The Defenders Of The Reef

Nothing much to do in the morning so between reading and sunbathing we snorkelled a bit in the lagoon outside our room. There are two mini coral reefs about 20 metres or so from our bungalow and there are always some Triggerfish swimming around.

As we were investigating the smaller of the two, just hovering around for a few minutes, we were suddenly approached by “The Defenders of the Reef”, five small black fish that would slowly swim towards us as though they were sentries sent out to warn us not to come any further!

It was funny to swim away, turn and then slowly approach again just to watch them perform their scare tactics. At one point as we hovered around the reef, the gf slowly turned her head around and had two of them suddenly appear less than an inch from her face. She squealed and nearly drowned laughing!

Funniest. Thing. Ever.

On the other mini-reef there was something that was patterned like a giraffe. From what we could see (most of it was hidden) we could only make out that it was curved round and so we may have even been looking at the side of an eel. When we got back to the room we searched through our fish book and found out that it was a Honeycomb Moray Eel, and they’re quite rare!

Another spa visit after lunch for facials this time, plus an added Indian head massage for me. Again it was very relaxing, so much so that I actually fell asleep during mine. Afterwards our skin was really soft and you could notice the difference by running a finger from the top of my bald head down to my face.

When we returned to the room after dinner and drinks, I popped my head out of the room to see if there was anything interesting in the water (a ray or turtle maybe?) and noticed a large dark shape at the bottom of our stairs. I rushed back in to find a torch and returned to illuminate the shape to find that it was a Porcupine Fish (part of the Puffer Fish family), just hanging around without a care in the world, not bothered about the torch shining in it’s face. Or it may have been asleep!

It was just under two foot long with a pointy nose (like a hedgehog), a long flat tail with a dorsal fin just above it and two small pectoral fins at the front of it’s body. It had a brown, maze-like pattern over it and was very content to just lie there as we tried to get photos of it.

Porcupine Fish

Some Puffer Fish are poisonous and so I was very apprehensive about putting my hand under the water to get photo of it with our waterproof camera, but in the end I just about managed to get the shot as I leant out over the water, camera slightly submerged, holding onto the rails while the gf shone the torch from above me on the stairs (she always gets the easy job!)

(you can see some pictures of the Defenders of the Reef and the Porcupine fish on the Maldives Snorkelling Gallery page)