Manta Action for Kamtime Adventures

Manta Action for Kamtime Adventures

guy-stevensThis Maldives Siren trip started with a welcome break in the clouds and brilliant sunlight to welcome our group of seasoned American divers. Eager to get wet after 36 hours of traveling we moved through our briefings and dived on in on for our check dive at Fedu Finolu. Green turtles, bearded scorpion fish, dog toothed tuna and giant morays were all in the welcoming committee! Out first full day of fun started with a bang at Lankan Manta Point. With a lazy current running right shoulder we enjoyed a very gentle drift dive, admiring the sleeping white tips, schooling oriental sweetlips and four striped snapper. Schools of neon fusilier and rainbow runners doing swim bys kept us company until out of the gloom appeared the outline of an animal my eyes had been straining to glimpse. Manta! After some furious tank banging to attract my rather distracted divers we all got a look at what we’d come here for. A great taster on what hopefully would become a theme to the trip.

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Fish & Trips Photo Tour

Phototour in the Northern Maldives

Banana Reef Corals MaldivesIt had been a year since I last dived at Dhonfanu Thilla but the myriad of fish life and stunning topography remained the same. The 5m (15ft) swim through here is packed with soldier fish, glittering with the dappled light that filters through the peppering of holes in the ceiling. A great first dive day of the trip was finished in Lhaviyani Atoll with a fantastic night dive at Kuredu House Reef, a wreck, a sleeping green turtle and bumphead parrot fish! It’s on the to do again list for sure this season for the Maldives Siren and her guests.

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Northern Maldives ; Midnight Mantas

Northern Maldives ; Midnight Mantas

Night-MantaFresh back from holiday it was a pleasure to see the beautiful Maldives Siren at rest ready for our cruise. With staggered arrivals on day one our 7 German and one Australian guests spent a lazy afternoon setting up kit, catching some sun rays, listening to briefings and catching up on some well-deserved rest! We made an early start on day two for our first check dive at Fedu Finolu. The visibility had really cleared in my absence and we had a great first dive, spotting three green turtles and one hawksbill! Cleaner pipe fish and banded boxer shrimp were also on the menu, tucked into the deep overhangs. Dive two was done at one of my personal favourites in North Male. Despite the visibility being a little disappointing the medium current really had the beautiful soft corals blossoming to their fullest. Eagle eyed Martin spotted a Torpedo ray swimming way into the gloom. Even after several hundred dives here in the Maldives I have never seen one and he had to produce his photographs as documented evidence to make me believe!

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Maldives Milestones

Maldives Milestones

Maldives-SirenThis was my last trip on board the Maldives Siren before taking a month’s leave to return to England; it turned out to be one to remember! Our beautiful liveaboard yacht, fresh from dry dock and a thorough make over, was met a day early by our guests in Male. Videographer extraordinaire Inge Holtrop and husband Rian came on board a day early in order to shoot an in house information video for the Siren Fleet. With a late arrival of our own Susie Erbe from head office the evening turned into a late one with dry dock completion drinks!

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Second Time Around for Abyss Scuba

Second Time Around for Abyss Scuba

Abyss Scuba GroupThe Maldives Siren’s first trip in June was another full charter by Australian dive operator Abyss Scuba. Carl Fallon, the group leader, stayed on to welcome his second set of guests with this trip starting smoother than his first – with little time to lose anything between the hotel and boat! We welcomed the guests on board by taking them on a check dive a Fedu Finolu. The steep wall and overhangs giving sightings of banded boxer shrimp, commensal shrimps, cleaner pipe fish and a big green turtle that’d settled in early for a sleep. The group again were close friends and much hilarity was to be had over dinner.

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Ari-Meemu-Male – 10 days Diving the Maldives

Ari-Meemu-Male – 10 days Diving the Maldives

fishandDiverOur latest trip on the Maldives Siren started with everyone a little out of sync, group leader Carl suffered from a sudden lapse of memory, forgetting where he put his passport and subsequently he missed his flight but despite the late arrival of Carl in Male, everyone boarded the Siren together so after a quick briefing and lunch we headed off to do our check dive at Fenu Finolu.
The morning of our second day started with a dive at Lankan Manta Point, North Male. Unfortunately it did not live up to its name but a gentle drift along reef supplied sightings of octopus, honeycomb morays and juvenile oriental sweetlips. Our second dive at Nassimo proved to be a great hit. Nassimo’s North east corner is covered in brilliant blue soft corals. Its overhangs hide away large dense schools of snapper and squirrel fish. The first thing one diver asked on surfacing was whether we could do it again, this being an organised group charter of friends made it no problem at all to ‘double dip’ the beautiful Nassimo Reef.

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Maldives Shark Fest

Maldives Shark Fest

sharksOn a bright, sunny and typically tropical Maldivian day, our newest group of adventurers boarded the SY Maldives Siren, excited at the prospect of the next 7 days of great diving, sumptuous food and an excellent Maldivian experience. Immediately lifting anchor we set off for Rasdhoo Atoll and enjoyed a lovely smooth crossing on calm seas under a clear and bright sky. Despite just coming off international flights our guests were raring to get going as soon as possible and jump in the water, so in super-quick time dive gear was assembled, briefings done and dinghys at the ready.

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Shark Whispering in the Southern Maldives

Shark Whispering in the Southern Maldives

P1140927Joining us aboard the Maldives Siren was Erich Ritter, world renowned expert on sharks and their behaviour around humans. Every day throughout our cruise he gave presentations on his research ; some of which is ground breaking in shark and human interactions. For our Southern Maldives liveaboard safari we were rewarded with many of shark sightings whilst diving complimenting all the fascinating facts being taught on-board. Our check dive at Thinadhoo Giri got our shark tally off to a great start with a white tip gliding over the hard coral reef. A marbled ray, octopus and schooling chevron barracuda were also amongst the welcoming committee on this first dive of the trip. Grey reefs and white tips were also spotted at later in the day at Kureedhoo Kandu.

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Buddying Up in the Maldives

Buddying Up in the Maldives

cc tom  turtle P1200419 resizeWe were joined this trip by a group of “Single Divers”! Not their marital status however but a specially organised liveaboard cruise for divers who signed up to find a dive buddy. As it turned out many of these buddy-less divers had dived together before and the first evening was spent chatting over trips gone by.

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Central & Southern Maldives- A Winning Combination

Central & Southern Maldives- A Winning Combination

Trip-report-3Joining the Maldives Siren were a tight knit group of experienced divers who have dived together many times through the years and are also veterans of other yachts of the Siren Fleet. After pretty much showing me around the boat during our initial briefing it was down to beers and snacks and some good catching up! Our Central Southern liveaboard cruise started in earnest at Thinadhoo giri only a ten minute cruise from the airport and an ideal site for a check dive but the real highlight of our first diving day was at Kuredhoo Kandu. As with many of our channels here in the south Karedho is known for strong currents. Our experienced bunch were not disappointed. After hanging on the edge of the channel, regulators flapping and watching grey reef sharks emerge in the gloom we let go for a roller coaster ride into the atoll. Once we’d come to a dead stop in a large bay inside we had time to admire green turtles, white tip reef sharks and a large whiptail ray on the sand!

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