Noonu Atoll is an extremely relaxing place.
I’m not sure what the secret is, but I’m pretty sure it involves water… and sand… and sun. Even with 4 kids hanging off us, we are still managing to feel quite mellow, most of the time.
Today we’ve spent quite a lot of time on, and in, the water.
We checked out the Kids’ Club on the way back from breakfast and everyone wanted to stay, so DH and I went down to the watersports centre and grabbed a couple of kayaks for the morning. They were the shallow, plastic, open typed kayaks and I made a dork of myself clambering into mine, but once I was in, it all came back to me. We paddled along the shore and under piers until we came to a patch of live coral, and just sat in our kayaks and watched all the different fish swim around. Then we paddled some more, and went past a couple of villages of ‘over water’ huts, and suddenly we realised we’d gone right around the island. In only 40 minutes. Neither DH or I are at all sporty types, but we felt quite pleased with ourselves that we didn’t tip out.
We didn’t get swept beyond the barrier either, or stray into the seaplane landing zone, which is obviously a big no-no!
The seaplanes come from Male, and land, and take off, 2-3 times a day. It’s a 45min flight and most guests arrive on the island in this way. We were placated with a swanky lounge at the departure terminal first, and then were packed into a very small ( 14 seater) , very hot plane, which bounced and rattled its way into the air. We got some fantastic aerial views of other islands in the turquoise ocean, and then it was time to land. I’ve never landed on water before but it was a much smoother landing than any I’ve had on tarmac.
Back on track:
After kayaking, we picked up the kids for lunch by the family pool, and they wanted to go back after lunch, except for DD1. The plan was to take her and DH snorkeling but I quickly realised that neither of them would be okay going off the stairs at the back of the Dive Centre, so sent them back along the pier to the beach, while I took a short cut across the water.
I found a few patches of live coral but there has been widespread coral bleaching around these islands, due to human activity and global warming, and everywhere you look, there are piles of pale, broken dead coral. The bits of live coral are hot spots for fishlife, you can follow them from patch to patch. I wanted to show DH and DD1 this fragile magic but both were unsure about going out of their depth so I had to explore on my own. I found a lovely deep trench, with some big brain corals at the edge, about 10m from shore and splashed around happily watching fish for half an hour before going in.
So, lots of fun in the sun today but I was stupid and didn’t put enough sun cream on, so I’m paying for it tonight. Red legs and red face, ouch! I need to remember to apply, reapply and reapply again; and that my swim suit has a low-cut back and I need to put cream there especially.
As for sunsets, it was an orange one tonight as opposed to the red one last night. It was equally stunning though.