Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Snorkeling @ Adaaran Club Rannalhi [Maldives]

After the bumpy snorkeling at the off-island reefs the day before, i was really looking forward to snorkeling at the supposedly calmer sea surrounding the exclusive island resort; Adaaran Club Rannalhi.

Submerging myself into the water shortly after registering my presence with the reception, i was aghast at the sight ahead of me. Save for the picasso triggerfish, it was nothing but dead corals! 

See, see, see! Not one to give up so easily, i decided to paddle further out into the sea as the lack of human activity might be able to boost the population of corals. Live corals, if i may add.

Same situation although i was thankful there were more marine fishes.

Things improved slightly even though the corals were not on the scale of the "livelier" reefs i encountered during the "snorkeling package

Nothing's lost yet - i was blessed to catch the signs of activity among the marine creatures and they were indeed a pretty sight! Of course, don't expect lousy me to be able to identify each and every one of them. 

I am still thinking if this is a squid or a fish. :(

There are a few benefits to snorkel near the island; calmer water (unless the tide is coming in) which reduces the risk of me being seasick and also makes it easier for me to take better pictures in macro mode.

Taking photos of clams are so passe. To think i was always so amazed when i chanced upon one in the beginning of my love affair with snorkeling.

Drop off into the deep ocean - it was honestly nothing fascinating and i thought the next six hours would be spent lazing on the beach rather than exploring the underwater world. 

Decided to walk over to another site and try out my luck. As the whole island belongs to the same resort, you literally have the entire surroundings to snorkel and who knows, maybe the other side could be "greener". 

Well, not exactly the 'green' i was looking for but the situation had marginally improved.

I did notice that the fishes were sucking off the seabed and the corals. Were they just hungry or, similar to some rodents, they require some sort of nutrients / minerals that could only be ingested via this peculiar action? 

Blue-tipped stony corals; due to their proximity to the beach, many had broken ends. For those who are unaware, it takes a long time for corals to grow; some grow just five millimeters every month! 

Coming to the edge again. I always fathom that a great white would be waiting for me (blaming the movie Jaws for this phobia); hence, i make it a point to steer clear of the drop off.

Introducing our snorkeling kit, the easybreath! Decathlon has run out of stock and the next batch would be coming earliest by the end of this month. I need to get a small size for my upcoming trip! Who is willing to take over my medium sized easybreath? For a price lah!

The area near the water villas featured the best spot for snorkeling! If you are willing to splurge on a Maldives trip, i would strongly recommend staying in a water villa rather than those on land. The price could double although the experience is immeasurable. 

Look at that vibrant marine life in front of me! 

Maybe because the fishes here were more accustomed to the "human touch", they appeared more receptive to the bottle of bread i had with me. 

A sea urchin! Funny that they could be so tiny; i still remember seeing hundreds of palm-sized sea urchins when i was in Krabi

Found a red seashell. In the past, i used to keep them at home but now, i think they would be better off being the house for hermit crabs rather than collecting dust in the cabinet.

I was as shocked as it was! 

The drop off was also more spectacular with many fishes hovering by the edge. Frankly, the existence of fishes at this spot also means there would not be any shark right?! My warped theory which does make sense! 

More pictures of the underwater scene. 

Do keep a keen eye on your surrounding as you could probably spot something. Some of the marine creatures utilise crevices and hideouts to cover their tracks. 

Obviously some were still in the midst of mastering the art of disguise.

Gosh, was that a sea urchin too? If this was brought to land, i believe many people would think of it as a stress ball and attempt to squeeze the life out of it! 

This was the spot where we spent most of our time after the filling buffet lunch in Adaaran Club Rannalhi. It was quieter without the noisy chatter of playful kids, windy and had a great view! 

Waves were stronger with the wind and as expected, i got a bit seasick after a while. Thankfully there were beach chairs where i can take my time to recover.

Feeding on the seabed again. 

I am astonished that within this one short trip, i managed to see three kinds of sea urchins; the normal one, the one that looked like a stress ball and a purple coloured one! Cool right!?

The cluster of multi-generation humbug dascyllus; i wasn't learnt in the species of marine fishes and managed to hoodwink through with the help of posters featuring "the fishes in Maldives". Haha.

Do keep in mind the existence of undercurrent that could make you miss your footing. This photograph may seem normal yet in reality, the fishes were subject to the pull of undercurrent. 

Edge of the island again; unlike the one nearer to the water villas, the drop off here was much steeper and as you can see, not much fishes! 

Accidentally came across a moray eel on the sea bed when i revisited the site with tons of dead corals. This reminded me of a saying "with great adversity comes great opportunity". 

Not sure if i could use it in such a way but to me, finding a moray eel in the sea of dead corals was really the highlight of my snorkeling in Adaaran Club Rannalhi!


Adaaran Club Rannalhi
[South Male Atoll, Maldives]

For my 6-day, 5-night Maldives
itinerary, click here

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