Exploring with the Maldives Siren
Exploring with the Maldives Siren
A relaxing welcome day on-board the Maldives Siren with staggered arrivals, a pleasant cruise from Hulamale to the neighbouring Island Kurumba, lots of food, a beautiful sunset and a few beers and after setting up our gear we were all poised for our first early morning dive on day two.
After our check dive on Kurumba house reef we set course for South Male making the crossing early and doing our second dive at Kudi Giri. The wreck here was fantastic and with only a gentle current our guests explored to rusting hulk and found a beautiful Chromodoris Glemiei Nudibranch, pipefish, chromodoris tritos Nudibranch and mating warty nudibranch. The Giri itself was no disappointment either, its over hangs and swim throughs providing sightings of eagle rays, turtles and white tip reef sharks. Really fantastic diving.
Day three saw us dive at Guraidhoo corner, the current was really kicking up through this channel making for some exciting washing machine currents and attracting lots of big fish life! White tip reef sharks, grey reef sharks and dolphins were all spotted at the opening to the channel. While flying into Vaavu Atoll through this narrow opening we whizzed past brightly coloured anthea’s swimming furiously just to hold position whilst powerful giant trevally and Napoleon wrasse were observed making better headway. The fourth dive on day three saw us at our favourite night diving spot. The jetty is famed for its nightlife. And we were not disappointed; tens of schooling nurse sharks & giant trevally darting between us and over friendly marbled rays brushing against us were all on the guest list and showed up on time! Lots of smiles and well-earned beers exchanged as soon as we got back on board!
We started day four with a truly epic dive. With strong Easterly currents the stage was set for a perfect shark dive on Dhevana Kandu. Drifting down the outside wall it wasn’t long before we saw the tell-tale grey shapes drifting out in the blue. We hooked into the reef and watched over 30 grey reefs sharks and white tip parade up and down in front of us. From time to time these agile creatures would hover vertical, opening their teeth filled mouths to be cleaned by the waiting cleaner wrasse. We stayed until our bottom time was almost up before unhooking and being swept back into the channel. Our second and third dive we did at one of our other favourite spots. Fotteyo Kandu is a really special dive site. The outside wall is full of Caves and swim through packed with the most beautifully coloured soft corals.
Our sixth day of diving was made in Meemu Atoll. Muli Corner was at its best for Jac’s 300th dive – after working through some surface current, she was rewarded with almost no current on the wall and whiplash! Where to look? At the grey reefs in the blue? The white tips overhead? Or how about the eagle rays dancing about, along with Napoleons and turtles everywhere?!! Fantastic dive! Kurali Corner doesn’t offer a great deal in terms of reef. This sandy channel is only broken intermittently by hard coral bombies. These bombies however are a regular haunt of manta rays coming along to be cleaned! Lying flat on the sand at least seven of these graceful giants swam around us, sometimes only feet above our heads. Deborah one of our guests begged to repeat this dive and with a quick count of hands it was agreed to forfeit our afternoon siesta’s and dive it again straight after lunch! Very happy divers!
The Maldives Siren crossed between Thaa and Laamu Atolls, for a dive at Vadinolu Kandu, but it had to be called off due heavy surf so we moved to our back up plan and dived the Thila just inside the channel where some of the healthiest hard, table, stag horn, brain and maze corals I’ve ever seen. Amazing visibility and no current made this one of the most relaxing and scenic of the trip! After a delicious dinner from chef Alibe we began our 10 hour crossing to Huvadhoo (Gaafu Alifu).Off the beaten track and was a journey of exploration for our guests. We liked what we found though, making our first dive on day seven at Matu Giri. Thousands of glass fish were here to meet us, they swarmed around as they were hunted by fast swimming bluefin trevally. Being in the midst of this writhing mass of glass fish and silver sides was a truly amazing experience. Jon celebrated his birthday on day 8 of our cruise, we made a night dive at a remote giri and christened it Jon’s Thila in his honour! On the dive we found Maldivian sponge snails, magnificent flatworm, spiny lobsters and beautiful hard coral formations. Happy Birthday Jon!
On day nine we dived at Maareha Faru. A much talked about channel dive. We were eager to see what the hype was about and we soon found out. Hooked into the reef with a moderate current we watched 10 grey reef sharks, 6 white tips, 3 eagle rays, dog tooth tunas, shoals of black snappers, bluefin trevally, and jacks swim right in front of us. A fantastic dive and a superb way to round up our liveaboard trip in the Maldives!