I’ve been absent a little too long again. Work has been hectic and I have been travelling over the weekends, too busy and too tired running around to write. The good news is, I did not forget this and I’m back!
And I feel like I’m prolonging the Maldives posts because I really miss the place! Hopefully, the photos are a good enough incentive for you to keep reading.
Day 4 of the week-long liveaboard trip was spent hoping for whale sharks. I said hoping because at that time, it has been months since anyone has seen the whale sharks, and feeling lucky after the night mantas, we decided to give it a go. The “missing” whale sharks were even reported in the local news!
Before that, the first dive was at Madivaru, South Ari Atoll and it was another manta point. Madivaru starts off at a shallow 3m gradually dropping down to 10m before the vertical drop to about 25-30m.
We had good action with the mantas, and colorful reef life can be found here including morays, scorpion fish and octopus. We even had a manta that was more white and grey than black during our safety stop, and that had to be the most beautiful manta I have ever seen all these years!
Then we headed for a chain of islands which are generally labelled Maamigili, which I believe is the largest island of the chain. This is where the whale sharks are usually sighted, and it is not surprising to actually see up to 10 boats patrolling up and down the area searching for them.
We hopped on to our dhony and with our masks, fins and snorkels ready, we prayed and hope that the whale sharks would come back on that day. We cruised the area for about 30 minutes without luck, and decided that we would try and spot them during our dive.
We descended on to a colorful reef constantly looking out into the blue for a whale shark to show up. Nearing the end of the dive, I had more or less given up hope, and had not even turned my camera on the entire dive! Suddenly, I heard someone banging on their tank non-stop!
Looking around, I found that the source of the noise was Chloe, and she was looking up above the reef. I raced to her as fast as I can, thinking that they have spotted a whale shark, but there wasn’t. Instead, it was a huge squadron of mobula rays cruising above the reef! Maldives may not show you everything she has, but she definitely does not disappoint! That was definitely the highlight of the dive, right before it ended.
The good news is, I have some friends that are in the Maldives diving 2 weeks ago and they managed to see the whale sharks. I feel really glad to know that they are back.
Chloe and I decided to skip the third dive, as we were supposed to have our beach BBQ that day, and we wanted to get to the island early to take some photos. The weather did not cooperate, and it was raining on and off the entire afternoon, threatening to dampen our BBQ night on the beach.
Luckily, we managed to sneak on to the island during the slight breaks in between the rain, and got some photos of us on the beach. However, the captain thought that it would be risky to arrange for the BBQ on the beach, due to the uncertain weather, and we had dinner on board instead.
Hopefully, I get a little more time to write next week, before I go off on assignment to Tioman Island next weekend. I may take a brief pause describing my Maldivian adventure to talk about the assignment. We shall see! And as always, til then, dive safe!