World-renowned marine biologist at Halaveli

Discover the secrets of the deep, learn about mantas and whale sharks and then swim alongside them under the guidance of celebrated marine biologist Robin Aiello.

Diving at Constance Halaveli

Diving at Constance Halaveli

Harvard graduate and shark and reef specialist, Robin Aiello is back at Constance Halaveli so guests can enjoy a fascinating range of guided dives, snorkel excursions, nature walks and lectures.

Winner of both EcoWarrior and Earth Ambassador Award and author of over 25 publications, Robin will share over 25-years experience studying the oceans of the world with Halaveli guests from now until 24 October 2013.

Treats for guests include:

  • Guided dives – including whale shark excursions
  • Snorkel excursions – swim with turtles and manta rays
  • Talks about local marine life – subjects include everything from crabs, starfish and urchins to whale sharks, octopus and squid
  • Guided island nature walks – see for yourself the geology which created our beautiful island, discover how early settlers survived here and meet some of the local inhabitants such as the ghost crabs
  • Kids’ Club – Robin will join the kids’ club for fun talks and marine discoveries

Throughout her stay at Halaveli, Robin will be happy to meet up and chat with guests about the fascinating marine life around Halaveli.

Check availability

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to explore the stunning North Ari Atoll of the Maldives together with one of the world’s leading experts in her field.

For more information on availability at Halaveli, visit our website.

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Read some of Robin’s absorbing guest blogs from her last visit to Halaveli

The Moray Eel – love them or loathe them?

Marine biologist and guest blogger Robin Aiello takes a look at the much maligned Moray Eel in this month’s creature feature.

The Moray Eel

The Moray Eel

Robin will be returning to Constance Halaveli in September 2013, to run further dive courses and talks following her hugely popular visit earlier in the year.

You either love moray eels, or fear them.

Over the years moray eels have gained an unearned reputation as an aggressive, ferocious animal. In truth, however, they are reclusive and shy, preferring to flee or hide from divers by pulling into reef crevices.

How the moray breathes

Despite their long, snake-like appearance, moray eels are fish – not snakes. And like all fish, they need to have fresh seawater pass over their gills to breath. But, since morays are relatively sedentary fish, hiding in ambush to catch prey like crabs, octopus and fish, they have developed another way to ‘breathe’ – they gulp water by opening and closing their mouths. Many people misinterpret this behaviour as ferocious and a sign of aggression – but it is merely the eel’s way of breathing.

Their elongated, serpentine shape allows these fish to swim through the complex reef framework of nooks and crannies. To avoid getting cut and scraped by sharp coral, they produce huge amounts of mucus to coat their smooth, scaleless skin.

Marine biologist, Robin Aiello

Marine biologist, Robin Aiello

How moray eels catch their prey

When you look at the head of a moray eel their ‘beady’ little eyes seem disproportionately small. In fact, morays have very poor eyesight, and are nearly blind. So how do they find their food? By following their nose. They have a highly developed sense of smell and large tubular nostrils for smelling prey. They also have very good hearing, which helps them to hunt.

But what I personally think is the most amazing thing about morays eels is how they catch and eat their prey. In addition to several rows of razor sharp teeth, these fish have a unique weapon that, so far, scientists have not found in any other animal – a second set of jaws!

These jaws, called pharyngeal jaws, lie inside the fish’s throat, and when the mouth is opened to attack, they are propelled forward into the mouth to grasp the prey. As the mouth closes again, they pull back into the throat, taking the prey with them! How weird and amazing is that?

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Marine biologist journeys to the Arctic North

Marine biologist Robin Aiello visited Constance Halaveli earlier this year, where she ran a number of dive courses and talks. Currently in the Arctic North, Robin writes about her latest expedition.

Walrus' relaxing in the Arctic

Walrus’ relaxing in the Arctic

Greetings from the far north – the land of polar bears and walrus

I can assure you that right now, having just spent the past 8 hours driving a small rubber boat though thick sea ice in -1°C temperatures, I am dreaming of the warm tropical waters of Halaveli in the Maldives.

Expedition in Svalbard

I am up here in Svalbard, in the far North, above 79º latitude, working as the marine biologist on-board an expedition ship that is spending three months exploring the Arctic. So far, the season has been wonderful.

Polar bears and ice caps

The other day we started the morning with a male polar bear walking leisurely past our ship as we drifted in thick sea ice that spreads out as far as the eye can see. Polar bears are amazing animals with their huge paws, shaggy white coat of fur and piercing black eyes. They are just so regal and elegant – kings of the ice.

A Polar Bear

A Polar Bear

Later in the day we visited a beach with a dozen or so walrus hauled out. They are so funny – they lie for long periods of time doing absolutely nothing, then suddenly one will wiggle around, which starts a whole flurry of activity as they raise their heads, knock into one another with their tusks, until they slowly find a more comfortable position and settle back down to sleep some more.

As beautiful and dramatic as the scenery here is, I cannot wait to return to Halaveli in September to dive and snorkel the amazing reefs.

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Polar Bear

Up close and personal

 

Admiring the reflection

Admiring the reflection

 

A stroll on the ice

A stroll on the ice

Vote for Constance Halaveli in the World Luxury Hotel Awards

Cast your vote for Constance Halaveli in this year’s World Luxury Hotel Awards.

Luxury Water Villa at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Luxury Water Villa at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

VOTE NOW for Constance Halaveli

You can vote at any time until 26 July 2013.

At Halaveli we imbue everything we do with a spirit of luxury from our sumptuous spa floating above the lagoon using world-class products from Valmont and Ila Organics, to our elegant spacious accommodation and deluxe dining.

Guests can also enjoy a range of facilities and activities including romantic excursions to deserted islands, boat and fishing trips, water sports and of course diving in the stunning waters of the North Ari Atoll. 

VOTE NOW for Constance Halaveli: World Luxury Hotel Awards