Sharks, Rays and Plenty of Small Stuff
Sharks, Rays and Plenty of Small Stuff
For our second trip in Gaafu Atoll we dived the famous Vilingili Kandu first thing in the morning and even though the currents were not as strong as our last trip, the sharks were still around as well as eagle rays and Napoleon wrasse, whilst in the afternoon guides Enrico and Dima choose a large Giri to give our guests a chance for some macro shots. Generally the currents tends to get stronger in the afternoon so we decided to stay away from the Kandus and do some more relaxing dives inside the atoll. The next morning the current was strong so we split the groups and whilst 4 brave divers went for the strong current into the Kandu the rest of the divers went for a gentler dive at Giri close by. During breakfast Captain Ashraf moved the Maldives Siren further south and with much milder current we dove Maareha Kandu, one of my favourites channels. Grey reef sharks, eagle rays and trevallies were all seen at the entrance into the channel. For the afternoon we choose a beautiful house reef at the little island of Airagathaa with amazing hard corals and smaller creatures. A few of our guests went for the dive whilst others enjoyed some wine and beer for the typical Maldivian sunset.
Saturday morning and it was time once more for the Marehaa Kandu, again just a mild current we all enjoyed the fish action this channel has to offer. Konday Kandu was next; jumping in at the outside wall and drifting slowly to the corner we hooked in and enjoyed the action in front of us and a special surprise of two blue marlins. For a little bit more relaxing dive guides Enrico and Dima chose a lovely sloping reef for the second morning dive. Large schools of silversides and pack of blue fin trevallies cruised amongst the amazing hard corals. Four brave divers went back to the Kandu in the afternoon whilst averybody else enjoyed a more relaxing pace at Kuda Giri with fusiliers and trevallies. Hero of the day was Olivier, who rescued a hawksbill turtle out of a cable. After she was freed she swam straight to the surface to catch a breath and then went off into the blue. Thank you Olivier!!To round up the day 3 guests went together with Dima on a night dive and discovered a variety of shrimps and crabs.
Tuesday morning started with Funandhoo Kanu and just a mild current. Large schools of fusiliers and oceanic triggerfish, great barracudas and tunas were on our list to be ticket off this morning. For the afternoon we split the groups again and visited Nilandhoo Kandu and Nilandho Thila, but it was only the hard-core divers, Marie and Hubertus, who joined Enrico for the night dive. Highlights for the day were sightings of leopard shark, robust ghost pipefish, dog tooth tuna and stone fish.
Today was a perfect day to check out most of the outside walls of the Atoll and we could give our divers the option for either channels or walls, outside walls meant less current and everybody had enjoyable dives punctuated by schools of red snapper, green turtles, sweetlips and black tip reef sharks. In the evening we all celebrated An’s birthday with a special Alibe cake and a light cocktail, with Dima showing off his bartender skills from the olden days. The last full day of diving concentrated in the north of Gaafu Atoll with giris and shallow reefs, whilst some opted to venture to the outside walls and explore unknown dive sites. The hard corals are really beautiful up in the northern rim of the atoll but unfortunately theres are not so many fish here as in the east so for our final two dives we returned to Vilingili Kandu and Koodoo Kandu to immerse ourselves amidst the schools of barracudas and giant trevally, white tip and grey reef sharks. After that we deserved a sunset Sangria and a BBQ and a fun final night aboard the Maldives Siren.
Next for me is a return to Phuket, but Enrico & Dima will be welcoming our next group very soon. See you all again!