Posts Tagged ‘Scuba Diving’

 

‘Paradise’ is often used to describe tropical diving locations, however, the Maldives encapsulates every sense of the word.

Manta Ray Maldives

Mantas are visitors to The Maldives

 

A group of 1,200 islands located south west of India and Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives hosts an abundance of diverse marine life and offers some of the best dive sites in the world. Whether it’s exploring the lagoons and shallow reefs or flowing through fast currents on challenging drift dives, the Maldives appeals to divers of all abilities. In fact its actual name has the word ‘dive’ in it!

The Maldives offers diving throughout its wet and hot seasons. Due to its location you can expect the air temperature to be between 26-32 degrees and the sea temperature remains at a very pleasant 25-30 degrees all year round.

For the best visibility underwater visit between December and April. During these months the weather is very hot and sea conditions are generally good.

The wet season in the Maldives runs from May to August. There is a higher likelihood of rain, high winds and storms during this time. Water visibility can be reduced down to around ten metres during the wet season, although high levels of Plankton increase the chance of spotting Whale Sharks and Manta Rays!

Here is a selection of some of the best places to dive in the Maldives!

The Kuredu Express.

Maximum depth 27 metres.

Better suited to confident and experienced divers, the Kuredu Express is an exhilarating dive site so called because of its fast currents! Situated in the Lhaviyani Atoll and only a ten minutes boat ride from the island of Kuredu, this famous site offers a great opportunity to dive with larger marine life.

The pretty reef, teeming with small lagoon fish, sits at five metres. Most divers prefer to casually drift off the sloping reef and drop down to a sandy channel at around twenty-five metres. It is here, past a corner and amongst some alcoves in the reef, where the action really begins!

It is wise to hold onto the rocks in an effort to maintain your position with the current whizzing past! Here you will see dozens of Grey Reef Sharks taking advantage of the small marine life (food!) flowing past in the deep water channel’s current. Napoleon Wrasse, Morays, Eagle Rays, Large Tuna and Stingrays are also regular sightings.

 

Kureda Express

Kureda Express

 

Okobe Thila.

Maximum depth 33 metres.

Okobe Thila, or Barracuda Giri as it is also known, is a unique dive site situated within the North Male Atoll.

The site is made up of three stunning coral covered pinnacles and divers have two choices as to how they explore the area depending on how strong the current is.

The first option is to drop down to the main reef at twelve metres via a shot line, then continue down the slope to 25 metres where small overhangs and caves harbour inquisitive Moray Eels.
The second option is to begin the dive by drifting on the current before gradually descending down the sloping reef and navigating the pinnacles.

A bright sandy slope reaches up to around five metres and divers can spend their safety stops amongst Gorgonian Sea fans, soft corals and Anenomes.

Divers are almost guaranteed to encounter some (very friendly!) Napoleon Wrasse, Lionfish, Anthias, Scorpionfish, schools of Oriental Sweetlips and Bannerfish. Big Eye Trevallies, Barracuda and Dog Tooth Tuna can often be seen hunting for smaller fish during dawn and dusk dives.

 

Kandooma Thila.

Maximum depth 30 metres.

Found in the South Male Atoll, this unusual pinnacle, shaped like a teardrop, exhibits a stunning amount of marine life.

This dive is best suited to divers of an advanced level due to the strong currents and a rapid negative entry is advisable. Stretching for three-hundred metres, the pinnacle plays host to Barracuda, Big Eye Trevally, Triggerfish and Grouper. At the west point is ‘Jack Corner’ where Dog Tooth Tuna, White-tip Sharks, Eagle Rays and Jack Fish are likely to buzz past.

Overhangs sit along most of the pinnacle and these provide some protection from the current. Many divers prefer to reverse into the strong current and ascend gradually to the top of the pinnacle around twenty metres where Grey Reef Sharks and Eagle are common sightings.

Kandumma Maldives

Kandumma below the surface – fish life is abundant.

 

Broken Rock.

Maximum depth 30 metres.

Divers in the South Ari Atoll can take advantage of this beautiful reef which offers a myriad of exotic marine creatures.

Just a twenty-five minute boat journey from the island of Vakarufalhi and divided into two parts by a rocky canyon (hence it’s name), this site displays acres of soft corals.

Scorpionfish, Moray Eels, Napoleon Wrasse and thousands of small reef fish bustle around the huge fan corals and Anenomes adorning the sides of the canyon. Schools of Bannerfish, Triggerfish, Pufferfish and Anthias are also attracted to the colourful reef.

Divers can expect to experience some strong currents whilst swimming through the canyon, although their hard work is likely to be rewarded by the company of some charismatic Green Turtles on their safety stop.

Oriental Sweetlips

Oriental Sweetlips hanging around the reef!

 

Hammerhead Point.

Maximum depth 30 metres.

Also known as Madivaru Corner this world famous dive site sits within the Rasdhoo Atoll.

Whilst it is only a five minute boat ride from Kuramathi island, Hammerhead Point is mostly favoured by livaboard divers hoping to catch sight of Hammerhead Sharks early in the morning.

The best way to navigate Hammerhead Point is to drop down and follow the reef’s ridge at around ten metres. Underneath the ridge is a series of coves and overhangs stretching to twenty-five metres, where scores of Surgeonfish, Moray Eels, Anthias and Triggerfish can be found.

The elusive Hammerhead Sharks, some up to four metres long, often appear around the outside corner of the ridge and are a breathtaking sight as they emerge from the blue abyss. Some fast currents can occur around this point, so be prepared to fin a bit harder whilst awaiting the arrival of the scallop-headed wonders!

Large schools of Black Snapper and curious Dog-Tooth Tuna are also frequently spotted here.

Hammerhead Maldives

Cross your fingers, you may stumble upon one of these!

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