Maldives

Dreams of the Maldives – Crystal clear waters

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Under the Sea

We woke up the first day and went for a morning stroll along the beach. After just a few minutes we were already giddy with excitement of what we saw in the crystal clear water.

Baby black tip reef sharks, 30-50cm in length and swimming casually in the knee deep lagoon right next to the break wall that we were walking on. And next to them a handful of stingrays sneaking around the rocks looking for a crunchy crab to snack on. We contacted the dive shop as soon as possible, obviously, and booked our first dives for the following day and went to fetch our snorkel gear.

Linus met an ex-pat that gave an excellent tip on how to use the current to our advantage. The tidal difference isn’t that big on Thulusdhoo but the current gets really strong around the island. When the high tide turned to low we could basically fly from the lagoon through a narrow channel, under a bridge, out into the next lagoon and then swing around the island. That last bit was very important as the current otherwise takes you to the next island.

Under the surface we saw the usual suspects for a shallow reef but at a smaller size as the lagoons acted as nurseries. Unfortunately a lot of the corals was in bad shape as the Maldives quite recently had a bad case of coral bleaching. We had hoped to see the same amazing coral recovery had taken place as the Similan Islands but sadly, this will take quite a few years of fair conditions until it comes back. There were some new growth at least and some healthy bits here and there.

The following day we took the 10 minute walk across the island to the harbour to meet up with the dive people and head south in the speedboat towards our first spot. Under the pier we saw an immensely dense school of “bait fish”, it must have been thousands upon thousands of them and we kind of wanted to dive right there on the pier, haha.

The trip took about 20 minutes and we geared up along the way. After the dive brief we took our giant strides into the blue and descended on the sloping reef site. The visibility was utterly insane, easily 40m and as we arrived at the bottom at 30m there were some white tip reef sharks cruising over the sand. We turned north and started to explore the reef but our eyes were now fixed in the blue for larger things swimming about. Just after a couple of minutes we had already seen another shark and a couple of eagle rays.

All in all we did 5 dives during our time on Thulusdoo and the clarity of the water and the amount of life was stunning with eagle rays and reef sharks in abundance. We were really sad to see how badly the reef was damaged, but happy to see that it had started to come back in some areas. Fingers crossed it will continue to grown and make as amasing progress as the reef around the Similans.

Dreams of the Maldives – A surfers dream

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Surfing Perfect Waves

Maldives have never been a realistic travel destination for us. It has been something too exclusive and far fetched to begin to realise. But it has always been a dream to explore these islands.

The Maldives is made up of around 1200 island in the middle of the Indian Ocean and after travelling for roughly 30 hours flying in to this place our jaws dropped. Perfect white sanded palm tree islands, submerged reefs in pristine turqoise water appears out of nowhere in the middle of the blue.

After picking up our bags at the airport we got the splendid information that we missed our transfer boat to Thulusdhoo, the island of our accomodation, by 5 minutes. The next one was in 4 and a half hours… So we drank coffee and edited a few thousands of our pictures at the airport while we waited for our taxi boat.

Before leaving the weather turned for the worse and we travelled to our paradise island in a proper monsoon storm. Once on the island, we were delighted to see that all the roads were made out of sand, unfortunately this ment that almost the whole island was flooded now after the rain had passed.

FRONT AND BACKSIDE

We’ll never forget the feeling of stepping of the pier and onto Thulusdhoo. The island has such a clear front and backside. We passed the front coming in, and it’s a perfect wave over a turqoise reef, right in front of some resorts on a white beach lined with palm trees. But we stepped of the boat at the pier on the back side of the island. Next to the pier was a big construction site, where a digger seemed to be digging a huge hole in the beach. A sun-kissed Coca-Cola factory was opposite and it definitely didn’t have that tropical fuzzy feeling the front side had and pouring rain didn’t really help the image. We got picked up by the resort after a while and as we were driving through the first really big puddle of flooded road there was graffiti on a wall next to the road saying “Welcome to Reality”. Somehow that had a profound meaning to us at that moment in time.

Welcome to Reality

 

Our plan was to stay on Thulusdhoo for 2 weeks. 1 week just us two, more focused on diving locally and on some nearby islands and the 2nd week focused on surfing. This post will cover the surfing part of our stay.

We’ve have been looking at pictures from the wave at Cokes Surf Camp on Thulusdhoo in the Maldives pretty much on a daily basis since October 2017. It has looked amazing, perfect, scary, terrifying, fun and fantastic at the same time.  It’s all thanks to our dear friend Joao Caldas that invited me and Malin to document an amazing surf trip to surf perfect waves at Cokes for a week together with some friends from the surf in Sweden and some new friends that are living in Barcelona. We also got invited to join their Instagram and Whatsapp groups for the surf trip and it has been daily updates of pictures, conditions, gear, more pictures and the hype for the trip was off the charts.

REALITY STRIKES

The first few days reality hit the surf crew, and when we write reality we mean tropical storms. We had windy, off-, cross- and onshore conditions and some storms that rivalled some of the Swedish sessions we’ve had together. But we always say “something is epic” so the guys clocked 5-8 hours in the water every day. Luckily the storms passed and it became truly epic and we got some of the best waves of our lives. I ( Linus ) have been trying to better my physique and my surfing everyday since I knew we were going to surf perfect waves. Although my surfing was far from perfect I really really enjoyed it and I just want to say thank you to all that helped me along the way!

To share this with good friends, new and old, has been an unforgettable memory and we’re so grateful for being so lucky as to experience it!