Hello Dear Readers!
When trying to figure out what to talk about, I usually scroll through my photos. I try to take a fair few, and use them to spur the stories I tell you guys. And that usually works out well for me.
But I realized something while going through my photos of the Maldives.
Paradise looks great:
But it also looks pretty similar in every photo. And we spent most of our time in the water, which meant we took no photos at all.
So you’re going to have to rely on my story telling skills more than my visuals, I’m afraid.
In that same vein, let me tell you about our snorkeling.
Now, I’ve been to a fair few places for snorkeling (and even once dived successfully in Australia), so I’ve always figured I knew what snorkeling was about. You go in, see some cool fish, swim around a reef, try to not touch the urchin and get poisoned. You know, normal things. So when they told us they had a reef just off the beach of the resort, I was excited but not expecting much.
I cannot even tell you how badly I misjudged this reef. It stretched the entire length of the island, and during our time there we saw more different aquatic animals than I’ve seen in all my previous snorkeling put together.
We spent so much time snorkeling that, while my face was completely unburnt, I was unable to sit comfortably for over a week. And yes, I was wearing sunscreen.
The best part about this reef was that you could walk right out to it. The water was so close to it, and it was so expansive, that at times your belly was about an inch away from the coral and the reef stretched on literally as far as you could see. You had to be a good swimmer (or at least floater) in order to avoid getting caught up on the coral.
And this place was packed. Aside from all the regular recognizable fish (Nemo? Dory?), we also spent hours swimming with giant schools of fish, found an octopus hiding inside some coral, followed a sea turtle for over twenty minutes, and even swam out over the “drop-off” which was exactly like the one in Finding Nemo and exactly as terrifying as you’d think.
But my favorite part, which Harrison completely missed (he was frolicking in a school of fish), was when I was wandering along and happened upon a barracuda- or at least that’s what I thought it was. Turns out it was a Moray Eel, but at the time all I could think was “oh god please don’t bite me.”
He was a mere few inches from my face and I frantically backpedaled, getting far enough away to wheel around and begin swimming in the opposite direction.
At which point I encountered two reef sharks.
And ok. Reef sharks aren’t huge. But they were sharks! And I was panicking! Alone!
At this point I wheeled just 90 degrees (still avoiding the barracuda) and began swimming in towards the shore as quickly as possible.
Of course nothing happened to me. I mean come on, you think the Hilton is gonna let a shark eat their customers? No.
But it was scary!
– Carissa “The Bravest” Rawson