It has been nearly eight months since Shannon and I arrived in AD! Overall things are good, but we continue to have some challenges along the way, mainly with our workplaces.
Our recent trip to the Maldives was much needed, but unfortunately did not meet our expectations as far as diving or the idyllic postcard images. The water lacked the clarity that we were so fortunately spoilt with on our diving trip in the Red Sea and on top of this was heaped with rubbish! This was a huge eye-opener! It is estimated that 80% of the hotel resorts throw their rubbish directly into the sea and as a result there are heaps of garbage bags floating on the ocean along with the ongoing discharge of effluent from the hundreds of boat operators. As a lover of the marine life, this was heartbreaking to see. The background around this is that there is only one island that processes the rubbish in the Maldives and for some hotel resorts, this island is about a two and a half hour flight away, so instead of spending resources sending the rubbish to the “rubbish island” they throw it directly into the ocean. It got so bad on one of the days we were there that they closed the water activities available at the resort.
The diving was good – but not great! We were definitely very keen to see hammerhead sharks on this trip – marine life which are only known to be seen at few places in the world. Unfortunately our crew decided not to even go to the hammerhead point as the site had had a series of low visibility days. In saying this, the live-aboard part of our trip was full of lots of laughs, great people, great crew, great food and even a new romance! It was definitely good to dive with 11 others from Perth and as bizarre as it sounds – to have a conversation where English is the first language – we even spoke a bit of Aussie!
The live-aboard trip ended after seven days and for one girl was a heart-breaking moment after her new romance and crew member declared his dying love for her. The feeling was mutual and it appears that a new romance has now blossomed.
The accommodation for the land based vacation was about 15 minutes from the capital (Male) and called Bandos Island. It was nice, but nothing to really rave about. It was here that Shannon and I decided to extend our holiday and to try and see the Hammerhead Sharks. To do this meant travelling by sea plane to another island which was about 35mins from Male. This was an awesome experience and the accommodation we eventually went to was more like the postcard pictures we had seen. Unfortunately for us it rained for the two days we were there so we were unable to enjoy it as much. So, did we see the Hammerheads? Sadly no… but both Shannon and I agree that it was the best diving we did throughout the Maldives. For the first time, Shannon and I dived the deep blue with no reference point such as the reef or coral. The water was about 600 meters deep and we dived to around 30 meters. It was around 6am and the water was dark, BUT the most amazing thing was fluorescent blue plankton in the water which made you feel as though you were diving in space. It was a surreal and very peaceful dive. But, no hammerheads *insert sad face*
No regrets though. It was all good. Before we knew it however, we were back on the airplane heading to Abu Dhabi and back to work!
Life has pretty much been the same. I had a job interview recently for the Director of Marketing and Communications at Beach Rotana Hotel. This I was quite keen on, but then decided that it would not be a good move for me at the moment. I also held two events recently, a mall stand at one of the largest Malls here and also, an Open Day for the Center. Both were very successful – but also very demanding.
Shannon and I are also planning a few holidays. We have a long break coming up as part of the public holidays here in early November (nine days) where we will be heading off to Oman (Muscat) and checking out the United Arab Emirates’ neighboring country. We also have Shannon’s son’s 21st birthday party which will be a whirlwind of a trip, leaving on Thursday 17 November – arriving Friday 18 November, partying on Saturday 19 November and then heading back on a 3am flight on Sunday 20 November. All this so that Shannon and I can have a good break around Christmas and the New Year in Australia for two weeks!!!! Can’t wait.
I am going to be an Aunty! I am sooooooo excited and I can not wait to see my baby brother and his wife to give them a big hug and to rub the belly!!