fruit stand at the market

Visiting Male, Maldives

It would have been ashame to wake up before the sunrise and never snap a photo…I finally did…check!

photo (91) sunrise

Miyaru Kandu

Today marked our final day of diving. We only had two dives scheduled today as we had to comply with the 24 hour waiting period before we could fly. Our first dive was at Miyaru Kandu, another channel. Again we were looking for big stuff. I suppose those who really get excited over sharks and the like were disappointed as there was not much to see, so again we swam across the channel to the reef instead of dropping down to watch sharks circle. Continue reading “Visiting Male, Maldives”

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Sharks and Rays Swarmed in Epic Night Dive in the Maldives

Dive Sites in the Maldives

Kuda Rah Thila in South Ari Atoll

We took our usual ten minute journey to our morning dive site, this time, Kuda Rah Thila in South Ari Atoll. The boats rarely travel at night, thus our morning dive is generally positioned near the afternoon site we dove the previous day. This Thila had other small pinnacles next to it, so it made for nice wide swim throughs and was quite different from our continuous reef circling. Continue reading “Sharks and Rays Swarmed in Epic Night Dive in the Maldives”

puffer

Searching for Whale Sharks in the Maldives

Dive Sites in the Maldives

Dhiga Thila

This morning we dove Dhiga Thila. It was a beautiful wall of soft corals, but before we explored the wall, we rested on the bottom and waited for sharks to come in. After a short time with no luck, we ascended to 60 feet or so and followed the reef along our left shoulder. Occasionally the sun shined down on the overhangs offering cool views. Continue reading “Searching for Whale Sharks in the Maldives”

manta ray

Manta Rays in the Maldives!

Dive Sites in the Maldives

Moofushi Kandu

This morning, we went back to the same dive site as yesterday afternoon, Moofushi Kandu, to try our luck with the mantas again. This time they were slightly more cooperative. One came in from the left and a little while later another came in from the right. They glided around elegantly for a few minutes before they decided that was enough. We were not in the best place for viewing. A huge school of blue striped snapper were right in front of us. Continue reading “Manta Rays in the Maldives!”

octopus

Octopus, Giant Clams, and Turtles at Fish Head Reef…The Maldives

Well, we were up by 4:30 am. The time adjustment has been poor at best for us. We certainly haven’t needed the 6am wake up call! Today our dive briefing was at 6:15 instead of 6:30 so that we could beat a few boats into the water.

Dive Sites in the Maldives

Hafza Thila in North Ari Atoll

We dove Hafza Thila in the North Ari Atoll, that is once we found the site. Our group of 6 dropped into deep blue with our dive master and didn’t find the pinnacle so we had to surface, board the boat, and drop again. At first the visibility wasn’t that great, but that seems to be the case where there a slight current. The trade off is usually for a few shark sightings as they like to rest in the current. We spotted a giant moray as we circled around the reef and other divers but the best part to me was on the top of the pinnacle. Here we found countless seastars and anemones with their clownfish counterparts. The table coral was lovely and large enough for two baby white tip reef sharks to rest beneath its ledge. Overall it was a pretty nice dive though still a bit chaotic with multiple dive groups in the area. Hopefully we won’t be competing with boats on every site. Continue reading “Octopus, Giant Clams, and Turtles at Fish Head Reef…The Maldives”

surgeonfish

White Eyed Eel, Sharks, and more at Kurumba House Reef and Maaya Thila

I believe I have only been on one dive boat live aboard previously, but have been on similar excursions for whale watching and sailing where we stay on a big boat and drag a dinghy behind us. I’ve never been on a live aboard when another flat decked dive boat the size of ours with tanks and a cover follows along. Though nothing fancy, it is nice to leave all our wet gear on the Dhoni.

The group of twenty four divers were broken into four smaller sections. Ramona, Michael, Julie, Dustin, Rootie and I comprised the “American” group who was led by Akko. There were also Asian, International, and German/Asian groups led by Chris, Ian, and Russ, respectively. Continue reading “White Eyed Eel, Sharks, and more at Kurumba House Reef and Maaya Thila”

harbor in the maldives

On the Dive Boat, MV Orion

Boarding the MV Orion

Today was one of anticipation and relaxation. While our B&B was nice and breakfast good, we didn’t have a whole lot to do but wait to get to the boat at 1pm. This afternoon couldn’t come fast enough. The wonderful hotel staff arranged a transfer for us back to the airport where we met up with Ramona, Michael, Dustin and Julie who we met a little over a year ago on a whale watching excursion. It was fun to reconnect in the air-conditioned Burger King at the airport as we waited for the rest of the passengers to arrive.

It wasn’t long before we boarded our transport to the MV Orion. I thought the local dive boat was acting as a ferry, but as it turns out the Dhoni is the boat we dive off while we sleep on the plush Orion. The Dhoni stays with us for our week-long journey.

Our room is spacious with twin beds, a bedside table, vanity, closets, and one nice bathroom with real toilets. No pumping the head required. The boat was constructed in 2009 and most of the crew have been with it the whole time. If only they got the A/C working a little better. We are told the rooms will cool once we start moving, but we are waiting for more guests to arrive later tonight. We shall see. As Rootie exclaimed, “I wonder if the beds with only one sheet are any indication of how cool our rooms will get.

The boat features a hot tub, bar, salon, massage parlor, spotty internet service for a $20 fee, and a great upper deck with magnificent views and a nice breeze. We spent most of our time on the deck today while enjoying the sunshine.

Rice seems to be a staple in these parts. Actually, perhaps starches in general as pasta and potatoes and rice were served with lunch and dinner along with mixed veggies, chicken, and another generally a type of beef. Nothing terribly gourmet.

photo1430318839539 dinner

Our dive gear is set up on the Dhoni for tomorrow. We have a 6am wake up call, a briefing at 6:30, and then our first dive in the Maldives (pronounced Maldeeves). ETB

Other Posts Relating to Tourism in the Maldives and Tourism in Dubai

The Maldives…Here We Come

White Eyes Eel, Sharks, and More at Kurumba House Reef and Maaya Thila

Octopus, Giant Clams, and Turtles at Fish Head Reef…The Maldives

Manta Rays in the Maldives

Searching for Whale Sharks in the Maldives

Sharks and Rays Swarmed in Epic Night Dive in the Maldives

Visiting Male, Maldives

Dubai and Its International Appeal

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