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.

Recipes: Fresh detox juices

Give yourself a healthy boost with one of our power-packed juices.

Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Strawberry Blitz

Strawberries provide Vitamin C, manganese, fibre, folate and other nutrients are a powerful antioxidant.

  • 6 strawberries (120g)
  • ½ cup soy milk (125ml)
  • 1 tsp honey

1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth and pour into glass.

Per serving
3.6g Total Fat (0.4g Saturated fat)
14.4g Carbohydrate
47kj (113 calories)
6.2g Protein
3.2g Fibre

Chard, Apple & Celery

We use green apples in this recipe but you can use the colour of your choice. Chard provides fibre, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, folate and other nutrients to your diet including antioxidants.

  • 1 trimmed chard leaf (80g)
  • 1 large apple (200g) cut in to wedges
  • Trimmed celery stalk (100g) chopped coarsely

1. Push ingredients through juice extractor into glass, stir to combine.

Per Serving
0.5g Total Fat (0g Saturated fat)
24.6g Carbohydrate
460kj (110 calories)
1.4g Protein
7.8g Fibre

Find out more

Take a look at more healthy breakfast juice recipes from Whole Living.

Visit our website to read more about Constance Halaveli.

 

 

 

Renowned marine biologist visits Halaveli

Next month, guests at Halaveli will have the opportunity to dive or snorkel with world famous marine biologist and reef conservationist Robin Aiello.

Robin Aiello

Robin Aiello

Robin will be visiting Halaveli from 3-31 March. Well known for her studies into marine animal adaptations and ecology, Harvard graduate and environmental management consultant Robin spends at least 8-10 months of the year on or in the ocean, between working on expedition ships in the arctic and Antarctic, and leading dive trips in the tropics.

Her previous expeditions have included diving with a wide variety of sharks – including Great Whites – to document their behaviour, living underwater for two weeks in a saturation chamber to study coral biology and observing jellyfish under an ice-shelf in Antarctica.

As part of her visit to Halaveli, Robin will run weekly events in order to share her expertise with our guests.

Events will include:

  • accompanied dive
  • accompanied snorkel
  • kids snorkel trip
  • presentation with slides
  • private dive or snorkel trips on request.
Coral reefscaping at Constance Halaveli

Robin’s visit coincides with our own reefscaping programme at Halaveli in which we are stimulating regrowth in the coral around the lagoon damaged by the tsunami of 2004.

During Robin’s trip to Halaveli, we’ll be posting regular updates, photos from under the ocean and more.

Find out more

Discover more about coral reef protection from the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program.

Visit our website to read more about Constance Halaveli and check booking availability.

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.

The ultimate luxury holiday at Halaveli

Luxury is more than just a word at Constance Halaveli. We strive to source the very best of everything to offer you the ultimate holiday experience.

Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Total privacy and the perfect night’s sleep

We began by finding the most tranquil lagoon in the Maldives with the perfect white sand beaches. Then we built the longest jetty in the Maldives, to ensure our guests the luxury of peaceful seclusion in all of our accommodation.

To be sure that every guest has the very best night’s sleep we then sourced a variety of pillows of different softness and support. Guests can now choose from their own pillow menu how they prefer to sleep.

Just to get you in the optimum tranquil mood for sleep we even offer a bathing ceremony of specially selected aromatherapy oils and candles to relax your body and mind.

Dining at Halaveli

Guests at Halaveli will also discover the highest quality fine dining from our chef at Jing who has fused his passion for local flavours and ingredients with an expertise in the very latest European techniques.

Sommelier Sathia at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Sommelier Sathia at Halaveli

To ensure the perfect dining experience head sommelier, Cedric Jacob, travels the globe to find the very best wines from the New and Old worlds to serve at the tables of our restaurants. In fact, he’s so proud of his selection guest are invited to his cellars to share his passion with a wine tasting experience.

Indulge at Spa de Constance

Those looking to pamper themselves at Spa de Constance will find that no effort has been spared to uncover the very latest treatments to integrate into a spa-menu celebrating Eastern and Western traditions.

At Spa de Constance Halaveli we use only Ila products sourced from the finest natural organic ingredients and hand-crafted exclusively for us.

At the Valmont Spa, luxury swiss skincare specialists Valmont offer a new range of body products as well as their famous rejuvenating facial treatments.

Whatever your needs, at Halaveli we aim to meet them and if there’s anything we haven’t thought of, all you have to do is ask.

More on Constance Halaveli

Photos copyright of Marco Care.

 

Halaveli is top prize for romantics this Valentine’s

Constance is making this Valentine’s Day extra special for diners in France, giving them the chance to win a luxurious trip to Halaveli.

Billecart-Salmon Champagne competition

Billecart-Salmon Champagne competition

A holiday at the elegant lifestyle hotel in the Maldives is the first prize in a competition run by Billecart-Salmon Champagne.

How to enter

Around 350 restaurants across France will give diners a free half bottle of Brut Rosé and the chance to enter the exclusive competition on 14 February.

The 5 day holiday to Halaveli will sit along other prizes from luxury brands including Mont Blanc, Lexus, Moulin Rouge and Dalloyau.

Find out more

Find out more about the competition, including details of participating restaurants, on the Billecart-Salmon Champagne website.

Find out more about Constance Halaveli, Maldives.