When we arrived in the Maldives, it was already dark outside. After a nights sleep in a small local hotel, we woke up to a rainy Male’. Our hotel was located in the middle of the island, so our anticipation began growing high as we still had yet to see the supposed azure waters of the Indian Ocean.
We waited for there to be a break in the rain so we could go out and explore. Looking out the window as we ate breakfast we saw that even the streets had begun flooding. The rain never let up and our morning plans of sightseeing were ruined due to the harsh downpour of rain.
Luckily, the transfer to our resort began early at 8:30am. As we arrived back at the airport, we checked our bags and were escorted to our resort’s lounge.
After waiting almost 2 hours, finally, a seaplane pulled up to the pier and I knew it had to be ours. Watching as they tossed our luggage inside, my nerves grew exponentially.
I’m already a pretty bad flier in general. I hate take offs. I hate landings. I especially hate takeoffs and landings at airports that are surrounded by water; for fear that our plane will end up in the water.
And now I was about to get in a plane that actually takes off and lands in water?!
My stomach tightened.
The attendant announced that it was time for us to head downstairs.
We were brought to another waiting room, where more people finally joined us. A different attendant came and led us out to the seaplane, where we quickly came to a halt.
The pilot of the plane began shaking his head no and making an ‘x’ with his hands– he clearly did not want us here. The attendant and him argued back and forth for a few minutes before he led us back into the waiting room again.
My nerves spiked higher. Was there something wrong with the plane?! Why didn’t the pilot let us on? Surely that’s our plane, it had all of our luggage…Oh God, there’s something wrong with our plane!
In what seemed like less than 2 minutes, we were led back out to that same plane.
As we piled onto the plane I tried to focus on something else, like how much larger the inside was than expected. The plane sat around 12 people, as well as the pilot and co-pilot, although the seats and legroom were about half the size of a normal plane.
Feeling cramped like a sardine I watched outside the window as we began pulling away from the dock.
We drove our way to towards the middle of an open space, pausing before the pilot launched us into full speed. It felt no different than a speedboat, so I was momentarily put at ease. That is, until I saw we were hurdling straight towards a bunch of stationary boats.
I began wondering when we would start to lift off from the ground, because if we didn’t soon, we’d surely crash into the boats head. We continued barreling towards the other boats when suddenly, and seamlessly, we were in the air.
Saying goodbye to Male’, we began to fly away from the city into the open blue waters.
The plane ride was a bit turbulent at first, and I’m sure it didn’t help that it was still raining and windy. With every air pocket hit, I felt myself clenching onto the seat in front of me.
I only started to relax when I looked out the window and saw we were finally passing over other atolls and reefs.
The colors changed from a deep navy to azure to aqua to lime to white. I had never seen water look so beautiful.
I seemed to forget we were in the air as I became transfixed looking out over the ocean. As we gained altitude, suddenly everything looked like something from a slide under a microscope.
The sights were breath taking, yet otherworldly at the same time. I had never seen anything like it, and I doubt I will anywhere else.
After 25 minutes of flying, we could finally see our destination in the distance. Examining the island closely, we tried to spot our prospective water bungalow and other points of reference on the island.
The plane began circling the island, slowly losing altitude with each turn.
I watched out the window as the water below grew closer and closer, and like that, we had landed in the middle of the deep blue Indian Ocean.
Have YOU been in a seaplane?
*Disclaimer: We received a media discount on our seaplane flight in order to share our experiences. All fears of flying and opinions are my own.