Hammerheads, mantas and sharks sharks sharks
Hammerheads, mantas and sharks sharks sharks…
With the Southern Atolls diving season ahead of we got all set with a check dive at Kurumba House Reef, Male, before we began our long journey that would take the Maldives Siren through Felidhoo, Vaavu, Meemu, Thaa and Laamu atolls before we would reach our final destination Huvadhoo (Gaafu). We stopped at South Male Atoll to dive Vadhoo Caves, the Kuda Giri Wreck and Heart Giri and see schools of trigger fish, moray eels and the Maldivian sponge snail. On the second day we introduced our guests to the type of channel dives that lay ahead of us. At Kanuma and Ranikan Kandus the currents were mild but we still delighted in seeing reef sharks, Napoleon wrasse and schools of sweetlips before jumping in at Alimatha Jetty for a rare treat of mating nurse sharks!!
The next morning we had an action packed dive at Miyaru Kandu, with grey reef sharks everywhere! Other highlights included the eagle rays, tuna and white tip sharks whilst the next day at Fotteyo Kandu we spotted our first hammerheads for the trip. A mellow dive at Rakeedhoo Corner followed; finding a few leaf fish, porcelain crabs and octopus. Reaching Meemu Atoll we all enjoyed our second encounter with the hammerhead sharks, this time at Vanhuravali Kandu, whilst the manta cleaning station at Kurali Corner did not disappoint, providing sightings of 8 manta rays as well as mobula rays and eagle rays – a special birthday treat for our dive guide, Enrico.
After a great Day of diving through Thaa and Laamu Atoll, with turtles, reef sharks, barracudas and eagle rays our Captain advised us that the conditions for the 68nm crossing to Gaafu were ideal and he would like to cross a day early. So after dinner, inside the protection of the reef, we settled in for a night time crossing, with good conditions and few waves everyone was able to catch some sleep. The next morning we arrived at Matu Giri just in time for the briefing and enjoyed two great dives along the soft coral walls with sightings of sting rays, leaf fish and boxer shrimp before a dive into the strong current we were expecting at Hagrandhoo Faru. The day rounded off with a beach BBQ where our crew and chefs rocked out the Siren service for a great evening meal!
The “Marine Protected Area” of Hithaadhoo was first on the agenda for our early morning dive but with just a light current the dive here and our next at Vilingili Beyru were more focussed on the macro critters. We found ghost pipefish, box fish and octopus amongst the corals however by late afternoon the current was up and our dive at Koodhoo Kandu brought out the grey reef and nurse sharks. The next morning we dived Kuredhdhoo and Nilhandu Kandus where we were treated to yet more grey reefs harks and a hammerhead cruising past – that’s certainly at least 3 for this cruise and an awesome way to end the diving for this trip.
After another amazing lunch from chefs Alibe and Saman, the crew raised the sails as we cruised back to Koodhoo for some relaxing and winding down from a great trip. Sadly the next morning our guests had to disembark for their flight back to Male, but we were eagerly awaiting the next group for what is sure to be a series of spectacular dive trips in the southern Maldives.