Maldives

The Maldives' Deep South Atolls

Snorkelers can swim with whale sharks at Gaafu
Snorkelers can swim with whale sharks at Gaafu

We were in Addu, the second largest “city” in the Maldives and capital of the southernmost atoll. Located 45 miles below the equator, and 540km south of Malé, this is the most remote of the 26 atolls that, scattered along almost 900km of the Indian Ocean, make up the archipelago of the Maldives.

Maldives: The Southern Atolls

Whale shark feeding under the lights off the back of the boat at night.

The subtle knock on the door roused me from my slumber. It was 2 a.m. and the wake-up call could only mean one thing. A whale shark had finally appeared to feed on the large aggregation of plankton attracted to the light set out behind the boat. I scrambled out of bed and raced upstairs to get my camera.