Friday, January 23, 2015

Flight of Mobula's

Last week at one of our favourite dive sites, Manta Point, Maldivian Dive Master Shakeeb along with one very lucky guest encountered a true spectacle of nature! We are very lucky at Gili Lankanfushi to see Mobula Rays on a regular basis. These are close relatives of the Manta Rays, and the most common species here is the Short-fin Devil Ray (Mobula kuhlii), however what these fortunate divers witnessed was like something out of National Geographic.

Mobula kuhlii school captured by the Manta Trust's Guy Stevens
As all experienced guides can attest,  we can almost feel when something special is around. Shakeeb reported that during the dive some unusual currents were present and he knew “something” was close by. He extended the dive and continued to face these peculiar currents, until “a large black cloud blocked out the sun.” This large black cloud was nothing but a school of  Mobula Rays. With such vast numbers, both divers found it hard to put a number to the flight; but both agreed that there was a congregation of well over one hundred! Was it an aggregation, a migration or just chance? Little is known of these ocean wanderers, which makes encounters like these absolutely priceless!

Jon - Dive Centre Base Leader

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Welcoming Jon: Our new Dive Centre Base Leader

With a brand new boat and more excursions to run than ever before, our dive centre is expanding and we have welcomed twelve new members of staff, including a new Base Leader! Being in the water every day means these guys get to witness some of the most incredible sights our Oceans have to offer. Luckily for us, the dive and watersports team from Ocean Paradise are keen to share with you some of the amazing experiences they encounter under and above the water, and so Jon, our new Base Leader, will be contributing posts regularly to this blog from now on!

Here is a quick introduction from the man himself:

Diver Below: Base Leader Jon
'Nothing compares to the Maldives'
"My name is Jon and I am the new Base Leader of Ocean Paradise at Gili Lankanfushi. I just wanted to say a quick 'hi', to introduce myself and tell you all a little bit about my background.

After I finished University, I left the shores of good old England in search of adventure. Having worked as both a professional yachtsman and diver for the past 8 years, I am not shy to say that I have been to some incredible places and seen many wonders. I am fortunate enough to have sailed and dived on six continents in some of the World's most sort after locations; but for me, nothing compares to the Maldives! I absolutely love it here, whether I'm sailing, diving, windsurfing or just paddling out; it's paradise on Earth! 

Plans for the future? I'm buying a new windsurfing sail tonight, so hopefully test that out tomorrow ;)

Hopefully see you soon!"

Myself and Vaidas are very much looking forward to working alongside Jon and the team, and I don't know about you, but I'm certainly looking forward to reading some of their exciting blog posts! 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Good News and Bad News: Turtle Update

We have received updates about the two turtles which were rescued on December 27th- Srabonti and Mamun.

When I left them at Four Seasons Kuda Huraa (FSKH) they were both a little worse for wear, with some serious injuries.
Srabonti was the worst of the two, with damage to her head and very serious lacerations to her flippers, which the team at FSKH spent 3 hours on one day trying to stitch up and save. Unfortunately, despite the team's great efforts, the ordeal was simply too much and she sadly died only a few days later.

It's so important not to discard nets, or any rubbish into our oceans
Mamun the male, on the other hand, was doing much better. He was eating well, and the team managed to save a lot of the movement of his hind flipper which was badly damaged. After nursing him back to health, it was time to release him, and he was set free on January 2nd, only 5 days later! Check out this video the Seamarc team posted!

The sad reality is that many Olive Ridley turtles caught in nets won't be lucky enough to float close to an island or boat where they might be rescued. Marine debris is fast becoming one of the biggest threats facing our Ocean's creatures today, and this turtle has had a narrow escape! Hopefully by raising awareness, and collecting data, we can reduce the amount of ghost nets in our oceans, and save as many turtles as we can in process!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Wishing You A Very Happy New Year From The Whole Team Here At Gili Lankanfushi!

Photo Credit: Frank Mitchell
Our guests were welcoming 2015 in style!

New Years Eve is always a busy time for our hosts, buzzing around and preparing what is going to be the most amazing New Year's experience we can offer!

It all begins with cocktails on the One Palm Island. Following a couple of our signature 'Gili Goes Spicy' cocktails and a complimentary massage taster, catch a pontoon and ride over the calm lagoon to our Palm Beach. Imagine live music playing whilst you enjoy a delicious meal under the stars...

Feeling full? Time to relax and greet the new year in the comfort of a Bedouin Tent, constructed just for you as the waves gently lap the shore and millions of stars dot the clear skies...
Photo Credit: Frank Mitchell

Photo Credit: Frank Mitchell
Even the host area on the other side of the island was set up beautifully, ready for our staff to bring in the new year!

Here's to hoping that this year brings with it just as many exciting events, surprises, and reasons to write our blog as the last! I certainly love writing them- I hope you love reading them just as much!

Happy New Year!