Shark Diving in the South

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Shark Diving in the South

white-tip-sharkOur first full trip in Gaafu Atoll for 2014 we welcomed aboard divers from all over Europe , Asia and Australia and got our first great dives underway searching for a repeat of the previous trip with hundreds of reef sharks in the channels. Success came at Nilandhoo and Vilingili channels where we marvelled at the swathes of white tips and grey reefs that were gathered there. After our few engine issues were resolved we headed south we dived sites like Nilandhoo, Kuredhdhoo and Mareeha channels. For the night dives we chose giris and Farus around the area for some calmer waters. Just the way we like it! Other sightings for our first days included leopard sharks, batfish, sweetlips, eagle rays and turtles.

turtleBy Day 5 we had moved to Vaarulu Kandu but the water was quite rough so we decided to head to Kondey Thila instead for an amazing dive with beautiful colours and diversity. What a great way to spend 60 minutes! Keeping on the inside of the atoll we dived Mafzoo Thila and Kaashidhoo both with beautiful corals but not a lot of fish compared to the eastern dives. Heading north again we dived again at Maareha Kandu where we got treated to lots of Grey Reef sharks, one Hammerhead and also a Leopard shark during the drift into the channel.

school-tunaAfter the action most guests preferred a walk on the beach instead of a night dive and so we set off in the dinghy for some beach time.Next morning we dived the north side of Maareha Kandu where again we got treated to big numbers of Grey Reef sharks and Tunas and lots of smaller fish to make for a great dive. For the afternoon dive we headed for the Arigatha House Reef for a relaxed dive with scorpion fish, nudibranchs and other critters. Meanwhile the crew set up for dinner on Arigatha Island and to everyone’s surprise our table was made of sand and shaped in the form of a whale shark! Great effort guys 🙂 Everyone had a great time on the Island… some so good a time that they had to skip the first dive the next morning.. but hey, they are here for a holiday!

ghost-pipefishWe returned to dive Kondey, Funadhoo and Shigalli Kandus for more of the shark action as well as sightings of Napoleon wrasse, tuna, jacks and turtles, then during our night dive at Dhigudhoo Faru we found a sea hare. On the way back north we dived again at Nilandu and Kuredhdhoo Kandus for sharks and current, lots of hooking in and drifting. But our final reward of the trip was to be on our last dive where 5 Hammerhead sharks were spotted along with many Grey Reef and White Tip Reef sharks, a Guitar Shark, Tunas, Napoleon wrasse, a Leaf fish and a ghost pipefish – wow what a way to end this action packed liveaboard safari in Gaafu Atoll!

Photos by Jeremy Brookfield

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