First Trip of 2014
First Trip of 2014….
the Maldives Siren crew and I were joined by guests from Germany, Switzerland, America, England and Australia. After Boarding in Kaadhoo and completing our briefings, we headed into the water for our check dive at Kaadhoo Giri, where guests quickly got reacquainted with diving. The next day we dived at Secret Giri, Fushi Kandu and Vadinolhu, getting our first of what were to be many sightings of reef shark and Napoleon wrasse, on this 10-night central atolls liveaboard safari.
Kurali Corner has become a hot favourite amongst Siren divers for its regular sightings of eagle rays, sting rays & moray eels and it was here we back-rolled into the water for our first dive of day 4. Ashaa Thila came next and we followed up with a speedy drift through Vanhuravali Kandu and our first real encounter with the many grey reef sharks, not an easy dive giving us more of a rollercoaster than a leisurely stroll, but an experience that was enjoyed for sure :). We opted for a gentle night dive at Rakeedhoo Giri to round out a thrilling day, spotting ghost pipefish and plenty of nudibranchs & crustaceans.
Rakeedhoo Kandu got us off to a slow start the following morning; with a very mild current we took the dive at a gentle pace through schools of triggerfish finding leaf fish along the way. Then we hotted up the pace with more drift dives at Golden Wall and Miyaru Kandu, delighting in sightings of reef sharks, Napoleon wrasse, tuna and surgeon fish. We then headed for another great dive at Alimatha Jetty with the nurse sharks; everyone had a smile on their face after this dive! We returned to Miyaru Kandu the next morning and made a final dive in Vaavu Atoll before crossing over to South Ari, hopeful of some whale shark sightings.
After a rather smooth crossing we arrived at Dhigaru and anchored ready for our night dive with flatworms, scorpion fish, tiger cowries & pipefish. Lights were also put out in the hope of attracting a few mantas but they didn’t come to play this time. In the morning another let down when our search for whale sharks was not fruitful, but that is just nature! Our spirits were not dampened and off we went for 3 wonderful dives at Dhigaru Thila, Bodhofinolhu & Rangali Madivaru where our luck was in and 3 manta rays were spotted cruising by. The day finished out with a night dive at the Kudima Wreck and a delicious dinner prepared by chefs Alibe & Saman – really amazing work they do it that galley!
We visited the Kudima Wreck again in the morning to see the difference between night and day life, its always surprising how much changes with the schools of batfish, banner fish and a few angel fish coming along whether to feed or be cleaned we don’t know but it was a colourful spectacle! We then headed north again to dive Omadhoo and Fish Head on our way to Maya Thila for another spectacular night dive with sharks, torpedo rays, moray eels and trevally in hunting mode. Next morning we dived Hafsa and Bathala thilas for some more grey reef shark sightings and schooling fusiliers and sweetlips before leaving Ari Atoll in direction Rasdhoo Atoll.
On our first dive at Rashdoo we were treated to some grey reef shark and white tip reef shark action on the lip of the Kandu, and also the tail of a whale shark disappearing into the open sea just as we started our safety stop. The next morning we headed for the Kandu entrance where we found several grey reef sharks patrolling up and down, batfish having a sleep or getting cleaned and millions of smaller fish just milling about. A great dive inspite of not seeing any hammerheads. For our last dive of the trip we split the group and one part headed to Fan Reef for a mellow drift dive while the rest visited the wreck of the Reef Explorer. After lunch we started heading in the direction of Male, with a stop to put up the Sails for extra speed and a great photo opportunity, then it was time of our BBQ dinner and final night of revelry on board before our guests disembarked looking forward to their next Adventure! Thanks every one for joining us hope to see you again sometime!