Underwater tales from marine biologist at Halaveli

Robin Aiello, renowned marine biologist, is at Constance Halaveli this month. Enjoy tales of her underwater adventures and find out more about your dive buddies with the special creature features she’s writing for us during her stay.

Robin Aiello

Robin Aiello

Arriving at Halaveli

It is hard to believe that I have been on this wonderful island for a week already. Time is passing too quickly and tere is so much to do, and see, and explore.

I arrived last Sunday to the resort by seaplane – which in itself is a fabulous experience with wonderful views of the reefs and lagoons while enroute.

I’m staying in a Water Villa. It’s spectacular, and for me, living somewhere I can step out onto my deck and down a few stairs directly into the ocean for a snorkel is a dream come true.

Within the first few minutes of snorkelling from my deck I encountered a school of silver mullet fish hungrily feeding at the surface of the water, saw several baby blacktip reef sharks (only about 40cm long, so they were only a few days old), and spotted a manta ray passing by. Wow! What a start to my month on the island.

While I’m at Halaveli, I’ll be working with the TGI Dive Center guiding dives and snorkels and sharing all my expertise on coral reefs and the animals living there.

One of the things that has really impressed me is the diversity of the marine life on the reefs that we visit. There is just so much to see. During my stay, I’lll be writing a series of Creature Features in which I want to highlight some of the lesser well-known creatures that you can easily see while diving and snorkeling. I hope you enjoy the fun facts.

Creature Feature 1

Redtooth Triggerfish at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Redtooth Triggerfish at Halaveli

The Redtooth Triggerfish (Odonus niger)
Also known as Black Triggerfish or Niger Triggerfish

As soon as you put your head into the waters on any of the reefs here, you can see why people come back for diving over and over again to the Maldives. The ocean is full of marine life – in every imaginable shape and colour. It is like being inside a large aquarium.

All around you fish dart to and fro – some are very curious and even change direction to pass close to your mask and look you right in the eye.

Many people ask me which is my favourite fish, and to be honest, I cannot choose – they are each so beautiful and interesting in their own way. But there is one fish that I have developed a great fondness for since being here in Halaveli – the Redtooth Triggerfish. To me, these are incredibly endearing.

Their behaviour

These fish are schooling fish that feed on zooplankton floating in the water, so they form massive groups of hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals. They hang off the edge of the reef, forming a ‘halo’ around it.

All triggerfish are easily recognised by the way they swim – they undulate their ventral (top) fin and dorsal (bottom) fin from side to side, so it almost looks like flags flapping in the breeze. When there are hundreds of fish doing this all at once, the motion is mesmerising – like a fish ballet.

Although on first glance they do not look like this would be an effective way to swim, these fish are actually highly maneuverable. They flit around in the water column catching small zooplankton (small animals that float in the ocean). In fact, when you take a close look at these fish, you can see that their tiny little mouths are upturned, pointing upwards, which makes it easier for them to grab zooplankton floating by.

Recognising the Redtooth Triggerfish

Redtooth Triggerfish

Redtooth Triggerfish

The Redtooth Triggerfish is known by many names, including Niger or Black Triggerfish. Although they can reach up to 30cm long, they are generally much smaller – about the size of you hand.

Their colours vary greatly depending on the light conditions. When schooling in deep, blue waters they appear black, but in good sunlight you can see their true bright blue or teal green colouration. And, yes, when you get a close up look at the teeth, they are in fact a dark red colour (no one seems to know why they are red). Around the head they have delicate lines that create a beautiful facial tattoo. However, for me, the most beautiful part of these fish are their long lyre-shaped tails that wave in the currents.

The triggerfish spine

All triggerfish have a shared characteristic – a spine (the ‘trigger’) on their forehead. This is a special spine that they can erect and lock into place with a second spine – much like a trigger on a gun, hence the name ‘triggerfish’.

They use this unique feature in two ways. One is for defense against being eaten by predatory fish. Imagine a fish’s surprise if it tries to swallow a triggerfish and suddenly it gets spiked in their throat by the ‘trigger’ spine.

But the most important use of the ‘trigger’ spine is for tightly wedging themselves into coral crevices or small holes in the reef while they sleep (yes…reef fish DO sleep). To stay safe, these fish find their own personal hole or crevice in the reef to hide out in. The spaces are usually so narrow that the fish need to wiggle into them by turning sideways.

Once inside the hole (usually all you can see are thee tips of the tail sticking out) the triggerfish erect their ‘trigger’ spine to lock themselves in place. In this way, any predatory fish, like a reef shark who hunts sleeping fish, cannot grab and tug them out from their holes.

When the triggerfish are ready to leave the holes, they release the ‘trigger’, lower the spine and wiggle their way out – backwards! (Yes…these are one of the few fish that I have seen that can swim tail-first!

So the next time you are diving on one of the reefs around Halaveli, take a moment to observe these little triggerfish.

Catch up later in the week…

…with more of Robin’s Creature Feature specials or find out more about Robin’s work and her visit to Halaveli.

Ephélia and Lémuria celebrate the art of French winemaking

We have invited some of the most inspirational French winemakers from the Art de Vignes association to visit the Seychelles to share their passion and produce with our guests.

Adam & Eve Restaurant, Constance Ephelia

Adam & Eve Restaurant, Constance Ephelia

Run in connection with a series of dining events, guests will be able to sample wines from:

  • Domaine Mas Amiel
  • Chateau Beaucastel
  • Domaine Des Roches Neuves
  • Domaine De La Pommardiere

The guest winemakers will work in conjunction with the sommeliers and chefs at the restaurants of Ephélia from 3 – 6 March.

At Lémuria guests can enjoy the opportunity to meet and talk with the winemakers before enjoying a wine dinner and golf competition running from the 8 – 9 March.

Find out more

Visit our website to find out more about Constance Ephelia and Constance Lemuria.

Discover more about these winemakers and the fine wines they produce:

Honeymooners share their memories of Constance

Your honeymoon is one of the most special holidays of your life. Find out what made it so fabulous for three couples who enjoyed their honeymoon at Constance last year.

Constance Halaveli

Stephanie Moy and Wei Wang

Stephanie Moy and Wei Wang at Halaveli

Stephanie Moy and Wei Wang at Halaveli,

When Stephanie Moy and Wei Wang were looking for somewhere special to spend their honeymoon in November 2012 they discovered everything they were looking for at Constance Halaveli, Maldives.

‘Being on top of the world, having just been wed, we wanted a resort that would make us feel like we were VIPs 24/7, had luxurious accommodation, exciting activities, a great spa, breath-taking views, good dining options and somewhere we could just relax and unwind.’

For them it was the private infinity pools on the terraces of each of the luxurious water villas which clinched the deal and they weren’t disappointed.

‘We loved the abundance of underwater wildlife surrounding the resort. We loved walking on the jetty and spotting so many different types of fish without having to look hard.’

‘Your honeymoon is a once in a lifetime trip, it’s not just any vacation, so pick a location that has everything you want to do. Whether you like exploring new places and being on the go or just unwinding and relaxing and being pampered with superb service, we recommend that you pick a place you both want to go!’

Justin Antony and Samantha Fernandes

Justin Antony and Samantha Fernandes at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Justin Antony and Samantha Fernandes at Halaveli

Another couple lured to the unique luxury of Halaveli by the promise of secluded water villas and private infinity pools was Justin Antony and Samantha Fernandes.

When they went on honeymoon in December 2012 they were looking for the sedate elegance of a hotel which catered for honeymooners and couples, where they could create the kind of special memories which would last a lifetime.

‘There were so many special memories! The one we loved the most was our private candlelit dinner on our outdoor deck, by the pool.
Sitting on the deck, the view of the ocean was awesome and the gentle sound of the waves lapping against the villa. The dinner was the fish that we had caught during the fishing excursion the previous day, it was cooked and brought to us by the in-room dining service. The brilliant blue water and pristine white sand will always be a memory.’

Constance Ephelia

Chirag and Vipasha Singh

Chirag and Vipasha Singh at Constance Ephelia, Seychelles

Chirag and Vipasha Singh at Ephelia

Chirag and Vipasha Singh also picked out one of the unique dining experiences offered at Constance as being their most special memory of their honeymoon in the Seychelles resort Ephélia in December 2012.

‘The thing we love the most – tough to single out one from so many – but the candlelit dinner on the beach at Cyann, which was organised upon request. But overall it was the way we were looked after, honestly we were spoilt during our stay.’

The Singhs would offer this advice to couples looking to book the most special of holidays.

‘A honeymoon is a once in a lifetime experience, no other vacation can be called a honeymoon, so try to do something you’ve never done before, it will allow you to create a memory for life.’

Find out more

Visit our website to find out more about each of our seven Constance Hotels & Resorts.

Moofushi named in Top 10 Hotels for Romance by Trip Advisor Travellers Choice 2013

It’s hard to separate Constance Moofushi and romance, and now the barefoot chic resort has won the Travellers Choice award on Trip Advisor as one of the Top 10 Hotels for Romance in Asia.

Take a look at Moofushi in the Travellers Choice 2013 awards on Trip Advisor.

Constance Moofushi, Totem Bar, Maldives

Totem Bar, Moofushi

Here’s a snapshot of what people are saying on Trip Advisor about this Maldivian paradise:

Thank you to everyone who voted for Constance Moofushi.

Find out more

Romantic hideaway at Constance Moofushi

Dream wedding destinations in the Indian Ocean

Visit our website for Constance Moofushi, Maldives and our other resorts Constance Hotels & Resorts.

 

Travel blogger falls for Prince Maurice charm

Hip travel blog Live Young Abroad is singing the praises of the ultimate lifestyle hotel Constance Le Prince Maurice this week.

Lounge Bar, Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Lounge Bar, Constance Le Prince Maurice

Following a holiday to the Mauritian hotel in January the blogger describes, ‘The design of the hotel is fresh, the restaurants are all open air, the atmosphere is relaxing and you can feel the peace entering your body and soul while you are climbing the little stairs separating you from the reception.’

Read the full review of Constance Le Prince Maurice on the Live Young Abroad blog.

Find out more

Catch up on articles about Constance Le Prince Maurice or visit our website, Constance Hotels & Resorts:

Romantic hideaway at Constance Moofushi

When people dream about a romantic beach getaway they think of soft white sand, crystal waters, luxury accommodation and discreet, attentive service. Whether they know it or not, they’re dreaming of Moofushi.

Senior Water Villa, Constance Moofushi, Maldives

Senior Water Villa, Constance Moofushi

At Moofushi romance is everywhere. Begin your getaway by relaxing in our luxury accommodation. Either in a beach villa or floating above the tranquil waters in one of our water villas, privacy is guaranteed.

Dine under the stars

Enjoy the Crusoe spirit of Moofushi and retreat to your own table for two on a private sandbank overlooking the ocean. Dine together under the stars by candlelight while ‘man-Friday’ delivers deliciously fresh, simple food.

Try something new

If you’re in the mood for company why not spend the evening chilling out together with cocktails at the bar or watch a movie on the beach with an outdoor screen.

A holiday at Moofushi is about sharing your passions with the one you love. If you enjoy being pampered why not indulge in a couples’ treatment at our Spa de Constance.

Dinner on beach, Constance Moofushi, Maldives

Dine on the beach

If your passion is fishing try something different with a romantic trip night-fishing. Or take a dive and explore the ocean with your loved one at your side.

At Moofushi, whatever you love you can do it together.

Get more romantic ideas

Indian Ocean hideaways: Romantic retreats for Indian Ocean lovers

Visit our website to find out more about our resorts including Constance Moofushi, Maldives.