Diving the Maldives

Which way to paradise? The Maldives are an isolated group of Islands deep in the Indian Ocean. The closest countries are Sri Lanka and India who are about 700 and 400 km away. Now, that’s a long swim. With no less than 1,192 islands to discover, of which less than 200 are inhabited, I’m sure you can find a patch of paradise that’s just right for you. All of them have picture perfect white beaches, perfectly shaped palm trees and the most amazing colored water I have ever seen. Sailing trough the Atolls, watching the sun go down over those Islands, you wonder if it can get any better than this?

Sure it can, the real party starts under water! The Maldives isolated location and many islands attract the earths most illustrous animals such as the mighty Manta Ray and the huge but oh so friendly Whale Shark. The Islands in the middle of the vast ocean provide an abundance of coral reefs, marine life and strong currents. It’s this combination that attracts big marine life. Having eye contact with a seven meter wide Manta ray hovering above me was one of the most beautiful and visually overwhelming experiences of my life. They tend to stay above the lucky diver because they like the divers’ bubbles tickling their bellies. Now, how cool is that? The Manta is not the only show in town, there are all kinds of curious sharks within arms reach on almost every dive, rays in all shapes and colours, giant turtles, scorpion fish, murena’s, octopussy and everything else in XL size.

But beware, it’s the notorious currents that brings the good stuff to the Maldives, but it can also make some dives very tricky. All dives in the Maldives are drift dives. So once you jump in the water the current takes you along the reefs, fast! So make sure you have a reef hook if you need to stop for something. Carry an OSB and know how to use it! Otherwise the boat may not find you. Pay attention to your buddy! Underwater photography and big currents are a good recepy for losing each other. And last but not least, be in good physical shape so you can fight the current if you have to.

All the pictures were caught with a Canon G15 in a Canon WP-DC48 under water housing.

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a curious hawksbill turtle

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butterfly fish, they always seem in love…

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a gracious white tip reef shark

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Parrot fish on a beautiful reef

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master of camoflage, the scorpionfish

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the mighty manta swinging by…

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taking on the color of its environment, the octopus.

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a school of mobula rays in the distance

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a dense school of blue striped snappers

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I can’t get enough of the turtles

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underwater choreography

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