Who doesn’t dream of walking in the sand and diving amongst the colourful marine life in the warm waters of the Maldives? We checked in with the dive centre at Vilamendhoo to see how island life has been treating them this year.
We still remember the month of March when we went from the peak of the high season to stopping the entire diving operation within two weeks! It’s amazing how fast the world shut down due to the pandemic. Our team were so busy underwater, and the Maldives was one of the last destinations to close their borders to tourists, that we hardly realised what was happening. Until of course, our last guests left.
Like so many, we were confident that the closure would only be short-lived. Turns out, that was seven long months and we opened our doors to divers again, with big open arms, on the 1st of November, with all the new safety protocols in place of course.
Image by A.Shuau
The majority of the Euro-Divers team were able to return home, but some remained on island during the worldwide lockdown. The island felt like a strange place to live, an empty resort with no guests. We soon fell into a new routine and got used to the new way of island life. We had the chance to complete renovations, improve the gardens and the time to do a few other handyman jobs to keep everything in top shape for the reopening of the resort.
Those of us that remained on island led a simple and tranquil life over the seven months. We watched the news from around the world and somehow felt safe and protected from the pandemic, living on our island bubble. With more free time on our hands we encouraged staff members to explore the island our way, by getting them out on the house reef! Highlights from that time include watching turtles nesting on the beach next to the restaurant and larger sharks patrolling the reef. We certainly witnessed some positive changes in the marine way of life. .
Here at the dive centre, we were super excited to welcome our first guests back when the resort reopened at the beginning of November. Happy for the guests to get back underwater to see the incredible, magical underwater world we all love to be in. New safety measures have been put in place, such as a maximum of eight divers on a boat to respect social distancing. Every diver now keeps the same equipment for their entire stay and it is regularly cleaned by our well-trained crew. Vilamendhoo has also introduced safety measures beginning with the guest arrival in Malé, through to seating in the restaurant, room cleaning and other services and activities around the island.
Since reopening there have been some magical moments for our divers. The diving around the island has been fantastic. Our guests have had encounters with bottlenose dolphins, as well as seeing more fish life than before. Top of the wish list, our divers have encountered over 10 manta rays at the cleaning station and we’ve seen whale sharks in the national park. Long may it continue!
Image by Leila Wirz
The Euro-Divers team look forward to welcoming you back to the island, to introducing new divers to the breathtaking underwater world of the South Ari Atoll and to create more diving memories together!
We are ready. Come and visit us!
Manuel Schierl, Manager of Euro-Divers Vilamendhoo
Vilamendhoo Island Resort is fully open and is offering 20% on bookings made before 5 January 2021. For more information, contact our friendly team.