Boarding the MV Orion
Today was one of anticipation and relaxation. While our B&B was nice and breakfast good, we didn’t have a whole lot to do but wait to get to the boat at 1pm. This afternoon couldn’t come fast enough. The wonderful hotel staff arranged a transfer for us back to the airport where we met up with Ramona, Michael, Dustin and Julie who we met a little over a year ago on a whale watching excursion. It was fun to reconnect in the air-conditioned Burger King at the airport as we waited for the rest of the passengers to arrive.
It wasn’t long before we boarded our transport to the MV Orion. I thought the local dive boat was acting as a ferry, but as it turns out the Dhoni is the boat we dive off while we sleep on the plush Orion. The Dhoni stays with us for our week-long journey.
Our room is spacious with twin beds, a bedside table, vanity, closets, and one nice bathroom with real toilets. No pumping the head required. The boat was constructed in 2009 and most of the crew have been with it the whole time. If only they got the A/C working a little better. We are told the rooms will cool once we start moving, but we are waiting for more guests to arrive later tonight. We shall see. As Rootie exclaimed, “I wonder if the beds with only one sheet are any indication of how cool our rooms will get.
The boat features a hot tub, bar, salon, massage parlor, spotty internet service for a $20 fee, and a great upper deck with magnificent views and a nice breeze. We spent most of our time on the deck today while enjoying the sunshine.
Rice seems to be a staple in these parts. Actually, perhaps starches in general as pasta and potatoes and rice were served with lunch and dinner along with mixed veggies, chicken, and another generally a type of beef. Nothing terribly gourmet.
Our dive gear is set up on the Dhoni for tomorrow. We have a 6am wake up call, a briefing at 6:30, and then our first dive in the Maldives (pronounced Maldeeves). ETB