After a year of planning, waiting and anticipating, I can finally say that I’ve been scuba diving in the Maldives! And what an incredible week it was!
The weather was a bit of a concern at first – the week’s forecasts were rather wet and our first day there was not promising at all with grey clouds and perpetual rain, this trip was not off to a great start; after all what is the Maldives without its cerulean blue waters and sunny green islands? Being cooped up in a rocky boat was not what I had in mind…
But thankfully the weather made a turn for the better and out came the classic postcard Maldives – sunny skies, unbelievably blue waters… it was really awesome just sitting on the sundeck and enjoying a 360 view of the sea with the occasional island passing by.
I spent a lot of time outside soaking up as much island-ness as I could, so I’m definitely a little more tanned now (and a tad burnt on my thighs, ow). As with dive trips, I was either diving, eating or sleeping most of the time. The great thing about doing an LOB (Live on Board) dive safari is being able to reach all the different dive sites in the various atolls and islands of the Maldives, so there’s huge variety in both dive sites and things we see.
Diving in Maldives is definitely an experience, and one you need to be prepared for: I’m glad I have been diving for awhile before coming here as the waters are not easy at all! Quite often we had to deal with strong currents on the surface and while diving, but that’s also what brings the big creatures you want to see, so it’s unavoidable if you really want to see those critters. Visibility also wasn’t the highest; quite a lot of sediment in the water in some spots.
Also, I had one of my worst dive experiences to date: Very cold waters, really strong currents combined with pressure from deep dives gave me the worst splitting headache in the world, which resulted in some nausea and puking, unprecedented given that I don’t get motion sickness usually. Thank goodness for Panadol and long healing naps!
I did 18 dives in total over 6 days, so the dive logs will take some churning out, especially since I got to field test the Sony HDR AS-15 Action Cam on this trip and will need to do some video editing. I’m just so so so happy that I got to get up close and personal with some of the critters that I’ve been dying to see for the longest time, the whale shark and manta ray!
Here are 10 of my favourite photos or screenshots so far:
We did get up to other things though in between dives – there was some fishing going on in the evenings that I chiefly watched (don’t like touching fish and hooks, ugh) which led to some pretty spectacular fish meals later in the week.
Also, we got to visit a deserted paradise island of sorts, with the clearest water ever to swim in (but a helluva lot of mozzies in the afternoon – my back was like a buffet for them) and had a lovely candlelight BBQ outdoor dinner there at night. The stars in the sky were amazing to behold, but unfortunately the party got curtailed by a sudden downpour.
And after we got back on to dry land (I swear some of these islands are not quite like normal land, I was bobbing extra hard in places), we spent an afternoon walking around the capital of Male and stocking up on souvenirs. It was elections in the Maldives and we were there on polling day, so there were lots of flags (pink and yellow were the main parties) all over the town, but it was generally quiet, though many people were glued to the TV for results in the evening.
Thanks to James and the folks of Scubaddiction for organizing this trip – our party of 18 had a ball of a time diving and it was really fun hanging out with everyone, meeting old friends and making new ones.