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  • Writer's pictureClaire

24/12/23 Kandu Oiy Giri and Baa.

Happy Christmas Eve!!

With a substantial breakfast in our bellies, exposed body parts plastered in sunscreen we met up with Mike and Carly downstairs, a young Canadian couple we were joining on the trip. Ali had got fins and masks for us so after trying them on for size, we made our way to the jetty to find the boat for our trip. A little yellow speedboat came bouncing through the harbour, and Ali said here is your ride... A visible gulp from me, it was a dinky little boat. We all got on board and made our way out of the harbour.

When we left the harbour, we went around to the fish processing plant to get some tuna offcuts from them to use as bait to attract the fishies. A man came over with a bucket of fish bits which he poured into a small bucket in the boat. With that done, we set off again for our destination.

Due to strong winds there were some significant waves for the little boat, (I say significant, they were probably normal ish, but to me they were humongous) racing over the deep blue waters we passed by little islands, and resorts. Where the waters were shallower around the sandbars and islands, the colours of the ocean were all shades from crystal clear, through turquoise to deep deep blue. So beautiful and just reinforced that Mother Nature is a truly wonderful thing.

Soooo many colours

Our boat driver had a wicked grin, and I think he delighted in bouncing us around. We really enjoyed it, me definitely more than Si as he was right on the front of the boat and was getting lifted out of his seat as we hit the waves. Crushed nuts anyone?! I had a pew in front of the steering mechanism, and a bar on either side of me to hold onto. Mike and Carly were in the back, and, I'm guessing, were being thrown about as much as we were.

We came to a stop just off Kandu Oiy Giri, the water on one side of the boat navy blue, the other side turquoise and I could see the bottom (oh the joy of that!) The boatie threw out the anchor, which was located under Simon's seat, and once the boat was secure, he started throwing bits of tuna overboard and within seconds there were hundreds of fish piling in to the free nosh!

the FFF …. Or, the fishy feeding frenzy

A dive boat was anchored up, a little further out than we were, and some people were snorkelling. We heard them shout out "Turtle" although it was a bit far away, we did catch a glimpse.

With boatie still throwing bits of tuna overboard, Mike and Carly got geared up ready to go in. They just jumped off the boat into the water (the deep side) and swam over into the shallower water. They had a go pro with them, and we could have kicked ourselves, because we have two at home and we didn't bring one with us! How stupid! This is when it occurred to me I potentially had a little problem. Getting into the water wouldn't be an issue, even I could jump in over the side! However getting out was going to be a whole different matter. So I decided that I would stay on the boat. Then like a magician, boatie (as he shall be forever known) produced a set of steps. Ah ha, that put a whole different slant on things. He then produced a life ring, now I was really happy because as we are all aware I swim marginally better than a house brick. He tied one end of it to the boat and told me to hold onto it. So with that extra reassurance I pulled on my mask and snorkel and jumped in. Totally forgetting my flippers. (Idiot) obviously I went under on entering the water, and came up coughing and spluttering after inhaling a snorkel full of sea water. Grabbing both Si and the life ring I decided I would probably be ok.

With my face peering through my life ring, and arms gripping it for grim death, I floated like a dream. Outstanding! I had another snorkel full of water when I moved my head down too far and inhaled while I was following the fish. I have never seen so many, not even on the Barrier Reef. There were all sorts of fishes, which I am currently trying to name, so will update once I've identified them. So many different colours, sizes and types. Just incredible.

I was taken by surprise when a stingray swam underneath me, and as I had pulled my face out of the water, out boatie said don't worry, they're gentle and won't hurt you. I believed what he said, because I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have bought us if it was anything other than safe, and resumed my position.

Oh my god it was just amazing, these beautiful graceful creatures kind of ripple along. So elegant and so close to us. If I had reached out I'm certain I could have touched one. That however, would have meant letting go of the life ring and even I am not that stupid!! They were a pale pale grey colour maybe a metre wide, and at one time I counted 10 swimming around and beneath me. Such an awesome sight, and I'm so happy, and a little bit proud of myself that I did it.

Being attached to the boat meant I couldn't drift off or drown, so I explored the Reef a little. The whole cast of finding Nemo were there! Well, all except Nemo, I didn't see him. Si was having a fantastic time exploring, and enjoying the experience swimming all over the place. I'd been in the water quite a while and started to get tired and decided it was probably time to get my ass out.

With the steps/ladder hanging over the side of the boat I thought it would be a piece of cake... Ever the optimist! Without too much difficulty I managed to get myself onto the rungs of the ladder, and that was about it. Being something of a weakling, I couldn't pull myself up it, and the bottom rungs of the ladder were going underneath the boat. To get into it I needed to get further up the ladder, grab hold of the side of the boat, then pull myself up and over. Boatie was blimin fab, so patient and reassuring that after 4 attempts I was in. With all the grace and elegance of a beached whale. Not refined nor dignified in the slightest but back in the boat nevertheless. Hurrah!

The others were all still merrily swimming around with the fish and rays, and a few more boats pulled up with people on board. The one lot in particular were on quite a substantial dive boat and there were a good few of them. As I watched them one guy started to shriek like a girl, a fish had touched him and he couldn't get out of the water fast enough. Boatie was laughing his head off at his expense, and I was mighty chuffed when he said I was much braver than the guy! For that I kissed my guns and took a bow, which for some reason made him laugh even harder.

From behind the boat appeared what I thought was a noodle at first, it was in fact a diver with a float attached, making his/her way back to their boat. I know it's childish, but i found it mildly amusing watching this thing move across the water. The waves got quite big, and were making the boat bob around like a cork, so I was glad to be back on board. The fish and rays were still swimming around the boats. and, the waves getting bigger and the others made their way back to the boat. I might add they were all significantly more elegant in boarding than me!!

We took Bob with us and he was very impressed with the sights he saw. I think you will agree he looked super cool in his fins and mask.

Bob loves a bit of Snorkelling

As everyone was settled back into their seats, we

hauled anchor and made towards Himmafushi. The wind had picked up since departing so the waves were a little bigger and it was choppier. We passed closer to the water bungalows and there was a small sand bar just off Baa. Boatie asked if we wanted to visit, I mean who wouldn't want to visit? It was stunning!! He pulled into the shallows and threw out the anchor and we all jumped out, including Bob and waded through the water to the sandbar. Definite Pirates of The Caribbean Vibes!!! The sand, although white was quite coarse, but lush all the same. The clarity of the water was just insane, all the different variations in colours will never cease to mesmerise me. Bob had a play in the sand and we took a family photo, like you do!

Sand bar off Baa

The visit to the sand bar was a surprise add on to the trip, and it was lovely. Wading back to the boat was slower and my embarking back into it was even less elegant than before. Even with Simon shoving me in to the boat from behind my resemblance to a beached whale was really most uncanny! When I peeled myself up off the floor and shuffled to my seat the others hopped in and we were off again towards Himmafushi.

When we arrived back to the jetty, Si went to get Mildred as I was a bit broken by then. We called into the little harbour cafe for a drink before going back to Molar Wave. It turns out that Ali had given our boatie a heads up that all was not well with me and to take it easy. We were both really touched by his thoughtfulness , and I'll say it again, he really is the nicest man.

As it was Christmas Eve, we had already decided we

Would eat at Molar Wave. That proved to be a good move as after the sea air and the snorkelling we were starved! Shin, as ever produced the most tasty Tuna curry with rice, chicken drummers in a sauce and veggies. We demolished the lot, finishing off with a delicious bread pudding. Stuffed as big fat stuffed things!

After eating we crashed because it was Christmas Eve, and everyone knows that Santa doesn't visit if you don't go to bed early!!!

Much love


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