The sea life in the Maldives is one of those experiences that sounds irritatingly folkloric when other people try to describe it to you. Baby sharks swim into the shallows and take bits of your breakfast off you. Really? You can see turtles, dolphins and rays most days without even diving. Really? The sea is so clear and swimming pool-like that you have no reason to fear the multitudes of large pelagics and sharks that cruise the waters. REALLY??
As we discovered at the stunning Herathera Island Resort, all the rumours about the marine encounters are true...and some.
Estella turned out to be a wizard night fishergirl, and she and I spent one of our most magical nights together under the stars on a dhoni while she reeled in an alarming amount of the local fish on her line. Meanwhile, I caught, and returned to the sea, one small, bemused and patronising parrot fish.
A more mutually benign marine encounter came with our fabulous day dolphin diving. You can read the full account of our experiences at Got Saga
. We'd been assured that there was a large group of dolphins living in the area, and had glimpsed them in the distance from the speedboat. Nothing could have prepared us for what happened when we sailed out specifically to find them. After ten minutes, the boat captain pointed at the horizon and grinned silently. We turned to see numerous fins rising out of the water. Suddenly, they were all around our boat, swimming, leaping and somersaulting all around us. There were many mothers with calves, and our two year old was so excited by the baby dolphins it was all we could do to grapple with her until she stopped trying to jump in with them. When a sea plane flew over us, about fifteen inquisitive dolphins raised themselves right out of the water and looked up. A magical moment in perhaps the most magical place that I have ever been.