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Maldives: Sea Spirit

Maldives Scuba Tours Sea Spirit Maldives Ari Atoll underwater SCUBA Nikon Nauticam wildlife fish

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#1 tdpriest

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 10:52 AM

I travelled out to the Maldives as a result of BSoUP's 2012 "Splash-in" competition, joining the MV Sea Spirit and its faithful dhoni to cruise the well-travelled but surprisingly interesting Thilas and channels of Ari Atoll.

 

2013 Maldives 693 Male Sea Spirit.jpg

 

The boat looks small, until you realise that all the dive gear stays on the dhoni with the compressor and Nitrox. It's actually as comfortable as the much bigger and superficially more impressive boats that ply the Red Sea and Indonesian waters.

 

2013 Maldives 15 181 Kudarah Thila bluestripe snappers.jpg

 

2013 Maldives 49 587 Madivaru Rasdhoo bluestripe snappers.jpg

 

There are still shoals of fish, sharks of all kinds (somewhat oppressed by crowds if they venture too close to the bigger resort islands), rays, turtles and pretty reefs, largely, I suspect, because of the intermittently fierce currents that squirt in and out of the atolls.

 

2013 Maldives 50 410 Maaya Thila hawksbill turtle.jpg

 

2013 Maldives 59 607 Madivaru Rasdhoo grey reef shark.jpg

 

2013 Maldives 28 247 Dhidhdoo whale shark and crowds.jpg

 

For a routine trip, this was something of an eye-opener!

 

2013 Maldives 31 353 Madivaru Faruhukuvali manta ray b.jpg

 

2013 Maldives 46 504 Maayafushi lagoon mantas.jpg

 

2013 Maldives 13 076 Alimathaa jetty nurse sharks.jpg

 

More images:

 

https://www.flickr.c...57643891843663/



#2 JimG

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 12:16 AM

A productive trip Tim - enjoyed your photos. The whale shark/snorkellers trip is not a pretty sight and reminds me of a similar situation I encountered about five yera ago when I took my wife on a whale shark snorkelling trip from Vilamendhoo in Ari Atoll. When we got on site there were eight boats from other islands and snorkellers all over the place in quite choppy water. The boats were surging around trying to drop their groups in front of a shark and how somebody didn't get minced I don't know. It was extremely dangerous and our boat actually collided with another which prompted our skipper to give up. It was a complete circus all in the name of money and no thought for the animals. I felt ashamed to have taken part & I'll never do it again.

Your shot of the snappers coming forward under the overhang is a stunner for me.


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#3 tdpriest

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 02:24 AM

The whale shark/snorkellers trip is not a pretty sight ...

 

Luckily there was only a single boat of snorkellors, and that particular whale shark (one of five that appeared within an hour) was cool about the crowds...

 

... the other sharks swam off; perhaps they had more sense?



#4 Barry Field

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 11:27 PM

We just returned from South Ari, was shocked how one of The Manta points (Bojhamadi) sometimes had up to 8 Safari boats moored up and it was like a football stadium around the previously empty coral block the mantas come to get cleaned.

No current and reef hooks applied without any consideration, we were also pretty sure that one boat had dropped something into the water so their divers could see some sharks as greys and white tips at 4m depth is pretty unusual!

Great photos though!


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