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Maldives North Atoll May 2017

Is Maldives in your bucket list?

Join me and a group of good divers next May 13th to 20th on a perfect dive trip with probably some of the most amazing night dives ever.

8D7N Maldives Dive trip U$ 1.399

INCLUDES:
1. Airport transfers
2. 7 nights full board accomodation
3. Up to 17 guided boat dives
4. Weights and tanks provided

NOT INCLUDES:
1. Airfare to Maldives
2. Rental diving gear
3. Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
4. Island fee for BBQ night U$ 15 per pax.
5. Tips for the crew (U$ 100/guest)

For more informotaion regarding Itinerary, dive sites, facilities, rooms and Terms & conditions available in the link below.

http://maldivescruiser.com/maldives/

West Monsoon Classic Route Itinerary

 

North Male’ Atoll

North Male Atoll or Kaafu Atoll is the most popular atoll in the Maldives. It is the spot where all Tourists enter the Maldives through its International Airport situated on the island Hulhule’. It requires a short boat trip (10mins) from the airport to reach the Capital Island, Male’. It takes Ten minutes to get to Full Moon Resort in the southeast and fifteen to reach Baros, which is a two kilometer square island developed into a tourist Resort situated to the southwest of Capital Male’. Basic handicraft shopping is a fun activity in Male’, but be careful not to buy corals, turtle and oyster shells, since they are strictly prohibited to take on the plane. Besides, no diver wants to promote this nasty business.

Surfers are common on the eastern windward side of North Male Atoll, especially a beach named Cokes at the small island of Thulusdhoo, it is world renowned. Popular islands include Dhiffushi, Helengeli, Rasfari and the many islets near the capital. Diving in Kaafu is characterized by heavy currents, drift diving, caves and steep drop-offs.

There is also the ‘washing machine effect’, an often very strong sideward or downward current that will take you by surprise. Pay attention and try to avoid these; they are not dangerous but can take you away from the reef and can make you disoriented. Gaafaru is a small atoll just to the north of North Male Atoll right past the Gaafaru Kandu Channel. Even more to the north you can dive at Kaashidhoo Atoll, a remote atoll offering some of the best diving in the Maldives. On top of this, Male has the busiest shipping lanes in the Maldives and therefore many wrecks for us and future divers to explore, especially in the channel between Gaafaru and Kaashidhoo. North Male Atoll is the place where most divers will dive, but those looking for even more remoteness and solitude, they can visit the outer atolls and reefs on liveaboards.

 

Rasdhoo Atoll

Rasdhoo Atoll or Rasdhu is a small circular atoll about ten kilometers southwest of Male’. The Islands Kuramathi, Rasdhoo, Madivaru and Veligandu are known by name in Rasdhoo. This Atoll has one of the best dive sites in the Maldives. Resorts in Kuramathi include Kuramathi Village, Cottage & Spa and Blue Lagoon. Because the atoll is less than ten km wide, all dive sites can be reached within an hour by boat.

 

Ari Atoll

The oval shaped Ari Atoll (Alifu Atoll) is one of the most popular atolls visited by tourists.

It is roughly 90km long and 30km wide, offering many pristine island resorts and small inhabited local Islands. All islands are surrounded by circular shaped reefs providing excellent blue lagoons and thrilling channels. Some of the larger islands include Maamigili, Feridhoo and Dhigurah. Popular island resorts can be found at Rangali and Mirihi. Nearby smaller atolls in the north such as Rasdhoo Atoll and Thoddoo Atoll are parts of Alifu and therefore are included as some of the most stunning dive sites. Although reef protection and marine environments are top priority, unfortunately still many sharks are caught for the Japanese shark fin market.

Ari Atoll is one of the most reliable places to dive with passing whale sharks, hammerhead sharks and manta rays. It is different from most Maldivian atolls because of its pinnacle diving, which takes place inside the atoll and not like most other dives in the enclosing reef or separating channels.

The beauty of these pinnacles is the amount, richness, colorfulness and diversity of marine life. You can find anything from small ghost pipefish to larger batfish feeding of the coral. The channels bring in lots of nutrient rich waters and offer plenty of food for many pelagic species such as tuna, barracuda and travelly. Most of the popular dive sites are in the north and because Ari is the second largest atoll in the Maldives, we suggest to book liveaboard tours to experience its wicked underwater world. Some of the best dive sites include the Broken Rock Thila, Fishhead (Mushimasmingali Thila) and Hammerhead Point.

There are also the interesting Fesdhoo Wreck and Halaveli Wreck which was sunk as an artificial reef on the Halaveli Island House Reef. Wherever you dive, this atoll offers many resort islands with excellent white beaches and beautiful dive sites for both experienced divers, and as novice divers.

 

South Male’ Atoll

South Male’ Atoll or South Kaafu Atoll has become almost as popular as its northern counterpart. With excellent well known resort islands such as Velassaru, Vaadhoo, Embudhoo, Vaagali, Maafushi, Guraidhoo and Kandooma. There are speedboats from Male’ International Airport that can bring you to the resort at Laguna Beach, Velassaru, in fifteen minutes and to Kandooma and Guraidhoo, To get to the main settlements in South Male’ Atoll it takes about 45 minutes. This 200 kilometer large atoll is separated from Male’ by the Vaadhoo Kandu, which is a busy shipping route.

Many dive sites are located in deep channels or kandu(in local language) and provide the enthusiastic diver with wicked drift dives often accompanied by sharks, jacks, tuna and barracudas. It offers many caves, walls and soft corals, however its coverage in hard corals is

not as good as at many other atolls in the Maldives. Popular dive sites are Vaagali Bodu Thila in the west of the atoll and Cocoa Thila and Corner near Guraidhoo. Many liveaboard vacationers start off with some of the best dives on South Male’ Atoll before crossing over to Ari Atoll or even further away. Expect to dive in high speed channels, with top activity of sharks in a great and colorful underwater environment.

Dive Schedule

 

Day 1

Kurumba House reef: The reef drops straight down to 25-30 meters, which has a lot of crevices and small caves as well. The wall is completely populated with small fishes, sponges, bat fish, flutemouth and other small marine creatures. In the holes you can find small silver fish which is usually used as bait by fisherman. It is common to find turtles resting on the reef. The dive is easy one for the novice diver and an ideal site for macro photography.

Dive 1

Kurumba, North Male Atoll

 

 

Day 2

Banana Reef: This was the first reef to be discovered as a dive site in the Maldives. It is still among the best dive sites in the Maldives. The banana shaped area situated on the northeast side of the reef is a site for full of caves, gutters and overhangs which are full of fishes and soft corals.

Try to spend as much as time near the coral heads (that is when you dive and your positioned with your left side facing the reef). This is an excellent way to observe the reef area. The types of fish that congregate at this area include Oriental sweet lips, Giant squirrelfish, Banner fish and many more.

Dive 2

Banana Reef, North Male Atoll

When the currents are strong, underwater turbulence can be felt near the large overhang. Do stay near the reef wall to avoid being taken away from the reef. A surface balloon is necessary to be used in this area since the boat traffic can be heavy at times.

Dive 3

Kuda Haa Thila, North Male Atoll

Kuda Haa Thila: This reef is considered as one of the highlights in diving in the Maldives. The best time to dive at this reef is when the currents are strong. Located at the southwest of North Male Atoll this Thila(Pinnacle) is dived into two parts. Both parts are easily visible and it is easy to navigate from one part to the other. The reef is covered in soft coral, and this makes it ideal place to find invertebrates such as Nudibranches and Flatworms. You can also find scorpion fishes here. Divers should be prepared to make a open water safety stop and use of surface balloons are necessary.

Dive 4

Rasdhoo Madivaru, Rasdhoo Atoll

Rasdhoo Madivaru: This is one of the spectacular dives you can do in the Maldives. Best time to dive is when the current in flowing into the atoll (northeastern monsoon). Dive starts from the outside corner of madivaru island and drifts all the way to the middle channel following a underwater ridge. Grey reef sharks, white tip sharks, Napoleons, Eagel rays, Jacks and tunas are some of the marine creatures you can expect to see on this fabulous dive.

Dive 5

Big Blue, Rasdhoo Atoll

 

Day 3

Big Blue: This dive starts early in the morning (6 am), which is the best time to try and catch a glimpse of hammerhead sharks circling open blue.

Dive 6

Kan Thila, North Ari Atoll

Kan Thila: This is a long and narrow thila which comes out of the reef bathala maga faru. On this reef you will find abundant coral fishes, Grey reef sharks, White tip Sharks, Eagel rays, Groupers and Napoleons.

Dive 7

Bathala Thila, North Ari Atoll

Bathala Thila: A small reef outside Bathala Island. Here you will have less chance to find big fish, but you can see White Tip Shark, Eagle Ray and Snapper. The reef top starts at 10m and falls down in a 75 degree angle to 30m with small caves. On the beautiful reef top you can find Sleeping Nurse Sharks and the largest Stonefish of the sea. This dive is recommended for beginners.

Dive 8

Maaya Thila, North Ari Atoll

Mayaa Thila: If the current is not strong at Maaya Thila, the diving is easy and divers can easily circle the Thila. Depending on the current, the dive begins at the up-current and dive guides will navigate to the coral formations in deeper waters. Here, divers hover or hold on to a coral and observe the fish life.

Grey Reef Sharks congregate around the coral in the deeper water at Maaya Thila. Depending on the strength of the currents, Grey Reef Sharks and White Tip Reef Sharks sometimes rise as shallow as the reef’s edge at just 12 meters. It’s not unusual to spend the entire dive at the up- current observing the fish life. The top reef is the perfect place to do the required safety stop. A safety balloon is necessary at Maaya Thila.

Night Dive

Maaya Thila is one of the best sites in the Maldives for a night dive. The dive boat is usually fixed to the mooring and a line is used for the ascent and descent for safety reasons. A strobe light is attached to the rope at 5 meters to identify the rope underwater. On the Maaya Thila night dive, divers get to experience swimming close to White Tip Reef Sharks. Turtles rest inside caves / overhangs, while Moray Eels and White Tip Sharks hunt the vulnerable Fusiliers. Octopus and Stone Fish can be found around the top reef. The caves where the crevices are found are the ideal place for people who are interested in macro photography. Here you will find Cleaner Shrimps, Ghost Pipe Fish and many more seldom-seen species.

The Maaya Thila night dive is a must for all scuba divers visiting the Maldives and is a one-of a kind dive.

 

Day 4

Hafsa Thila: Good all-round site for sheer volumes of fish. Sharks,schooling Jacks,Tuna and large shoals of snappers that seem to create a “rush hour” effect at times causing divers to stop and marvel at the spectacle of so many colourful fish.

Dive 10

Fish Head, North Ari Atoll

Fish Head: Fish Head dive site, or Mushi Mas Mingili is every diver’s favorite dive and one of the most prominent dive sites in Maldives. Famous for populations of Grey Reef Sharks, White Tip Reef Sharks, Napoleon Wrasse and many other pelagic fishes. This used to be a shark feeding site until the government declared it a Protected Marine Area and banned shark feeding. Simply put, the fish life at Fish Head is excellent and also includes Travallies, Jacks and Tuna. If the current is not too strong a complete circle can be made in one dive.

Dive 11

Lovely, North Ari Atoll

Lovely: There are two small thila and two coral block,these are covered with spectacularly coloured soft coral. Close to the coral heads, you will see Giant Sweetlips and the bottom of the channel is a resting ground for White Tip Reef Sharks. The caves and overhangs at lovely Thila dive site are filled with different color soft corals, sponges and extra cloud of yellow brought by the Blue Striped Snappers (Lutjanus Kasmira).

The top of the reef displays a good diversity of hard coral and it’s worth spending sometime here before the end of the dive. A safety balloon is a must at Lovely Thila especially when the current is running out of the Atoll.
Lovely Thila dive site is a must for any visit to the Maldives, the abundance of marine life and beautiful underwater topography is unmatched, and a guarantee for an unforgettable Maldives scuba diving experience.

Dive 9

Hafsa Thila, North Ari Atoll

 

Day 5

Kudarah Thila: is one of the most exciting dive sites in the Maldives, situated 1km south of Kudarah, in South Ari Atoll. The reef top is at 14 meters with steep drop-offs to 20 and 25 meters on most sides. You will find isolated outcrops of rock on the west side, a little canyon on the north face, and a large, long cave at around 20 meters on the eastern ridge. When the current is not too powerful divers easily navigate around the entire 80 meters thila without much difficulty.

On the deeper, gentler slopes on the northern edge of kudarah thila dive site are great expanses of large seafans. Such large aggregations of seafan are rarely sighted, and it is breathtaking to see them all swaying as one when the currents are flowing. Around this top dive spot Kudarah Thila you will also find several grey reef sharks and white-tip reef sharks. Pelagics are also abundant in this dive site, such as rainbow runner, great barracudas,blue-fin jack and tuna, drawn from the nearby waters.

Dive 13

Maamigili, South Ari Atoll

Maamigili: On the sloping outside reef of maamigili, it is a excellent dive site to watch for pelagic and schooling fish. Enter the water just outside the local island maamigili,and head towards the entrance of the channel, dropping down close to where the wall meets a sandy slope at 30m. Divers often find large eagel rays or manta mobulas, along with White tip reef Sharks, barracudas and tunas. Near the entrance of the channel look for the resident napoleon Fish, schooling black and white snappers and jacks. The sloping reef features small coral heads with schooling oriental sweet lips. Crevices and overhangs down at 15m where you can find big moray eels and spiny lobsters. This site is considered the best site to encounter whale sharks.

Dive 14

Broken Rock, South Ari Atoll

Broken Rock: Apart from Kudarah Thila, Broken Rock dive site is most probably the most well- known scuba diving destination in the South Ari Atoll. This Thila is literally a broken rock with a 2-metre wide canyon that splits the small Thila in two parts, from the west to east, giving the reef its name. This canyon is the main attraction on this wonderful submerged reef.

Dive 12

Kudarah Thila, North Ari Atoll

Broken Rock is covered in soft corals and only one diver can enter the canyon at a time. On the north side at a depth of around 25-30m, there are two big coral blocks with overhangs and beautiful fan corals which are well worth a visit. The top reef at Broken Rock dive site has great hard coral growth and is an ideal place to find invertebrates like leaf fish and Nudibranchs. Depth and strong currents make this Thila dive spot suitable only for experienced divers.

 

Day 6

Guraidhoo Kandu: Also known as Guraidhoo Corner, is famous for its notorious incoming current. This great dive site is well known for spotting Gray Reef Sharks, Eagle Rays and Pelagic species. The dive at Guriadhoo Kandu begins at the outer reef close to the channel corner and divers swim towards the corner during an incoming current. Once at the corner, divers can use the current to hook on a coral and observe the entrance of the channel. When the current is flowing into the channel, Grey Reef Sharks patrol the edge of the entrance and other pelagic action can be observed on the ocean dropoff. Divers should remember to stay close to the reef once they leave the corner. During strong currents, underwater turbulence can be experienced within the channel near the caves and coral blocks. If divers are pushed away from the reef at Guriadhoo Kandu toward the deep blue water, do not try and fight against the current. Instead, they should drift with the current, try ascending to shallower waters and deploy the surface balloon. The balloon should remain visible on the surface until the dive boat has located the diver.

Dive 16

Cocoa Corner, South Male Atoll

Cocoa Corner: This dive site boasts of the most amazing shark sightings. This reef can be explored in many different ways, with the right current. Most dive guides consider crossing cocoa corner to kandooma thila. Tracking the right current the dive starts from the cocoa corner at a depth of 25 to 29 meters. Then you swim across the current while parallel to the edge at 40m. This gives a natural reference in maintaining the correct position while crossing to the thila, avoiding getting too far inside the channel. This thila lies in the middle of the channel, 15m from the channel edge. Here you can find many Grey Reef Sharks, ranging from big adults to pups patrolling the edge together. At the beginning of the thila you can see Eagel rays and Schooling Jack Fish. By the time you reach to the thila you will be running out of your bottom

Dive 15

Guraidhoo Kandu, South Male Atoll

Guraidhoo Kandu: Also known as Guraidhoo Corner, is famous for its notorious incoming current. This great dive site is well known for spotting Gray Reef Sharks, Eagle Rays and Pelagic species. The dive at Guriadhoo Kandu begins at the outer reef close to the channel corner and divers swim towards the corner during an incoming current. Once at the corner, divers can use the current to hook on a coral and observe the entrance of the channel. When the current is flowing into the channel, Grey Reef Sharks patrol the edge of the entrance and other pelagic action can be observed on the ocean dropoff. Divers should remember to stay close to the reef once they leave the corner. During strong currents, underwater turbulence can be experienced within the channel near the caves and coral blocks. If divers are pushed away from the reef at Guriadhoo Kandu toward the deep blue water, do not try and fight against the current. Instead, they should drift with the current, try ascending to shallower waters and deploy the surface balloon. The balloon should remain visible on the surface until the dive boat has located the diver.

Dive 16

Cocoa Corner, South Male Atoll

Cocoa Corner: This dive site boasts of the most amazing shark sightings. This reef can be explored in many different ways, with the right current. Most dive guides consider crossing cocoa corner to kandooma thila. Tracking the right current the dive starts from the cocoa corner at a depth of 25 to 29 meters. Then you swim across the current while parallel to the edge at 40m. This gives a natural reference in maintaining the correct position while crossing to the thila, avoiding getting too far inside the channel. This thila lies in the middle of the channel, 15m from the channel edge. Here you can find many Grey Reef Sharks, ranging from big adults to pups patrolling the edge together. At the beginning of the thila you can see Eagel rays and Schooling Jack Fish. By the time you reach to the thila you will be running out of your bottom time, so you should continue diving at shallow depths by swimming to the top of the thila. Safety balloon is necessary at cocoa corner. Open water safety stop should be observed.

 

Day 7

Dive 17

Embudhoo Kandu, South Male Atoll

Embudhoo Kandu: has been declared a protected marine area for a long time. A firm favorite of scuba divers on holiday to the Maldives, this dive location spans almost 2 kilometers, containing a variety of features for that unique dive experience, such as brilliant coral formations, sharks, majestic caves and plenty of fish life. The south side of the channel is an extended drift dive known as the Embudhoo express – known for its strong ingoing current; the express rushes through the channel at rapid pace, giving scuba divers an exhilarating ride through the Maldivian waters.

 

Journey back to Airport

Above routes depends on weather conditions, it is possible some days we might do 2dives or 3dives or even 4 dives, we will try our best to make total 17 dives.

Earlier Event: September 9
MABUHAY DRT Show Philippines 2016
Later Event: October 10
Open water Diver