It is hard to relax on the beach when there’s so much amazing stuff to see around you and so, despite enjoying the  down time chilling with cocktails by the beach, we decided we had to go snorkelling.

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We’d been told so much about the amazing house reef here and knew we had to experience it at the first opportunity available.

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We also had a marine biologist taking us around the island to show us the many things we could see here. We were also told that we would most likely be able to swim with sharks here, perhaps even some dolphins and turtles!

We jumped in with high expectations!

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The reef here for one is a lot different from what we were used to. The drop is a lot less severe and less scary than we’d come to find and so it felt a lot more natural to venture out further and explore more…

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The sheer diversity of fish here are absolutely amazing but before long we saw something I’d wanted to see since we first arrived…

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…a turtle!!!

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Within minutes of getting into the water, the turtle just swam on by slowly and unbothered by us. I almost couldn’t believe it! 🙂

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We let the turtle get on with his own business as we went off in search of more Maldivian amazingness.

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As we swam along along, we came across several sharks and not baby one like before – fully grown 6 foot long black tip sharks. I have to admit, I was a tad nervous when I first saw it but the marine biologist was so calm and actively pointed it out to us so we leaned into his natural calmness. (Alas, I don’t have photos but I’ve got a couple of videos which I hope to get onto YouTube soon).

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Now one thing I was looking forward to seeing here was clownfish so I was so pleased when we did! Okay, these aren’t clownfish a-la Nemo (those ones have different markings) but they’re in the clownfish family and that suited me just fine!

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They were a little shy at first, popping out every so often to check out what was going on!

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We’ve even got a little video on our Facebook page.

Found Nemo at the Angsana Ihuru Resort & Spa. Now to figure out which one he is… ??

Posted by Hand Luggage Only on Sunday, 17 January 2016

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Eventually, we carried on, spotting even more amazing fish along the way…

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…before we hit another colony of clownfish! These ones were a lot less timid though.

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Before you knew it, we’d done a full circle and snorkelled around the entire island! I almost couldn’t believe it. Granted, it a much smaller island but still, I was pleased to bits to finally be able to say I’ve swam around an entire island. Not that anyone cares but I can pretend to be some world record holder with that!

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All that snorkelling meant that we’d worked up quite an appetite which our lunch here saw to conquering brilliantly!

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I made a bee-line for the grill and although normal people would usually choose one or two things, I decided I had to have everything. Yes, my ever expanding waist-line was starting to feel the effect of my Maldivian greed but it’s not everyday you’re in the Maldives so hey-ho!

 

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From our table at lunch, we saw a pod of dolphins swimming past in the distance and even a turtle! Talk about an amazing scenery for lunch, right?

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In the distance we looked at the sister island of the Angsana Ihuru, the beautiful Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru where we would be heading to later that afternoon…

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…to feed a local colony of stingrays!

We hopped onto the boat from the Angsana and in 5 short minutes, were making our way to the shores of the Banyan Tree.

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We didn’t have to wait long or look hard to see the stingrays – they were there by the pier to welcome visitors! 🙂

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Or maybe they were just there for the food. 😉

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Swimming with stingrays in Antigua left with me with a different understanding of how stingrays live and so I was very pleased to get the chance to interact with these ones again.

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They’re almost like pet-like and will swim up to you if you step into the water. 🙂

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Oh, I almost forgot to mention. One of the reasons why there’s a marine biology team at the Angsana is due to the turtle conservation project where they help rehabilitate injured or sick juvenile and adult turtles and also help rear baby turtles to be later released into the wild (I think over 400 had been released so far). These turtles are located on Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and we got a chance to check these our during feeding time too! 🙂

The furthest one of the released ones was found (which was also notable due to the fact that it was a 3-legged female turtle) was in the Seychelles where the turtle had just laid some eggs on the beach.

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We proceeded to spend the next hour on the beach…

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…before leaving for what would be a rather special experience to have in the Maldives!

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But more on that very soon… 🙂


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