In December 2003 Eve and I celebrated my 50th birthday with another fortnight aboard MV Atoll Explorer. Richard and Ann Preston who also had a celebration, their 36th Wedding Anniversary, once again joined us. Mohamed Saeed had recently married Jacky Keward and who together were running the onboard EuroDivers dive centre.
During this holiday Captain Fulhu presented me with "highly prestigious" certificates in recognition of my successful underwater consumption of both an apple and a banana. In return I too presented Captain Fulhu with a certificate. I had seen Captain Fulhu aboard the doani when it was returning from a "lobster catching night dive". The Captain had assured me he that he had personally led the dive, not that he would have been teasing me! Accordingly I gave the Captain a Dry Hair Diver speciality certificate in recognition of his ability to complete a dive without getting his hair wet!
The diving on this holiday was as good as ever. As usual we saw Napoleon Wrasse, Whitetip and Grey Reef Sharks, Eagle Rays and Turtles as well as Golden Pilot Jacks, Silvertip Sharks, Manta Rays and a Bowmouth Guitarfish. Two of the best dives were the last two dives. Dive 791: A night dive with Saeed to catch lobsters. Dive 792: An absolutely magical dive at Maaya Thila with Eve, Richard and Saeed. We saw a Guitar Shark seemingly being chased by Jacks, a Spotted Eagle Ray which almost seemed to want to be photographed, a Turtle which was oblivious to the close proximity of my camera as well as Whitetip and Grey Reef Sharks, Batfish and a shoal of Dogtooth Tuna.