tropical fruit, pastries and coffee.
- amazing sunsets and sunrises….yes we actually were rested enough to wake up for sunrise without the aid of an alarm!!
- waking up one morning to find a small white sand island with a single patch of palm trees (look like something out of a magazine) that had several white umbrellas set up. Upon inquiry, the response was “oh that is where you can spend the day if you’d like”…it was heaven.
- Family and Friends – it would not have been the same if it was just Carrie and I, and it allowed me to go night dive while Carrie had the other members of the group to keep her company, and it allowed all of us a perfect excuse to see each other.
Here are two videos of the diving (one of some good sized reef sharks and the other of an amazing night dive).
Below are a variety of pictures from the trip including some great underwater photos from Wally.
|Maldivian National Fish (Powder Blue Surgeonfish)|
|The Divers (Wally, Carrie, and Charles)|
|Carrie and Kathy Fishing|
We had a wonderful time on this trip and actually came home to Singapore rested and ready for the rest of the year. It was great to be able to spend Thanksgiving with family even if it wasn’t traditional and in some ways it was more special than most because it was so unique. I really enjoyed the tropical weather as well. We are truly thankful for the opportunity to go on this trip and to be blessed with another wonderful travel opportunity.
|Enjoying BBQ dinner on our own island|