Included in our all-inclusive stay at the Medhufushi Island Resort in the Maldives were free snorkeling and line-fishing excursions. Since the house reef was bleached in the El Nino event in 1998, it wasn’t exactly teeming with sea life.
Instead, the resort offered free snorkeling trips to a thriving and colorful coral reef a short boat ride away. Not being a very strong swimmer, I was nervous. It was the first time in my life going snorkeling. I hoped I wouldn’t panic, as I tend to when I’m underwater or short of breath.
I was pleasantly surprised to find the experience quite enjoyable, once I relaxed and let myself float on the surface. I did hang on to the rope anchoring the boat as long as I could until I felt brave enough to slip away into the water without anything to hold on to.
Of course, we wore life jackets, so there was no chance of sinking. I explored the coral reef, keeping one eye on my child who was swimming a few feet away.
The corals were drenched in color and swarming with little fish darting in and out of the crevices while shimmering blue tang fish (Paracanthurus hepatus) swam among the branches leisurely. Blue tangs became famous thanks to the Pixar movie, Finding Dory.
The experience left me feeling mildly exhilarated and slightly giddy. I was sad when it came time to leave.
I wasn’t very excited about the line-fishing excursion since I wasn’t planning to catch any fish myself. Even though I eat fish, the sight of a dying fish, leaping and flopping about in its death throes, does not induce hunger pangs in me. On the contrary, it makes me lose my appetite altogether.
If you’re vegan, you would commiserate and wonder why I’m not vegan too. That’s because I went cold turkey and failed miserably. So I decided to take baby steps on my journey to veganism, cutting down on dairy and poultry while increasing my intake of veggies.
I went along with the general sentiment on our line-fishing excursion, even getting caught up in the excitement when my child snagged a couple of fish – a red snapper and a grouper.
We watched the sun sink into the ocean while the boat rocked gently on the waves, lines in the water. The last orange rays vanished over the horizon and a curtain of darkness descended over the sea. Distant lights from the villages and resorts shone like little diamonds in the endless, velvety blackness.
One of our group hauled in a monster specimen of a fish, whose size caused a great deal of excitement. As the boat made its way back from the fishing grounds, I saw a flash of light leap above the water and then vanish beneath the waves. For a moment, I thought I was imagining it. But there it was again… and again.
I realized we were watching glowing, flying fish darting above the waves like little sprites. I ran my fingers in the waters below the boat and saw glittering spots of bioluminescence where the tips of my fingers agitated the waters.
It reminded me of this scene from Life of Pi.
Unfortunately, we did not go snorkeling again, and I deeply regretted not being able to take underwater photos or decent low-light images on my Maldives vacation.
Once I got back, I bought myself a NETGEN Sports Action Camera (no longer available on Amazon), the poor cousin of the GoPro Hero5. The next time I need to take underwater or action photos, at least I’ll be prepared.
Also read: Medhufushi Island Resort – Doing Maldives The RCI Way
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16 thoughts on “Snorkeling And Line Fishing Excursions In The Maldives”
Although we’re not exactly into fishing, we are scuba divers and we live near the sea. So Maldives will truly be the right place for adventure for us. But that luminous beach—just wow! Are those luminous jellyfish?
Those aren’t my photos. They’re just for reference. I didn’t manage to capture any images because I didn’t have a good low-light phone camera. Also, it happened so quickly, that by the time I realised what it was, it was gone.
Wow, it must have been a great experience! I had the same nervous feeling when I went snorkelling in Andamans. I cannot even swim! But the experience was overwhelming. Wish you could take some underwater pictures.
Yes, I wish that too, Amrita. Will go back there someday and take good photos.
Ah I’ve heard such amazing things about the snorkelling in Maldives, so I’m glad you conquered your fears of the water and got to experience it. I completely understand about your thoughts on fishing as well…I went along for a fishing trip for the first time in Indonesia, and as much as I enjoy seafood, I realized I definitely don’t enjoy fishing or watching the process of the fish dying.
Yes it was fun once I learnt to relax and enjoy it.
This “stars” phenomenon is magical! It is enough of the reason to visit the island. And yes, reminds of Life of PI, beautiful movie.
Yes, that was a great movie.
Such a fascinating experience. I truly enjoyed snorkeling in Thailand but my biggest regret is not being able to dive.
I don’t think I can dive either. Will just stick to snorkeling,
Wow, what a remarkable experience! Would love to watch the glowing fish in action up close, it is truely incredible. Dont think I would go for fishing as I’m a vegetarian!
I don’t enjoy fishing either, but my kid loved it.
How amazing is snorkling? What a wonderful experience and great to see so much nature. Must’ve been like seeing the Northern Lights with the bio luminescence.
It was quite an experience though it lasted for hardly a few minutes.
THis is so great! & included in your stay!! Not very often does that happen! How fun is this, I would definitely do the snorkeling, but have never done the fishing. I would try it!
It’s included in the all-inclusive package which I opted for once I reached the island. It was great fun.