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Six Senses Laamu organises second Laamu Turtle Festival

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Building upon the success of the first ever inter-island Turtle Festival in Laamu atoll in 2016, the entire community recently came together for the second Laamu Turtle Festival.

The event took place on the local island of Gan, and was jointly organised by the Gan Island Council, Laamu Atoll Police Department and Six Senses Laamu. This year’s theme was once again Turtles in Laamu – Safe and Protected, aiming to raise awareness about the importance of sea turtles and providing a platform for community engagement about greater marine conservation.

The festival brought together one resort, two NGOs, three local businesses, four government agencies, 10 island councils, 12 schools, and upwards of 1,000 people to pledge Turtles in Laamu – Safe and Protected.

All seven species of sea turtles are on the endangered species list, mostly due to human pressures such as harmful fishing practices and plastic pollution. Laamu atoll is lucky to have large populations of both green and hawksbill turtles. However, poaching of turtles and their nests still occurs, and it was agreed that everyone in the community needs to stop this practice from happening.

President of the Gan Island Council Shiyam Ahmed, and Laamu Atoll Police Commander Sultan Bishar welcomed everyone to the festival and introduced the day’s activities. There were educational stalls and games aiming to raise awareness about these marine animals and why it is critical that people do not harm them. Cultural performances, contests and prizes along with food and music ensured everyone had lots of fun!

The guest of honor at the event was Abdul Gafoor ‘Gabbe’ Ali, who was the first Maldivian to sail around the entire country in a catamaran in an effort to raise awareness about the conservation of marine environment.

During the festival, he emphasised the necessity of improved waste management, saying, “If we want to protect turtles, the first thing we need to do is protect their habitat. When I sailed across the Maldives I saw a lot of trash in our beautiful ocean. In Kureli Kandu, the channel between Laamu and Meemu atolls, I capsized my catamaran and had to be in the water for four hours. There were so many plastic bags, bottles and caps in the sea, I almost cried. It is our duty to reduce our waste to protect our marine habitats and save our marine life.”

To ensure that the festival’s important messages are conveyed every day of the year, the Blue Marine Foundation team painted their fourth wall mural in Laamu, and called on all attendees to pledge their protection of turtles by signing it and recording a video pledge. Now, every time someone passes by the festival site, they will see the wall full of reminders that turtles in Laamu are safe and protected.

Marteyne van Well, General Manager of Six Senses Laamu added, “Last year in Maavah, the festival was such a great success that it wasn’t a question of whether we could hold another one, but more of a question of when we could hold it. Our aim is to, year on year, increase our positive impact in Laamu and maintain efforts as a community to protect turtles. Last year, students from five schools in Laamu attended the event and today we have students from 12 of the 13 schools, so clearly we have achieved our goal.”

Six Senses Laamu is the only resort located in the Laamu atoll, which lies in the southern part of the Maldives. Surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the resort prides itself on its commitment to sustainable operations and development as outlined by Agenda 21 and Green Globe Benchmarking.

At Six Senses Laamu, most of the villas and facilities are built overwater. However, beach villas and on-land dining is an option. All villas offer a sense of privacy and seclusion, with an amazing view to the Ocean and Maldivian nature.

Six Senses Laamu offers a wide range of dining options, with cuisines from around the world, a swimming pool with a sunken bar, an ice cream parlour, an overwater wine cellar and a signature Chill bar. Many activities, excursions and options are available for everyone to enjoy, both overwater and underwater, in addition to the Six Senses Spa.

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Once-in-a-lifetime baby Humpback Whale encounter at Komandoo Maldives

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In the tranquil waters surrounding the Maldives’ Komandoo Island Resort & Spa, a remarkable event unfolded recently, captivating the hearts of guests and locals alike. A baby humpback whale, measuring between 8 to 10 metres in length, graced the reefs with its majestic presence, creating a stir of excitement and awe among those fortunate enough to witness this extraordinary spectacle.

The enchanting encounter began on April 10th at 9:00 am, when the young whale was first spotted near Komandoo Water Villas. Dive Instructor Anna, from Prodivers on Komandoo, was one of the first responders to this unexpected visitation. “I saw the big baby humpback whale sleeping at a depth of 7-8m and took some video footage as proof before heading back to shore as quickly as I could to alert others about this incredible sight,” Anna shared, reflecting on the initial moments of this once-in-a-lifetime event.

The news spread like wildfire across the island, with guests at the pool deck and from neighboring properties such as Kuredu, Hurawalhi, and Kudadoo joining in on the excitement. “It was a very joyful event for everyone. People were star-struck and some, myself included, even cried,” Anna recounted, underscoring the emotional impact of witnessing such a rare phenomenon up close. Tina, Kuredu Prodivers Dive Centre Manager, recounted the thrill of unexpectedly encountering the whale during her dive expeditions, “When I ascended from my dive in Aquarium, the Captain screamed at me that there is a humpback whale on Komandoo house reef – I couldn’t believe it!”

Efforts were quickly mobilised to ensure the well-being of the young whale. Komandoo’s General Manager at the time, Navaz, coordinated logistics to provide a speedboat for monitoring the whale’s movements, ensuring that guests and staff could observe from a respectful distance. “Everyone behaved very respectfully. In the water, it was not just guests; even the captain from Aisha Boat, Captain Ahmed, jumped in and snorkelled with the whale too,” Anna added, emphasising the community spirit that surrounded this natural marvel.

The whale’s journey continued to captivate throughout the following days, with sightings near Komandoo’s front jetty, and subsequently outside Hinnavaru’s and Kudadoo’s house reefs. Marlene, from Prodivers Office Team, shared her unforgettable experience, “When I think about my time with the whale, I still get goosebumps. Seeing the humpback was pure joy.”

Marine biologists were consulted to assess the whale’s condition and behavior. They confirmed that the whale appeared healthy and uninjured. “The information we got was that baby whales can get lost from time to time, and if they do, they seek shelter in shallower areas and wait for their family to pick them up again,” Anna explained, offering insights into the whale’s behavior and reassuring observers of its well-being.

For those who cherish wildlife encounters and the magic of the ocean, Komandoo’s recent visitor has left an indelible mark. As the young humpback continues its journey, the memory of this special encounter remains a testament to the wonders that await in the pristine waters of the Maldives. Whether from the shores of Komandoo or neighbouring islands, guests and locals alike were united in marvelling at nature’s beauty, reminding us all of the importance of preserving and cherishing our marine ecosystems.

For travellers seeking unforgettable experiences amidst breathtaking natural beauty, Komandoo and its surrounding islands continue to offer glimpses into the wonders of the ocean that are truly beyond compare.

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Earth, space camp adventures at COMO Maalifushi, COMO Cocoa Island this Summer

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This summer, COMO Hotels and Resorts’ two Maldives properties are offering a unique and exciting line-up of activities designed to inspire and educate all ages. From an exhilarating Space Camp with astronaut-led adventures, to an immersive Earth Camp exploring the natural wonders at COMO Maalifushi, and the exploring the captivating universe under the ocean at COMO Cocoa Island.

Island Astronauts Return To Maldives: Space Camp at COMO Maalifushi

Join us for an unforgettable galactic quest from August 5th to 14th, 2024, at COMO Maalifushi, led by American astronaut Nicole Stott and space advisor Christina Korp. Inspiring for both children and adults, this Space Camp offers a unique blend of adventure and education through art, food, and movement.

Our immersive Space Camp features a fun-filled itinerary of complimentary space-themed island activities for ages up to, ensuring every moment is packed with excitement and learning. All camp activities are complimentary for children aged four to 16.

  • Postcards to Space: Participate in Nicole Stott’s “Postcards to Space” project by creating postcards with artwork and messages about your hopes and dreams. These postcards will be sent to space and returned to you with a “flown in space” stamp.
  • Spacesuit Art: Contribute to “Quilted,” a collaborative art project with children from around the world by adding your unique touch to a spacesuit.
  • Blast Off: Build your own rocket from recycled materials and launch it high into the sky for a thrilling blast off!
  • Protect Our Planet: Discover the impact of human activity on our planet from a space perspective, followed by a beach clean-up on a neighbouring island.
  • Galactic Gastronomy: Enjoy a stellar dinner under the stars, hosted by Nicole Stott. Hear about her adventures aboard the International Space Station while savouring a specially crafted menu.

Island Warriors: Earth Camp at COMO Maalifushi

From July to August 2024, younger guests can join us for a journey through the wonders of the natural world, on land and under the sea. Enjoy educational activities exploring everything from marine biology to traditional crafts, fun-filled fitness workshops, treasure hunts on our castaway island, and more.

Take advantage of our exclusive Family Getaway Offer when you book a stay of five nights or more for Space and Earth Camp. Adults will receive daily half board and complimentary full-board and seaplane transfers for two children (under the age of 12).

Universe Under The Ocean: COMO Cocoa Island

From August 16th to 17th, 2024, dive into the depths of the ocean with NASA astronaut and aquanaut Nicole Stott at COMO Cocoa Island. Experience the ocean through a guided reef dive, learn about the rigorous training astronauts undergo, and enjoy a specially curated menu shared beneath the stars.

Join us for these extraordinary experiences and let your imagination soar beyond the stars!

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Patina Maldives invites guests to embark on journey of artistry with Clay Studio partnership

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Patina Maldives, renowned for its seamless blend of luxury, nature and artistic expression, has announced an exclusive collaboration with Clay Studio, the premier ceramics hub in the Maldives. The unique partnership brings a series of engaging and creative pottery experiences to guests of all ages, offering an enriching addition to their island stay.

Starting on 1 June, Patina Maldives invites guests to embark on a creative with Clay Studio, where they can explore the therapeutic and artistic world of ceramics. This collaboration offers a variety of immersive pottery classes that cater to both novice and experienced artisans.

Wheel Throwing Experience Taster Class

Guests can discover the soothing rhythm of shaping and molding clay in this engaging session. Perfect for unwinding and tapping into their artistic side, this class offers a hands-on introduction to the art of wheel throwing.

Hand Building Experience Taster Class

Participants will enjoy the intimate and expressive art of hand-building pottery. This class provides greater creative freedom, allowing them to craft intricate, personal designs that reflect their unique artistic vision.

Paint A Pot

Guests can unleash their creativity by transforming pre-made clay items into unique masterpieces. This session invites participants to paint their imagination onto cups, trinket dishes, and more.

Kids Clay Studio

Designed for young artists, this class nurtures creativity and imagination through fun, hands-on activities. Children develop fine motor skills and sensory awareness as they create their own unique pieces.

Couple Wheel Throwing Date

Couples can experience a romantic and unique activity in a private setting. This special session offers personalised instruction, making it memorable and intimate experience.

Guests can also enjoy personalised attention and exclusive guidance through private sessions. Ideal for families or couples seeking a bespoke experience, private classes are tailored to meet individual interest and skill levels.

Patina Maldives honours itself on offering extraordinary experiences that blend art, nature, community and connection. This collaboration with Clay Studio is a testament to the resort’s commitment to providing guests with sophisticated and fresh experiences that reveal new layers of possibility and inspiration.

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