Up early - checked out of our hotel and left our luggage at the adjacent resort. It was amazing how difficult this was - everyone wanted to know if we needed a new place, trying to get a room without a tout taking his cut was like fighting the mafia. Went to the dive club, got our gear together, and waded out to the dive boat.
It was a long trip out to Mnemba Atoll - at least an hour an a half down the east coast of the island. The sun really started to come through just as we were getting to the atoll. The island is a privately owned resort (supposedly US $550 a night!) and was a luxuriant green with sparkling white beaches - a couple roofs were visible, but not a soul. The first dive was really nice - not fantastic, but just really pleasant. The visibility was pretty good (about 60 feet) and there were lots of fish and some great sheet coral. The highlight of the dive was a couple smallish turtles seen in the distance. The only real problem was the number of people it was a guided dive so we had to stick with the dive master as there was about a dozen of us it felt a little crowded - especially at the beginning when the order was getting figured out. When we got out of the water the sun was definitely out - good thing too as we were cold. The water was nice at 79°F (26&feg;C) - but in thin, short wetsuits by the end of the hour dive I was shivering.
Warmed up in the sun and had a great lunch of cheese and veggies on chipotes and talked for our hour between dives. The second dive was a little frustrating. We really had just started to get warm when it was time to get wet again, the visibility wasn't as nice, and there wasn't as much to look at. The dive was supposed to be a drift dive along a wall, but the wall was more a steeply slanted floor, and the currents were random and confused making the dive awkward. Amy got really frustrated trying to maintain neutral buoyancy with the currents, the waves and being a little under weighted. By the end of the second dive we were all shivering. The ride back was spent trying to warm up (and getting a little sun burnt in the process) and watching the deserted beaches slide by.
Back at the hotel Amy and I laid on the beach. The sun felt so good, especially when tempered with frequent swims in the water. In the evening went to the bar deck to watch the sun set, but again a thin line of clouds on the horizon prevented us from seeing it. We played cards, drank beer, and had dinner before heading to bed.