Maldives 20050126

Woke up to see the sunrise, which was a good one today. After breakfast, we went to donate the rest of our tsunami relief items. For this, we met up with Fikry, the Sangu guest representative. He was a good sport, and actually took photographs of us. As coincidence would have it, Andrew and Melanie appeared, and Melanie took a couple of photos with Fikry. Fikry was sincerely appreciative of our donation. We also had the chance to see his wife and baby.

Went to play badminton at 11.00 am. With the sun blazing overhead, it was not the best time for a game, but we enjoyed knocking the shuttlecock about a bit. We had a juice drink in the Akiri Bar afterwards, where Beverley overhead another couple talking about the resort’s appeal for tsunami victim donations of clothing, and how they would have brought clothing if they only knew beforehand. I didn’t appreciate this need, either. It wasn’t on the Kuredu website before we left.

After a quick and light lunch we went out snorkelling with new German friends, Lutz and Anna, our villa neighbours. I was impressed with Lutz’s underwater casing for his camcorder. A young German couple joined us, and I learned that Lutz is somewhat famous for his knowledge of the Maldives and Kuredu. They have been to Kuredu 17 times, and he is president of some Maldives Conservation Society. Lutz knew about the Friends of the Maldives, and I told him about us making a financial donation to them before we came here.

The snorkelling trip along the edge reef on the north side of the island was fantastic. We saw a huge Napoleon, 2-metre wide stingray, and the coup de gras, a sea turtle. Actually, we saw sea turtles twice. The first was lying on the sea floor. While the rest of our snorkelling group moved on, I stayed behind. The sea turtle got up and slowly starting swimming against the current. I swam with it for a little while. Magic. The second sea turtle was swimming deep on the edge, then slipped down underneath, into the caves.

Lutz was video recording parts of this snorkelling trip. He has offered to give us a copy of a DVD he has compiled of the best sights he has ever recorded. We’ll have to send him a bottle of good drink in exchange.

We took up our complimentary sunset cruise. The dhoni went out to the edge of the atoll, then turned back towards Kuredu island. Just when we thought there was no hope of seeing any dolphins, they appeared. I was very pleased to have Xacti with me. I know from previous experience that it is nigh difficult to photograph fast moving dolphins, so I put the camcorder on video record mode and did my best. I managed to get some dolphin movement, but I’ll have to do some serious editing. Meanwhile, the views of the sunset were pretty spectacular. It was good to see sunset with the island in foreground.

Bev was pretty exhausted by the time we got back to our villa. Came close to skipping dinner, but we managed to get to Sangu before it stopped serving. The food did both of us good. We’ve come to realise that if you are doing any sort of activity, you expend more energy and water than you realise. Glad we haven’t skipped any meals, and we’re now drinking more water than usual. Long periods of swimming in saltwater must dehydrate you. We’re always very thirsty and desperate to relieve ourselves after a long swim at sea.

What an action packed day: turtles, sting rays, dolphins and more!

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