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Whale sharks are reason to visit Maamigili, Maldives

The highlight of my week on Maamigili was coming face to face with this whale shark!; even after seeing me, the shark stayed just below the surface passing so close that I was able to just reach out and touch him

The highlight of my week on Maamigili was coming face to face with this whale shark!; even after seeing me, the shark stayed just below the surface passing so close that I was able to just reach out and touch him

The powderblue surgeonfish was one of my favorites here due to its distinctive and atypical coloration; the other tourists on the island I met were all from Germany and Italy

The powderblue surgeonfish was one of my favorites here due to its distinctive and atypical coloration; the other tourists on the island I met were all from Germany and Italy

I tackled the long swim out to where it looked like the reef was from Maamigili; in reality, there really isn't a reef on the lagoon side but the boring swim was brightened by this turtle

I tackled the long swim out to where it looked like the reef was from Maamigili; in reality, there really isn't a reef on the lagoon side but the boring swim was brightened by this turtle

There are probably no more than 20 tourists on the island at any one time; the locals are almost all Muslim and I found them generally unfriendly except for some of the small kids

There are probably no more than 20 tourists on the island at any one time; the locals are almost all Muslim and I found them generally unfriendly except for some of the small kids

The first currency used in the Maldives was cowrie shells; in the 13th century, cowrie shells were brought to Africa from the Maldives by Arab merchants with millions of them found in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs

The first currency used in the Maldives was cowrie shells; in the 13th century, cowrie shells were brought to Africa from the Maldives by Arab merchants with millions of them found in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs

In this area of the Maldives, there is very little coral that is alive; there is plenty of coral debris but even along the reef there is not much color except from the tropical fish

In this area of the Maldives, there is very little coral that is alive; there is plenty of coral debris but even along the reef there is not much color except from the tropical fish

One of my excursions was searching for manta rays; we saw a couple but they were juvenile and much smaller than other mantas I've seen

One of my excursions was searching for manta rays; we saw a couple but they were juvenile and much smaller than other mantas I've seen

Male Oriental garden lizard; the only reason to visit Maamigili is to see whale sharks since there's not even a decent beach on the island

Male Oriental garden lizard; the only reason to visit Maamigili is to see whale sharks since there's not even a decent beach on the island

In addition to finding whale sharks, we saw dolphins and turtles; Maamigili has only a few small guesthouses, 3 restaurants, 1 ATM but does have the only airport in the Ari Atoll

In addition to finding whale sharks, we saw dolphins and turtles; Maamigili has only a few small guesthouses, 3 restaurants, 1 ATM but does have the only airport in the Ari Atoll

Pincushion sea star; Maamigili is a 30 minute flight from Male and within an easy speedboat ride of some of the most upscale resorts in the Maldives

Pincushion sea star; Maamigili is a 30 minute flight from Male and within an easy speedboat ride of some of the most upscale resorts in the Maldives

Noisy fruit bats were common on this island of 2300 people; the streets are all sand-packed with most people getting around on foot, by bicycle or scooter

Noisy fruit bats were common on this island of 2300 people; the streets are all sand-packed with most people getting around on foot, by bicycle or scooter

While walking around the island I saw this small stingray; unfortunately, Maamigili is not an attractive island with a runway on one long side, harbors on both short sides and a litter-filled sandy shore on the other long side

While walking around the island I saw this small stingray; unfortunately, Maamigili is not an attractive island with a runway on one long side, harbors on both short sides and a litter-filled sandy shore on the other long side

The first day out looking for whale sharks we saw this one; underwater I had a much better view than my photo suggests

The first day out looking for whale sharks we saw this one; underwater I had a much better view than my photo suggests

Posted by VagabondCowboy 05:35

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