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A week of scuba diving in the Maldives aka Paradise

After a year of planning, waiting and anticipating, I finally made it to the Maldive Islands to go scuba diving on a Live-on-board (LOB) and it was AMAZING.

Sailing in the Maldives

We were pretty lucky to score a super cheap flight via Malaysia Airlines that cost us just S$480 all in even if it did mean we had to transfer in Kuala Lumpur.

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…

Maldives Diving LOB Male Rainy

The rainy capital of Male in the distance. Grey and gloomy start…

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 3 storeys up and enjoying a 360 view of the sea with the occasional island passing by.

Maldives Diving LOB Island Sunny

Look at that view and those blues!

Thankfully this boat was not as tiny as those in Tioman and we had decent sized rooms and our own shower, but 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 a 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.

Maldives Diving LOB Boat Sunset

So many amazing sunsets

Scuba diving in Maldives

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 for beginners. We often had to deal with strong currents on the surface and while diving, but these conditions are also what brings the big creatures you want to see, so it’s unavoidable. Visibility also wasn’t the highest; quite a lot of sediment in the water in some spots.

Maldives Diving LOB Gearing Up Me

All geared up and ready to go!

Unfortunately along with the best experiences, I also 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 and I got to field test the Sony HDR AS-15 Action Cam on this trip. 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, whale sharks and manta rays!

Here are some of my favourite photos or screenshots:

Maldives Diving LOB Colourful Coral

Really amazingly colourful coral reefs – this shot turned out pretty well, sometimes if there isn’t enough light it’s hard to capture with my dinky camera

Maldives Diving LOB Baby Eagle Ray Up

This curious little baby Eagle Ray is my favourite because it was so unafraid and hovered so close to us! It’s a little odd that it doesn’t have its signature long tail, but it has the cutest face and was really quite small, about the size of an A3 paper perhaps. Most of the other Eagle Rays we saw were twice its size at least.

Maldives Diving LOB Baby Eagle Ray Back

Baby eagle ray came to check out what we were up to, SO CUTE

Maldives Diving LOB Fish School

The sheer number of fish in this shot is amazing. It reminds me of wrapping paper :)

Maldives Diving LOB Moray Eel Closeup

I got this shot quite early on in the trip – Moray eels like these are pretty common, but I like the angle and clarity I managed with this shot

Maldives Diving LOB Whale Shark Man

This is a screen capture from a video I shot while we were diving, and I love how you can see the dive guide below for a sense of scale! This one was huge!

More on whale sharks in Maldives this way>>

Maldives Diving LOB Shark Sand

This white-tip reef shark was just chilling out on the sand behind us. I leopard-crawled closer over the sand and zoomed in a bit to get this shot. The shark is totally giving me the side eye.

Maldives Diving LOB Yellow Snapper P

My dive buddy P took this pretty cool close up of the gazillions of blue striped snapper all around us. Love how vibrant the colours are! Sadly her camera flooded :(

Maldives Diving LOB Manta Ray BnW

This is about the best that I managed to edit of my night dive manta ray shots – visibility was very low, it was night so hardly any light, and these creatures were moving pretty fast! And they are huge, at least my height in length, and tend to swoop in very scarily close to you

Check out the manta rays in this video post>>

Other than scuba diving…

We did get up to other things 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.

Maldives - Fishing

Stealing a photo from P’s instagram of a pretty bountiful catch one evening! There was a lot of fish in the following days for lunch and dinner…

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.

Maldives Diving LOB Beach Sand

Welcome to paradise!

Maldives Diving LOB Beach Whale Shark

This amazing sand sculpture was done by the boat crew and is all sorts of amazing. It’s actually about the size of the first baby whale shark that we spotted, and so much effort was put into it! Very impressed!

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.

Maldives Diving Male Flags

Maldivian flags on this street – others were bathed in yellow, pink or a weird combination of both

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.

Maldives - Scubaddiction

Us and the boat crew in the front of the boat! can you spot me? Thanks to Glenn Yong and Scubaddiction for the picture

Looking for more Maldives inspiration? Check out the post and videos on my whale shark encounters, as well as meeting manta rays. Or if you rather something more chillax, head to the all inclusive Club Med Kani.

Angela Lok

Wednesday 9th of January 2019

this article brings back so many memories from my 2018 trip to the Maldives, one of my favourites ever! got to do some amazing diving at the Maaya Thila ( the waters, the beaches, the weather, the locals - ah! the Maldives are truly a gem in this world.


Saturday 16th of November 2013

Great pics


Saturday 16th of November 2013

Thank you KH! :)