I have always been a bit of a water baby and did my first scuba dive when I was 14 in Saint Lucia with my little bro. Since then I have tried to be out on the water in some way on every holiday. It’s not always easy when travelling with the family or even more so when you can’t get anyone else to do it with you! There has been many a time I have gone off diving or snorkelling on my own.
I have a bit of an underwater obsession and love the experience of being in another world. The magic of the ocean can only be discovered once you have dived. Snorkelling is second best but still a really good and free alternative to diving.
The best snorkelling experience I have had was recently when I went over to the Maldives. Because the islands are so small, the water is very accessible and also becomes very deep just over 1 metre in from the beach.
The Maldivian islands are commonly surrounded by coral reefs and teeming with tropical fish of all sizes.
Whilst staying at the LUX* South Ari Atoll I was fortunate enough to have my first experience of swimming with turtles, whale sharks and baby sharks. This was truly an amazing experience and a first for me as I normally only see fish and the odd eel or stingray.
These deep sea creatures also swim quite near to the islands. The Maldives has the highest population of whale sharks in the world all year round, so there’s always a great chance of spotting one.
We went out on a Maldivian Dhoni and spent a while looking from the boat to spot the whale sharks. When we had found one we masked up and jumped in to the water which was amazingly deep. We found a great location with a huge block of coral and spent at least an hour in the water which was so amazing, I didn’t feel rushed at all and it was all very safe as the boat was hovering nearby in case of anyone getting to tired to swim. I say swim but I mostly floated along, enjoying the views.
As I looked to the left of me I noticed that although the coral was only about 30 metres down, the ocean suddenly dropped to thousands of feet and I could see nothing except endless blue. That’s when I spotted a turtle swimming upwards towards us. Such an amazing sight.
The whale sharks found in this part of the world can range from 8 meters to 20 metres long! Slightly scary but they are completely harmless and we didn’t see one that was that large anyway. The baby sharks were also harmless and only about 1 metre long, not sure I would have gone in otherwise.
The LUX* South Ari Atoll offer really great water sports activities and even have their own resident marine biologist who gave us an amazing pre trip presentation on whale sharks!
They really put a lot of effort in to activities and the resort in general which I think is super important when you are on a small island for a week!Something extra special is happening at LUX* right now, over the next two weeks they’re holding an underwater festival. They have some amazing events going on to celebrate the underwater world of the Maldives in partnership with Euro-Divers Maldives and freediving record holder Christian Redl.
The festival will include a series of events that encompass exploring the underwater Maldives including:Underwater photography workshops
Whale Shark Discovery snorkelling
Free diving courses
Cocktails & CelebrationsIf you’re a diver or water lover in general, I would definitely check this out! The festival is held each year so it’s a great thing to plan for if you haven’t managed to get there this year.
I only wish I had gone along for this as I’ve always wanted to free dive!
You can also upload your own diving and snorkelling images and use the following hashtags for the chance to win 2 free nights at the LUX* resort!
Info about the Maldives can be found at www.visitmaldives.com
What are your favourite holiday past times?
Comment and subscribe below!