Maldives Under the Reef

  • 0

Maldives Under the Reef

Maldives under the reef: Your first underwater experience of the Maldives is likely to be your local house reef. All the islands have their own unique housereefs. For many people, this is all you actually need. Just put on a mask and step into the shallows. You don’t need to go further than a few yards.

Immediately you are greeted with colourful corals and an abundance of small vibrant tropical fish. Typical are the ubiquitous Powder Blue SurgeonSaddleback Butterfly fish and Oriental Reeftips, lazily feeding on the coral polyps.

IMG_1045
IMG_1048
IMG_1132
IMG_1120
IMG_1052
IMG_1123
IMG_1134
IMG_1159
under the reef 1a
under the reef 3
under the reef 2
under the reef 6
under the reef 7
IMG_0972
under the reef 9
IMG_0973
IMG_0986
IMG_0987
IMG_0989

 

Slip on some fins in the shallows, then head out a little further. As the water gradually deepens, you get to see larger, more graceful coral formations and shoals of small fish.

Of course, you need to avoid touching the coral. Apart from everything else, the coral is the natural habitat for many small fish. You can even see how defensive the little fish become when you get too close (see video below). You can also get some nasty cuts from some types of coral.

Maldives Under the Reef

Maldives Under the Reef – Shallow Coral Formations

Maldives Under the Reef

As you gently paddle out to the reef edge, normally 20 or 30 meters from the beach, the colors start to change. Instead of the brightly-lit tones of the shallows, you begin to see the darker blue shades of the deep, stretching down to the much darker depths of the reef wall.

Maldives Under the Reef

Maldives Under the Reef – Blue Surgeon Fish

The reef edge is usually a great place for spotting the larger species. With a little patience, you can encounter Turtles and some of the smaller Blacktip or Whitetip Reef Sharks. At Makunudu, they actually feed their community of sharks in the evenings from the end of the jetty.

Maldives Under the Reef

Maldives Under the Reef – Saddleback Butterfly Fish

If you’re spending several days or longer on your island, you will quickly become familiar with the layout and landmarks of your underwater environment. You can then quickly navigate to places of interest at different times: The same hideouts may be regularly inhabited by different species at different times of the day/evening.

Maldives Under the Reef

Maldives Under the Reef – Landmarks

Manta Point

From Makunudu Island Resort, there are four organized snorkeling trips each week. These are morning trips by dhoni to nearby ‘thilas’ (underwater reefs). We were told there was a good chance of spotting Manta Rays, so we didn’t need any more encouragement to join the trip.

We boarded the dhoni with about a dozen other keen snorkelers, and headed off into the blue. We were accompanied by 2 Maldivian divers who knew exactly where to moor the boat and lead our group. Even before we got into the water, we could see 2 Manta Rays passing by close to our dhoni, occasionally breaking the surface.

Maldives Under the Reef

Snorkeler’s Day Out

The reef we were visiting wasn’t visible from the surface – we just appeared to be somewhere in the middle of the ocean. Once we got into the water, however, we could see clearly the undulating form of the coral. In some areas it was quite shallow, and the visibility was very good. I had my camera ready, and was hoping for some decent footage.

Maldives Under the Reef

Maldives Under the Reef – Parrot fish

With such a large group of people, I wanted to maintain a distance from the others while keeping an eye on the Maldivian group leader. The excitement level rose a few degrees when the first manta ray came into sight. It seemed curious, almost playful, as it gracefully glided in close to take a good look at us. Then, like a stealth bomber, it drifted past only to turn again for a second pass.

 

 

Around the same time I noticed some commotion out of the corner of my eye, and turned to see our Maldivian Guide in determined pursuit of a large turtle. When he actually tried to grab it, the startled turtle suddenly switched gear, deftly evading his pursuer and the other snorkelers.

Lucky for me, he headed in my direction. I managed to get some decent images before the turtle had enough and slipped away through the rocks.

Maldives Under the Reef

Post-snorkel: Wet and Happy

All the excitement attracted a Whitetip shark, but he didn’t hang around for the photo shoot. In all, we spent an hour or so in the water, though it felt more like 10 minutes. It was a great way to start the day. On the boat trip back we drank water and dried off in the sun.

This is really what the Maldives is all about.


If you enjoyed Maldives Under the Reef, you may also like:

Maldives: Under the Reef

Tell us what you think

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

________________________________________

Get free updates by email

Don't miss any of our updates, including hotel and restaurant costs & recommendations...

Short Breaks – Europe

Valencia Long Weekend - Airport Transfers & Accommodation
Valencia Long Weekend - Airport Transfers & Accommodation
With the budget airlines offering ridiculously cheap flights from all over Europe to a variety of de[...]
Edinburgh City Break
Edinburgh City Break
If you ever need an excuse to enjoy an Edinburgh city break, the availability of some great internat[...]
Rome Hotels & Guesthouses
Rome Hotels & Guesthouses
We often use Rome as our launching pad for long-distance flights to Asia. Many of the bigger airline[...]
Gdańsk Poland 4-Day Break
Gdańsk Poland 4-Day Break
If you're based in Europe and are looking for an inexpensive long weekend away, you might want to co[...]
Amsterdam Layover Hotel & Activities
Amsterdam Layover Hotel & Activities
Our incredibly low-priced Lufthansa flights from Europe to Panama departed from Holland. We therefor[...]
Venice off-Season
Venice off-Season
How much should a short 2-night break in Venice off-season really cost? With low-cost airlines fl[...]
Girona City Stopover: Where to stay & eat
Girona City Stopover: Where to stay & eat
Our Girona city stopover allowed us just one night in Girona, before heading south to Barcelona-El P[...]
New Year's Eve Malta Clifftop Camping
New Year's Eve Malta Clifftop Camping
December 31st - While everybody else was putting on their glad rags and preparing for a Yuletide bas[...]

__________________________________________

Short Breaks – Asia

A Short Dubai Stopover
A Short Dubai Stopover
Since a lot of South-East Asian flights stop there en route, a Dubai stopover seems to be a great ad[...]
Maldives Planning a Break
Maldives Planning a Break
Maldives Planning a Break: The luxury of some of the smaller islands in the Maldives comes at a pric[...]
Istanbul Airport-City Transfer
Istanbul Airport-City Transfer
Planning our visit to Istanbul from the comfort of our living room, using Google Earth as our map re[...]
Tsim Sha Tsui Hong Kong Stopover
Tsim Sha Tsui Hong Kong Stopover
Since our Cathay Pacific flight from London to Bali made a pit-stop in Hong Kong, we decided to take[...]