Friday, 25 May 2012

Maldives Marine Life

We saw hundreds of new species in the Maldives. Most were in the water and as we didn't have an underwater camera I only photographed those that could be seen from the boardwalks and jetties. Apologies in advance for the quality of the photographs.

Black-tip reef sharks:

Sea cucumber:

Feathertail sting-ray:


A species of halfbeak:

Blackspot snapper:

Klein's butterflyfish with humbug dascyllus:

Either a goby or a blenny:

Bluespine unicornfish:

Unknown species:

Of the fish we saw whilst snorkelling we identified the following:
  • Grey-streak lizardfish
  • Flutemouth
  • Lionfish
  • Redmouth grouper
  • Peacock rock cod
  • White-spotted grouper
  • Jacks
  • Harlequin sweetlips
  • Black pyramid butterflyfish
  • Double-saddled butterflyfish
  • Longnose butterflyfish
  • Reef bannerfish
  • Schooling bannerfish 
  • Regal angelfish
  • Sergeant major
  • Blue-green chromis
  • Batu wrasse
  • Bird wrasse
  • Blackeye thicklip wrasse
  • Checkerboard wrasse
  • Jansen's wrasse
  • Bridled parrotfish
  • Roundhead parrotfish
  • Several other species of parrotfish
  • Longfin batfish
  • Coral rabbitfish
  • Convict surgeonfish
  • Eye-stripe surgeonfish
  • Lined surgeonfish
  • Powder blue surgeonfish
  • Thompson's surgeonfish
  • Orangespine unicornfish 
  • Filefish
  • Indian triggerfish
  • Picasso triggerfish
  • Red-toothed triggerfish
  • Titan triggerfish
  • Black-spotted pufferfish
Ian also saw a moray eel and we both saw a couple of turtles on our last day, but it was quite murky and we don't know what species they were.

My favourite fish were the batfish as they were really friendly. A group of them came right up to us and followed us around for several minutes. They were about 30cm long and were nearly close enough to touch (not that we would). Some of my other favourites were the parrotfish, the wrasses and the titan triggerfish. I really enjoyed snorkelling and am looking forward to doing it again sometime in the future.

Friday, 18 May 2012

A birthday in the Maldives

I had a fantastic birthday. The staff at Baros were wonderful as usual. Instead of breakfast in the usual restaurant we were treated to breakfast in our villa for no extra cost (bottle of champagne and beautiful flowers included).

In the afternoon we went in a glass-bottom boat which gave us wonderful views of the reefs near Baros.

We saw many species of fish, sea cucumbers, starfish, sponges, clams and lots of beautiful corals.

In the evening we had dinner on the beach - actually part of our honeymoon package, but we moved it to coincide with my birthday. They took a photo of us before dinner and by the time we'd finished dessert it was framed and on our table.

I also received a birthday card and this lovely cake:

Despite being thousands of miles away from home I was still in touch with family and friends via facebook, blogger and email and received lots of lovely birthday messages.

A memorable birthday indeed :-)

Thursday, 17 May 2012

The Baros Resort

After taking a taxi, two trains, two planes and a boat we arrived on the island of Baros in the Maldives.

We stayed in a villa over the water:

Our villa had steps down to the lagoon and the reef was only a 2 minute swim away. Not that we needed to go to the reef to see all the fish as many swam under the villa and into the shallow water underneath the boardwalks (I'll save the photos for another post).

There are three restaurants on the island - the Lighthouse:

Lime Restaurant:

and Cayenne Restaurant:

The staff at Baros are incredible. They outnumber the guests 2 to 1 and whatever the time of day you can't go for a walk without half a dozen people saying good morning, good afternoon or good evening to you. The majority of staff seem genuinely friendly and you can't go to breakfast or dinner without someone coming over to chat and ask how you're enjoying your holiday. All questions were dealt with quickly and even when our air conditioning unit broke the maintenance people worked on it until midnight and then again very early the next morning to have it fixed (we slept in another villa that night).

The villas are cleaned twice a day and each morning the cleaners drop off bottle water and a couple of pieces of fruit. Ian tried rambutan for the first time:

Breakfast at the Lime Restaurant was the largest buffet Ian or I had ever seen. There were rolls, toast, croissants, pain au chocolat, doughnuts, danishes, fruit bread, muffins, fresh fruit, tinned fruit, nuts, seeds, yoghurt, cereals, waffles, omelettes, oatmeal, maldivian curry, rice, vegetables, nine different types of juice, smoothies, champagne etc etc. Needless to say we only ate lunch on one day out of the ten we were away.

Tropical fruits, including 3 types of melon, pineapple, papaya, guava, grapefruit, orange, apple and 2 types of dragonfruit:

A maldivian omelette with maldivian curry:

We ate dinner at the restaurants, but also on the deck of our villa and down on the beach one night.

The island itself is lush with palm trees and all sorts of beautiful tropical plants and trees. I bought a book to help me identify them so will be spending some time with it before I blog about the vegetation in greater depth

Although there were many hundreds of aquatic species there were relatively few animals on the island. One of the most common species was the grey heron. It was wonderful watching them fishing in such an exotic location:

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

We're back!

Ian and I just got back from a fantastic honeymoon on the island of Baros in the Maldives. Over the next few days I'll be sorting through the photos and I daresay there'll be quite a few blog posts. For now I'd like to say a massive thank you to Dad for Misty-minding and thanks to everyone who sent me birthday cards and presents.

Of course I couldn't really blog without a photo so here's one I've picked randomly from the folder of honeymoon photos: