Maldives 1

09.11 - 23.11.2006

Maldives1 / Maldives2

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Maldives holiday was for us a long time dream which we could fulfill only in November 2006. After some research we booked the flight with Qatar airlines and one week on the boat Sharifa (one of the eighty liveaboards which operate in the Maldives). We packed our dive gear, a lot of diafilms for the underwater camera and boarded the plane ready for adventure. The airline was a pleasant surprise with the personal entertainment and the food, so the flight time passed faster. Landing in Male, pass control, transport to the boat were smooth. Being the first from the dive group which arrived on Sharifa we got the honeymoon cabin on the front of the boat.

The team on liveaboard and dive dhoni is good organised and everything was running after the plan: driving from a dive place to other, meeting the dhoni (which drive by itself and it is not towed behind the big boat), the dive breefings, the dives. Food was plenty and good, every day fresh fish, salat, dessert and afternoon coffee with sweets.

The only bad thing was the weather, most of the time cloudy or rainy, so the light conditions underwater suffered because the missing sunlight. The visibility was in the beginning good, but as the weather worsened the visibility decreased. The worse thing was that the underwater camera flooded after three days of diving!!! We tried to dry it and clean it and it functioned, but because the corosion of some electronics it didn`t comunicate with the flash anymore.

The tour for the first week was S-Male Atol, N-Ari Atol and S-Ari Atol. The fish life is exceptional and the coral reefs are in a very good conditions (even we met some dedicated photographers with no concern for the damage which they do while photographing). The dive sites are variate: thila (submerged pillars), wrecks, walls. Most of the time is current, sometimes slight, sometimes so strong Nearly on every dive we saw sharks, the grey reef, white tip and black tip. At Manta Point is the place to meet mantas which come for the cleaning station there. In S-Ari Atol we searched for the whale sharks which are known to pass by, but no luck in two weeks.

After the first week was aproaching the end, we found out that we can extend our holiday for another week. So we dived again S-Male and Ari Atol, not every time the same places like in the first week. On the last day we visited Male and had a stroll on this 1,5 km long island populated with 70.000 inhabitants.

1   Maldives from air - a diver dream
2   Sharifa - our home for two weeks
3   The dive dhoni of Sharifa. The dive equipment stays on board this boat all the time and the compressor is also here, so no problem with the noise made by filling the tanks.

One thing is remarkable at the dhoni capitain: how he finds the dive places without a GPS or compass when these are just thilas (submerged rocks) in the middle of open sea.

4   Clear water and coral reef
5   Fishing boat in a atol
6   We hoped that the weather stays like this....
7   But the weather was most of the time like this
8   Underwater world
9   Meeting the impressive mantas
10   Huge school of striped seaperch
11   Michael swims through an underwater arch
12   Soft coral
13   Triggerfish
14   Frogfish (Anglerfisch) - try to find it!
15   Under an overhang
16 Shark looking for prey
17 Table corals
18 Huge fan corals
19 Tubstraea - they open their arms only at night

Maldives1 / Maldives2

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