MALDIVES 

10/2 to 17/2/19

whalesharks

AT NIGHT

ITINERARY

Join us on a joint tour with travel blogger and instagram sensation Oliver Neville. Travelling aboard the Eco Pro vessel Blue Shark we will travel the atolls of North Male, South Male, Vaavu, Meemu and Thaa.

THE REGION

The coconut palm and the yellow-fin tuna, symbols of the Maldives, say a great deal about this nation of more than a thousand islands. Grouped into 26 low atolls in the Indian Ocean, less than 300 of the islands are inhabited. The Maldives is flat with white sandy beaches and excellent reefs with an abundance of marine life. Scuba diving is done at a leisurely drift pace as the Indian Monsoon Current sweeps along the island chains, moving nutrients and divers along. This nutrient-rich water flows up along the walls, feeding the sponges and soft corals clinging to the rock sides. Inside the atoll lagoons, rock pinnacles – thila – vault up from the bottom to scratch the water’s surface. In the channels, there are swim-throughs, caverns and overhangs festooned with colorful sponges, invertebrates and gorgonians to explore.

At well-known cleaning stations, wrasse and shrimp service manta rays, and other large marine species. With a welcoming culture and some of the finest liveaboard dive boats and luxury resorts on the globe, a dive holiday in the Maldives makes for an unforgettable experience.

THE ROUTE

North Male, South Male, Vaavu, Meemu and Thaa.

The diving in the blue water paradise is absolutely sublime. Shark and manta ray sightings are guaranteed as well as myriads of reef fish, morays, critters and the king of them all - the whaleshark. On this itinerary we will be diving a lot with reef sharks, including various cleaning stations and channels. We will even night dive with Nurse Sharks, on the famous Alimtha night dive. We will also swim at night with whalesharks, a worldwide unique opportunity. 

Duration: 7 Nights

Number of dives: Up to 3 dives a day

Dive Sites Description:
SOUTH MALE ATOLL
Kandooma Thila ***
Definitely number one in the ranking of the best dive sites in South Male atoll. Long thila, located in the middle of the channel, offers spectacular conditions to observe grey reef sharks, whitetip reef sharks, eagle rays, big schools of jacks and snappers both with incoming and outgoing current. North side of the pinnacle is nicely covered with soft corals with the top of the reef being home to many reef fish and green turtles. Currents can be pretty strong so negative entry and fast descent is often required. Current hooks should be ready to use.

VAAVU ATOLL
Miyaru Kandu ***
One of the channel dives that you don’t want to miss. With strong incoming current the list of possible encounters is impressive. Mainly grey reef sharks but also whitetip reef sharks, eagle rays, napoleons and tunas are quite common and with the visibility reaching 40 meters during the northeast monsoon it can be the highlight of the trip. Outgoing current offer worse visibility but the sharks are still there. The site is not recommended for beginners, negative entry is often required and current hook is a must to avoid causing unnecessary damage to the reef. Most of the time you will spend at the depth of 26 to 30 meters so checking air and no-deco time more often is strongly recommended.

Alimatha House Reef **
Located on the south side of Alimatha island resort and considered one of the best night dives in the Maldives, being often a victim of its success and resulting in overcrowding of divers. Every night there is a show performed by a big number of nurse sharks, stingrays and massive jacks. Maximum depth will not exceed 15 meters and most of the time you will be kneeling on a sandy bottom waiting for the sharks to come closer. Definitely not to be missed.

MEEMU ATOLL
Muli Corner **
The reef is known as home to a lot of sharks during incoming currents but it also welcomes manta rays on a large cleaning station during outgoing current. Entering the water with empty BCD and not wasting time on the surface is often recommended, specially with strong currents.

THAA ATOLL
Whaleshark point *
There is no specific place where diving would guarantee an encounter with a whale shark but the common practice is to use a strong light in the evening at the back platform of the boat to attract the zooplanktons which will further attract the whale sharks. We will snorkel with whalesharks at night, a truly unique experience.

 

THE EXTRAS

The trip will be hosted by pro-photographer Simon Lorenz and FathomlessLife instagrammer Oliver Neville. Simon will host several talks on sharks and manta rays, helping you understand these amazing creatures more. Oliver will share his knowledge and insight to use social media in the best possible way, and blog and instragram your photos during the trip. Simon will teach underwater photography techniques for beginners as well as advanced photographers. And Simon will provide free professional photographs of you underwater.

It is also possible to get your Nitrox certification on this trip.

THE BOAT

The Blue Shark One is a private boat for smaller groups that is fast and able to travel far distances to reach special spots. Its comfortably laid out over three decks and has a complete dive boat (dhoni) for all our gear and tanks, so we dont even hear the tanks being filled. All rooms have aircon and private bath room. All tasty meals are provided by the two cools and there is even a Lavazza Coffee Bar.

BLUE SHARK ONE

- Full board - 3 meals plus snacks

- Private rooms with AC, fan, safe and private bath room with hot water 

- Large sun deck, plus several shaded decks

- Large dive equipment area

- Nitrox on board

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DATES

10nd February embark on boat IN Male, return 17th February 2019.  

QUALIFICATION

Advanced divers with minimum 50+ dives. Experience with drift dives required. Nitrox recommended!
Type of dives: Mostly channel dives. Sites exposed to strong or very strong currents.

As always we are operating the trip via the Hong Kong based travel agent Southern Cross.

how to book

Please send us an email with your name, your dive experience and any questions you may have. You can also click INTERESTED on our facebook event and we will contact your directly. 

Check out how much fun we had on the last joint trip with GirlsThatScuba

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INSIDER DIVERS trips are booked and handled by Southern Cross Travel Company Limited, Hong Kong, unless otherwise specified.

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