we got up early - again. The first dive was at Kudarah Thila. It was Ok, but not great. It was a large bommie standing by itself, small enough to circle, big enough to loose the rest of the group. I was able to circle it twice during the dive. The highlight was a couple white tip reef sharks at the very beginning. There were also tons of other fish (surgeons, snappers, triggers, fairy bassets, trumpet fish, wrasse, gobbies, etc) but nothing big or exciting.
The second dive was at a spot called Broken Rock a standalone bommie similar to the fist dive. Except the currents were very strong and unlike a drift dive you had to fight them to stay on the bommie. This made for a very shitty dive. The visibility was poor and there just didn't seem to be much to see - maybe all the fish had been swept out to sea. The top of the reef was about fifteen meters deep so the safety stop (5m) had to be done in free water - within seconds of leaving the reef the currents had swept me out of sight of it. A few minutes later I saw another reef this one extending up to five meters - since I had plenty of air left I thought I'd go sit on the top of it and look around while doing an extended safety stop - it was only about ten meters away but I had to kick as hard as I could for several minutes to get there. I should have given up but I got stubborn. By the time I got there my legs were aching (almost throbbing) and my breathing was way out of control. After hanging on to dead piece of coral for a few minutes to let me breathing somewhat return to normal I let go and surfaced. The boat picked me up and I sat on the bow and was depressed about my last dive in the Maldives.
A few hours later while the others were getting ready to go on the third dive - I decided I had to do the third dive. I just couldn't let that last dive be my last one. A good thing too, the third dive was at Dhigurah Corner and was awesome. It was supposed to be a drift dive, but the currents were so mild for most of it that it didn't work that way. I saw tons of fish. Even better, I figured out what was with the turtles behavior with me yesterday - two greens did it here as well, except this time both of them same right up to me and tried to take a bite out of my camera! I think it's the yellow color of the rubber on the lens! Very exciting stuff - I actually had to push one of the turtles away! Near the end of the dive I came around the corner and it was a bit of a battle to make way against the current (though nothing like the last dive - my legs were actually sore from that!) After fighting for a few minutes I got to a big overhang and hung on the the edge. Pulling myself forward and looking down there was tons of fish - including a giant Napoleon and an equally giant (!!) grouper (maybe a potato grouper?) This was one of my favorite dives in the Maldives and the contrast between it and the other two dives today made it even better.
I was in my cabin when the others headed for Dhangethi Island (the local's island - we're anchored off of) when I came up I got one of the kitchen boys to take me in on the dingy). I only had a few minutes there as all foreigners have to be off the island by six thirty. It was enough it was just more of the same, perhaps even more geared towards tourism than the first island we went to. I had a struggle to find a store that wasn't selling souvenirs. Back on the boat I put all the photos I'd kept in one memory stick and gave a slide show on one of the guys computers - the photos actually looked much better on the laptop's screen. I stayed up a little later than usual trying to get caught up on email - something I'd planned to do on this trip but hadn't touched yet.