Time of year you went: April 14 - 28, 2008
Boat/Resort you visited: On April 14 a group of 14 divers from the West Coast set off on a looooong journey to the magical island nation of the Maldives. After a 24 hour layover in Singapore, we arrived late at Male's airport - to be whisked away on a dhoni (traditional Maldivian wooden boat - which is used like a taxi here) to our home for the next 11 nights: The MY Eagle Ray. Equipped with 7 double cabins, all with ensuite bathrooms ;-), we quickly found our way around the boat. The crew was extremely friendly and helpful.
Diving Report (Type of diving (walls, drift, wreck etc) What did you see? What was the best? Boats and crew):
Most diving is done in the channels between the islands of the various atolls. It's here where the changing tide brings most life. Current can at times be fairly strong. Most dives are between 60 - 90 feet and mostly pinnacles or a wall dive and slopes with a sandy bottom. Some nice swim throughs. You can often finish the dive on top of the reef around 30 feet. Marine Life is absolutely amazing - like swimming in an aquarium. Lots of variety of reef fish, moray eels of various kinds - more than you can count! And a fair bit of big stuff - sharks, turtles, giant bumphead wrasse, mantas, eagle rays and of course - whale sharks! We were in for a treat!
Would you go back or recommend to a friend?:
What could have been better, things people should be aware of?:
Many people ask how much coral bleaching has affected the Maldives. It's certainly noticable. So don't expect walls where you can't put your finger anywhere! But you can tell everywhere that the coral is coming back - tiny little new coral trees are emerging. Certainly the Western Atolls have more vibrant corals, especially great soft corals. But even on the Eastern Atolls, you come around a pinnacle with lots of dead coral and wow - a wonderful coral growth.
BUT - the marine life is unbelievable! It's like swimming in an aquarium. There are so many different species - small, big - we swam with Dolphins, Mantas, Giant Bumphead Wrasse and of course: we saw 2 different Whale Sharks - the highlight of the trip for many.
Don't let the varying coral reports keep you from visiting this magical destination! And: you definitely want to take a liveaboard trip - otherwise you won't have the variety of sites.
Author of Report: Richard, Jo, Kim, Petra...