Maldivian Dive Adventure
Sharks and Rays on our Maldivian Adventure..
For this trip aboard the Maldives Siren our divers came from all over Europe, boarding in Male on a very hot day we made the decision to leave the harbour right after our clearance and cruise towards Rasdhoo Atoll. The check dive the following morning was great with sighting of 3 different kinds of sharks and our first taste of the currents in the Maldives. As is usual on any Siren Fleet liveaboard, we tested our underwater recall system during the dive, made our personal checks and practiced deploying SMBs in readiness for the dive days ahead. The next dive was already one of my favourites, “Madivaru” never disappoints with the sheer amount of fish life. During lunch Captain Ashraf drove the yacht south into Ari Atoll for two more great dives at “Bathala Thila” and “Maaya Thila”, again with a fair amount of shark action on both dives. The following day was another “Big Name” day with “Hafsaa Thila”, “Fish Head” and a great night dive at the “Machafushi Wreck”. Sharks, schools of fish, turtles and Napoleon wrasse…. Would it get any better?
We had another early start today to be right in time for an amazing morning dive at “Kudarah Thila” with its large amount of striped snappers then after breakfast we went on the search for the big one. This trip we were once again successful seeing not one, not two but three whale sharks, smiles all around from guests and crew alike. We spent the afternoon relaxing whilst 2nd Captain Ahmed cruised with us to our next Atoll and to one of the best night dives in the Maldives, “Alimathaa Jetty”. It is be very exciting to be surrounded by several large nurse sharks and black tip reef sharks. Our night divers came back with smiles on their faces and stories to tell. Staying within the Vaavu Atoll we dived “Miyaru Kandu”, “Golden Wall” and “Fotteyo”. All dives are channels and we drifted in the slight current along coral covered walls.
After one more day in Vaavu Atoll we moved further south into Meemu Atoll, where we said good bye to Barbara and Max before we lifted anchor. “Rakkedhoo Kandu” was our first dive this morning and apart from a few white tip reef sharks we found a small village of 7 leaf fish and also a manta ray passed by to bid us a fond farewell from Vaavu. After arriving in Meemu we dove on of the famous channels in the north “Vanhuravalhi Kandu” and then on to the Muli area for our afternoon dive. The weather changed for the worse but still our spirits remained high and all the divers delighted in seeing a couple of Mantas at the cleaning station and the added bonus of 9 eagle rays!! The weather gods were still not on our side so we cancelled our crossing to Thaa Atoll, instead we visited the shark nursery in Kurali Island and went for a relaxing night dive at the house reef. The wind was still quite strong the following morning and delayed our departure, but at 6am all was good and sailed south arriving at our first dive site in Thaa Aoll at “Ohlugiri Kandu”.
With bad weather facing us for the remainder of our trip, the dive plan was adjusted for the boat to seek shelter, but this meant we could make some exploratory dives at Thaa Atoll and enjoy the beautiful surprise of stunning corals, gorgonian fans and numerous turtles, sometimes its good to go “off-plan” for a while! The final dives of this Maldives Liveaboard safari were now over and as everybody chilled out on board, Captain Ashraf drove the Maldives Siren through strong rain and some waves to Laamu Atoll and our safe overnight spot. I disembarked with the guests the following morning for our return flight to Male and my long journey home to Phuket, waving goodbye to my Maldivian “family” and leaving the yacht in the capable hands of our new cruise director Roland.