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Dear Time – Can you Please Stop Now? I’m on the Four Seasons Explorer…

I want time to stop. I am in heaven. I have had perma-grin since I arrived on the Four Seasons Explorer. It started when I first set eyes on the boat when approaching the Kuda Hura FS Resort a day ago and then it just didn’t stop.

Everything is perfect here. The boat, our cabin, the four seasons crew and dive team, the dives, the huge manta ray we just saw, the hot showers, hot lemongrass scented towels, cool music tunes, fruit and snacks which are available immediately after diving on the dive boat, hot drinks upon arrival back on the big boat, hot wet lemon scented towels constantly to refresh your hands with. FOOD.. and more FOOD. And More FOOD. FOOD Galore. Really anything you could want. They even have a juicer on board! This is heaven that we have been waiting for…. 5 years to be exact!

We booked this same trip 5 years ago, but something happened. While rafting on the Zambezi River, I tore my MCL (inner part of my right knee) and at the same time, the Explorer was severely damaged when it accidentally ran up on a reef. As soon as we arrived back in the States from Zambia, I received an apology letter from the Four Seasons canceling our trip. Obviously, it was a blessing in disguise since there would be no way I could dive with my injury. I am firm believer that everything works out for a reason. I have no regrets about rafting on the Zambezi either! I would do it all again with the same consequences! I am crazy I know.

The wait was worth it. All of 5 years worth. I would wait another 5 years just to go on this trip again. I love being on this boat. I love not wearing any shoes. I love the bed I have been sleeping in, I love the attention to detail and having my every desire pre-empted by the FS crew on board. Yesterday, my husband was taking a photo of us cruising off the boat to go to a local island, and the Cruise Director, Zoltan asked if we would like to go on the other side of the ship to take the photo because the sun was at a better angle… Who does that? Seriously – the level of hospitality is surreal. It’s like we are living with close family members who you haven’t seen in years and are going completely out of their way to make everything perfect for your visit.

I am leaving you today with some dive photos & my “Everyday Eats” from yesterday to give you a feel of what we have been seeing & consuming on this wonderful ship. Diving 3 times a day is a huge energy burn – keep this in mind when you see how much food I’ve been putting in my belly!!! I am trying to make healthy choices at every meal but also enjoying many local delights and lots of vacation goodies!

Enjoy! I will hopefully share some more pictures on my Like My Fan Page tomorrow!

Getting ready for our first dive:

Soft Corals:Giant Moray Eel:Table Coral:

Honeycomb Eel:

Morning:

Before Diving, I had my usual hot water with lemon, cup of coffee and this packet of amazing goodness! Vibrant Health packs are essential when traveling. It contains everything you need to keep your body running optimally. Rian Harris, who is a local raw vegan chef in Charlotte, introduced me to these! Thank you Rian!

Followed this by some lovely watermelon, honeydew and pineapple

Then we dove, it was fantastic. We saw the biggest freaking grey shark ever, surrounded by 3 other white tip reef sharks and a HUGE spotted eagle ray… We watched them all circling around us for a few minutes, and realized I was quickly approaching 50 bars, that means it was time to go up. SO SAD. Devastating to be exact. There was a lot of current, I just wanted to grab on to some coral and just watch them for hours.

When we arrived back on the big boat, we were greeted some hot “Lomi Lomi” a local drink made of ginger, lemon and honey – DELICIOUS!

Then we had a breakfast feast… It started with a wonderful shot filled glass of Bircher Museli – I had about 3 of these little guys.

Followed by some orange infused crepes and some delicious whole grain bread with almond butter, and homemade cookies with nutella.

The best little homemade cookies are available whenever you want – and lots of variety to choose from. The dark chocolate and coconut is my favorite!

After Breakfast, I took a well deserved nap, and then did some Pilates before Lunch.

Afternoon:

I had a huge plate of three types of salad – mixed greens with lemon dressing, cucumber and artichoke, and crab salad

Followed by some local reef fish, roasted fennel over roasted red peppers and tomatoes – I almost asked for more fennel – it was so good!!!  But I knew dessert was coming…

This tiramisu rivaled the desserts I had in Italy earlier this year… It was perfect

After Lunch – we headed straight for an afternoon dive. We were served refreshing exotic fruits like Guava and pink Dragon Fruit after the dive …so refreshing!

After our afternoon dive, we headed to a local island called Thulhaadhoo to experience Maldivian culture, food and island life.  It was such an experience!  We were greeted with fresh coconut water upon arrival – my favorite drink! We walked around the island and visited local craftsmen who make the most colorful and beautiful lacquerware.  While we were walking around, I heard a familiar sound coming from one of the local’s houses – it was “Thriller” by Michael Jackson…I don’t know what came over me, but I completely broke out in dance right there in the middle of the sand. All of the little children in the house came to the windows and then turned up the music.  I had so much fun putting on a show for them.  Of course they were totally cracking up at me, as well as my husband who happened to get the whole escapade on video. Sorry folks, I will not be posting it here! LOL.

Noriko, one our fellow shipmates trying out her lacquer making skills:Handmade local lacquerware:  We bargained for the red tall one on the very right bottom of this picture.Before we left the island, we were invited to tea and “short eats” at a local cafe. These are typical Maldivian snack foods.  They were very similar to Indian snacks like pakora, tikki, samosa, gulab jamin and burfee, but had a familiar theme of local ingredients like tuna and coconut.  THEY.WERE.INCREDIBLE.  We ate so much we rolled back onto the boat to get back to the Explorer.

When we arrived back on deck, we were presented with a refreshing Mango Lassi. The sweetness and creaminess of this amazing drink helped cool off our taste buds from the spicy snacks we had earlier.

Evening:

After enjoying the delicious mango lassi, we rushed off to get ready for a night dive. All I can say is Wow.  I saw things I never thought were possible.  I had no idea that fish needed so much sleep – it was absolutely adorable watching the fish sleep, especially hiding between the coral in their little “houses.”

Dinner was incredible – Presented as a “Passage through India.”  They had wonderful bhangra beats playing on the deck and the table was fully decorated with wood carvings of elephants and camels.  Amazing. My husband was so excited, he dared me to start dancing around the tables like a belly dancer – he yelled “Turn the door knob! Twist the light bulb”! He is a little crazy too, have I told you? Fortunately, for the others having a nice romantic quiet dinner, my impromptu dancing spirit did not come out. 

Appetizer of a wonderful falafel, huge tandoori prawns, and mixed vegetables

Then they brought a feast with fresh prantha, dal, lamb curry, reef fish curry, mixed vegetable curry and rice pilaf.

Carrot Halwa, Kulfi, and Gulab Jamin were presented for dessert. Sorry Four Seasons, you don’t even come close to my Mother’s versions… but then it again, when your Mom makes the best in the whole world it is very hard to compete! Bobby Flay, Do I hear a Throwdown?

So that was yesterday…. Today’s adventures, treats, and eats have been completely different and even more incredible, if you can imagine!   I will try to share them with you via my Facebook Fan Page or another blog post soon.  For now, I’m off to an afternoon dive – XOXO!

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3 responses to “Dear Time – Can you Please Stop Now? I’m on the Four Seasons Explorer…

  1. If it is all real, you are truly blessed to see the world which I had only imagined numerous times. Enjoy!l
    Lot of love
    Mom

  2. Aww I just loved your Mom’s comment Vani! thank you for showing us so many different places through the lens of your camera.

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