From Russia with love of diving…
From Russia with love of diving…
They arrived from Russia, with a love for diving, so after formalities completed Maldives Siren headed to Huvadhoo Atoll for the start of our liveaboard adventure in the kandus and atolls, enjoying dinner during the cruise. Our first dive day started with equipment assembly, briefings and check dive at Vilingili Giri where leopard shark, ghostpipe fish, leaf fish and green turtles were spotted. We then dropped in at Vilingili Kandu, which showed its beauty as always with many grey reef sharks, schooling chevron and great barracudas.
Capitan Ashraf moved us south to Nilandhoo Kandu, where our divers enjoyed a beautiful morning dive in Nilandhoo Kandu, followed by two more plunges at Vilingili Kandu. Regrettably, it was our last visit to the Huvadhoo Atoll for the season. Our divers were thrilled watching schooling grey reef sharks, chevron, barracuda and numerous green turtles. After drying off, our skipper weighed anchor for the long overnight crossing to Laamu Atoll, whilst our guests savoured the beautiful Maldivian sunset.&
Our fourth day started at Fushi Kandu, a truly amazing dive site with large schools of jacks, chevron and barracuda, eagle rays, grey reef sharks and much more, all swimming along the drop off of the channel. For the second dive we moved northwest to Vadhinolu Kandu for a beautiful drift along the atoll. Afterwards, we crossed to Athaa Atoll for the night dive at Falha Thila spotting leaf fish, ghost pipefish, sea green turtle and various shrimps and crabs were seen.
The next morning we attempted to enter at Dhiyamigilli Beyru, though unfortunately the current was far too strong so we opted to do a long drift dive at Dhiyamigilli Kandu’s reef, where we saw grey reef sharks, sting rays and schooling jacks. We moved to Olhugiri Kandu, staying at the ‘thila’ in the middle of the channel as the waves were too large to venture out of the atoll. We did see a great feather-tailed sting ray and Napoleon wrasse. We started our crossing to Meemu Atoll, but as the current and swells were very strong our captain turned us back to Thaa Atoll. We dove Dhifushi Kandu, a beautiful channel with schooling red and midnight snappers, jacks, grey reef and whitetip sharks.
Instead of a night dive, our guests chose to relax with a few drinks and enjoy the sunset on a nearby deserted island – what a great way to end a day! As the waters had calmed overnight we lift anchor at the crack of dawn and crossed the channel for Meemu , ready to drop in at Kurali Kandu’s cleaning station. The mantas were there to thrill our divers! Afterwards we moved north to Muli, where we dove Hakura Thila, a lovely pinnacle teeming with life. We finished our day with a gentle evening dive at Veyvah Giri, with large and macro all on show.
A beautiful morning dive at Muli Corner commenced day seven with many varieties of schooling fish, together with many eagle rays and sharks flying in and out. For our second dive we moved to the northern edge of the atoll, where we dived in Vanhuravaly Kandu’s amazing channel. Huge numbers of grey reef sharks, barracudas, dogtooth tuna and jacks, together with hawksbill turtle and rays were present. We did a short crossing to Vaavu Atoll and got wet at Foteyo, an exceptional site with stunning soft corals and lots of fish.
We revisited Foteyo in the morning of day eight for another great dive with grey reef sharks, Napoleon wrasse and even a mantis shrimp among many others. Fushi Kandu was next on the schedule which gave us our first sighting of nurse shark. Many of our guests decided take time off and relax in the afternoon in preparation for the night dive. Those who did plunge in saw amazing corals along the Golden Wall! And finally the night dive that everyone was waiting for – Alimatha Jetty AKA ‘‘The Jetty@’’. We swam with sting rays and nurse sharks, encircling us throughout the dive – sheer exhilaration! All returned to Maldives Siren with smiles as big as a dogtooth tuna’s!
Grey reef and whitetip sharks greeted us on our penultimate day’s diving at Alimatha Kandu, together with Napoleon wrasse, octopus among others. We visited Miyaru Kandu (shark’s channel) again, with grey reef and whitetips all along the drop off. For our third dive we went to Divana Kandu for a slow drift dive over the beautiful corals, complimented by the vast array of fish in every color.
It was then back to Alimatha Jetty for our last night dive of the adventure and we were in for a treat! Schooling nurse sharks, approximately forty, continually swam about us whilst sting rays and blacktip glided effortlessly up and down. Meanwhile, giant trevally took advantage of our torch light to hunt upon the reef in the gloom.
Our last day arrived with a lovely sunrise! We dropped into the water at Miyaru Kandu, where juvenile grey reef sharks were schooling, before moving onto South Male Atoll. We did our final dive at Guraidhoo Corner, where we saw more reefsharks and trevally – both giant and blue fin. To cap off a great liveaboard diving adventure we were treated to 18 eagle rays playing in the current, a wonderful parting treat for our Russian guests in the warm Maldivan waters.