A Day in the Life – Maavin Munthasir

Marine Biology Assistant and Astronomer

Whether exploring the aquascapes below the waves or gazing out into the great and mysterious universe, Maavin is lucky to do both while at Soneva Jani. Take a peek into his typical day at the resort of sharing his knowledge and his favourite things with guests.

My day usually begins with a snorkel in the morning with guests, taking them out to see the marine life that are native to the Noonu Atoll. This is followed by dolphin cruise in the evening. Guests love going out in search of these playful mammals, of course the gourmet snacks and a glass of bubbly make this occasion even more special.

After the sun goes down I take up my spot at So Starstruck for dinner. Here guests dine on a delicious set menu while getting the chance to look through the lens of our telescope, which is part of the Maldives first ever overwater Observatory. Our main telescope is a 16″ Schmidt Cassegrain, her namesake is the Greek goddess of compassion, pity and mercy, Eleos. She is a remarkable piece of engineering and depending on the time of year you can see the rings of Saturn, the moons of Jupiter, the great Orion nebula, Omega Centauri and so much more. Oh, and of course let’s not forget the creators on the moon.

I absolutely adore the reactions people give me when they see the Moon or something like the rings of Saturn. For me, astronomy is a meditative practice. In the sense that it shows me the sheer size of the universe, that we often tend to forget, and makes my worries feel insignificant.

On days where we have some spare time, we work on our coral restoration project. We have installed 50 coral frames in the coral nursery, which is perfect for attracting more marine life, as well as creating an additional spot for guests to snorkel. Since the programme started, a number of juvenile fish, some turtles and sharks have been spotted around the coral nursery. The new frames we use are lower to the seabed, and webbed together to create a much more natural reef. We also do a turtle patrol to make sure there are no nesting sea turtles stuck in the vegetation that surrounds the lakes on the main island, Medhufaru.

In my free time I like to read articles, books and journals, keeping up to date with new findings and discoveries. I also spend some time on my hobbies, like drawing. I am not really good with sports, but I do occasionally play football and go to the gym twice a week.

What I love most about my job is that I get to do things that I am passionate about. Ever since I was a little kid, I have always been interested in learning about astronomy and the ocean. Here I get to share my passion and knowledge about nature and the universe with others and get paid to do it, what’s there not to like?

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