Naw recently came back from exploring the renowned Mirihi Resort at the Alif Dhaal Atoll, which is surrounded by a famous 6km coral reef, one of the largest in Maldives. We loved the concept and enjoyed the vision that Mirihi is trying to portray, 1st rule "No TVs", 2nd rule "No pools", these missing amenities created a deeper connection between us and our surroundings, which is exactly the point of disconnecting and relaxation, and mind you this is a 5 star highly rated resort. Anyway, back to the most important part, marine life and our encounters. Most notable are Manta Rays, Blacktip Reef Sharks, Whitetip Reef Sharks, Turtles, and few Lion Fish. Reef sharks were a common sight, and the reef there is still sustaining marine life, why that surprises us is exactly the point of our trip, which is "coral bleaching". Coral bleaching has plagued a lot if not all of the Maldives, and that's due to a change in water temperatures as reported by biologists. Though Mirihi staff members claim that they are one of the least affected, that we can't be sure of. The reef looked pale and grey, still supporting marine life, yet this same pale color extends down to 6 - 8 meters on the warmer side of the island.
Free-Diving down to 18 meters and enjoying the fore-reef slope from the ocean floor is definitely a better experience, as the colder waters have preserved the colors found in healthy reefs. While we enjoyed our trip, we can't but feel sad in our hearts to witness 6km of coral reef, bleaching and fading away into a pale shadow of grey, colorless, like a city struck by a nuclear bomb, nothing is left behind except destruction. Older generations who traveled to the Maldives, have mentioned the colorful beautiful reefs that they witnessed underwater, like one can imagine, a box full of colorful jewels. This is our 3rd trip to the Maldives, and unfortunately, the the Maldives isn't the what it used to be, the shallow colorful reefs have faded, and we might never witness what our fathers and grandfathers have witnessed, except at deeper depths and with a proper torch. The unfortunate question is, what will we leave for our children and grandchildren, a pile of rocks? plastics filled beaches? Confined endangered marine mammals? All of the above.. Let's strive for a better future, not for us, but for our grandchildren, because that's how long it would take to start reversing the damage done by greed.