Maldives 2016: Turtle Point

I took another half day snorkelling trip on the dive boat. We headed north to a submerged reef called Turtle Point. It lived up to its name - we saw three Hawksbill turtles almost immediately. There were thousands of colourful reef fish too, including clown fish on their anemones and a whitetip reef shark.

 Clownfish have a symbiotic relationship with their anemones

Whitetip reef shark lurks on the reef edge

We found a turtle in the middle of the reef which was munching on algae and totally unfazed by our presence. I duck dived to photograph it again and again. Twice it came up to the surface to breathe. The dive boat went off to pick up the scuba divers and it was ages before it returned, giving us plenty of quality time with the turtle. It was a real privilege.

Hawksbill turtle

 Hawksbill turtle

Turtle comes to the surface to breathe

We motored on, just a short way, before stopping to snorkel again. This was a reef called the Coral Garden - the coral here was truly spectacular. We went along the edge for a while, then right over the middle to the sandy lagoon in the centre, where we saw three stingrays, all half buried in the sand. The last one had a remora attached, just under its eye, which betrayed its presence.

 Fusiliers in the Coral Garden

Stingray in the sand

Stingray with remora

We continued around the reef for a very long time. It was probably the longest snorkel I've ever done, but I enjoyed every second.

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