I woke up at around 5:30 the next morning to watch the sunrise. to find what beach to go to I just looked at the Google Maps and found a beach facing east. I ended up having the whole beach to myself which was epic, and the skies were filled with cotton candy clouds of all different colors. Dhiffushi is a local island but they get a good amount of tourism so most beaches have things like hammocks, swings, and other photo props for visitors to enjoy. This specific beach had swings set up in the water, which were super beautiful. Since I was by myself I could’ve really have much of a photo shoot but I went on the swings anyway and enjoyed the lovely sunrise.
Afterwards, I decided to take anther walk around the island to see it all with the sun up. On the other side of the island i sat where I was the nigh before watching the baby blacktips. In the morning all the sharks were gone but I did see a fin tip out of the corner of my eye about 100 m to the right of me in a little sea grass meadow. I walked over to it and got in the water and saw an eagle ray munching away in the sand. I don’t think it noticed me as it was quite calm and just hung out for a while which was cool.
I got back to the hotel around 7 and took an hour long nap until breakfast. I ate breakfast at the hotel (beans and toast and an omelette) and while I was eating there I started chatting with another guest who was in the Maldives solo, and he said he was going on a turtle snorkel. I asked if I could join and he called the company who was fine with it so I quickly got my free dive gear packed and we headed to the dive shop. Excursions in the Maldives were cheaper than I expected, with the turtle snorkel boat tour being around 25/30 dollars. Me and Vaibhav were the only ones that signed up, and he ended up not knowing how to snorkel or swim so just me and the guide went searching the turtles. The first site we went to wasn’t very good, but I was practicing my new camera setup (I borrowed some fancy lights from my lab) so I took.a nice shot of a moray eel and some pretty reef fish. We didn’t have any luck with turtles there so they took me to another reef which was much better, but had a stronger current. As soon as i got in the water I came across a hawksbill and I was super happy to find out it was super chill and not nerves around me. I got some photos and continued along and saw a black tip shark swimming past. Unfortunately i didn’t get a photo but I was happy nonetheless. The guide then showed me where the current was strongest and we saw a grey reef shark and loads of fish! Then we followed the current to the other side of the reef where we chilled with another very friendly hawksbill turtle. All in all it was a great morning. On our way back to the island we came across a pod of spinner dolphins which was so cool to see. I even was able to get some nice pictures on my GoPro of them swimming.
The boat dropped us off at a lovely beach where I got absolutely fried to a crisp. I only stayed for about 30 minutes until I realized I needed to go back to the hotel and get more sunscreen. For the rest of the day I went to the Dhiffushi Inn beach, which is amazing with loads of palm trees with shade, chairs, and the over-water hammock. I enjoyed reading my book “Other minds” about the intelligence of octopus. I really enjoyed just laying in the sun and relaxing, it had been a really long time since I did this. I also went for nice walk down the beach and took some photos of the empty beach. I think because of Covid this island didn’t have as many tourists as usual since I had most of the beaches to myself. Which I really loved.
I walked around the island one more time around sunset to take photos and find the best spot to watch the sun set. I found a random spot in the village and sat on a palm tree and watched the sun set. Afterwards, I found a hotel to enjoy dinner at. But I must say the vegetarian food on the island wasn’t great, but at least it wasn’t hard to find. It was just very basic. I ordered a veggie sandwich and it was like a tomato, lettuce, and cucumber on white bread. But I also got fries which I enjoyed. After dinner I met up again with Vaibhav because he wanted to see the beach where I watched the black tip sharks the previous nice. We met at around 8:30 and there were already loads of sharks there. There were also some tourists feeding them canned tuna so the sharks were getting very excited. I was pretty exhausted at this point and decided to go back to the hotel and sleep, and we agreed to meet or sunrise the following day.