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The Maldives

BY Lisa Lindblad

October 13, 2017

 

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With 26 atolls and over 11oo islands, the Maldives scatter across the Indian Ocean like cabochon gems flung upon a blue sea.  Sweeping in for a landing after a long flight, the view from above enchants.

 

One cannot help but think of bubbles.  I think of blood cells, actually, and find over the course of ten days  that the analogy is not so far off.  While each island looks isolated,  like a closed system, these beautiful reef and sand girt isles are constantly changing shape, appearing and disappearing, living, dying and breathing, as ocean and its inhabitants wash in and out.  I travelled to four different atolls, traversing the surprisingly large distances in between by seaplane and speedboat.  I was there to visit hotels, feel out the islands’ personalities, speak to marine biologists and discuss the many creative sustainability initiatives that makes this nation of islands so interesting.

Coco Chanel, an Olive Ridley turtle, in rehab. She lost a flipper to a ghost net dumped by fishermen in the ocean

 

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I always forget just how beautiful, pristine and naturally rich the Bahamas are.  We travel halfway around the world looking for gorgeous beaches - Indonesia, offshore Southeast Asian islands, the Maldives - and on our own doorstep I believe we have the finest water and beaches found anywhere on earth.  Because the sand is so white, you have that gorgeous play of multi-hued blues ranging from powder to turquoise to deep navy.  Some beaches drop off deep providing great diving; others descend gradually toward a reef, offering children and lazy ones like me a natural pool.  From the Exumas' cays north to Nassau, Abaco and Andros, the Bahamas are the playground for fishermen, divers, snorkelers, vacationers - and naturalists.  Each island has its own natural offering: the Abaco parrot; a Blue Hole like the one above on Long Island; elusive manatees, dolphins, whales, sharks and sea lions, all of whom beckon scuba, free divers and snorkelers.  Over this wide spread of sea and sand there truly is something for everyone. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="8353,8352"]" ["post_title"]=> string(17) "Beautiful Bahamas" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(17) "beautiful-bahamas" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-08-18 09:14:51" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-08-18 13:14:51" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(31) "http://lisalindblad.com/?p=8349" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } }

Beautiful Bahamas