Diving Maldives | with S’Algar Diving, Menorca
Maldives liveaboard, 6 days, 17 dives, water a balmy 28c, some of the most outstanding marine life on the planet and best of all doing it with a bunch of dive buddies from your favourite dive centre! Yep, that was our 2017 dive trip to the Maldives, what more can I say?
The week started at Gatwick with a meeting up, a couple of beers to see us on our way and then the flight direct to Male. On arrival, more meeting up with those coming from other places, then off to our home for the week, a fantastic purpose built live-aboard.
The days started early, a cup of tea at 6/6.30 and a snack whilst the first briefing took place, then off to the dive site in our dhoni, a purpose-built dive boat/platform where your kit lives for the week and all dives are made from. Back to the main boat for breakfast, then an hour or so to chill and then the next dive, lunch, afternoon dive, maybe a night dive then dinner. Finally, a couple of beers on the aft deck reliving the days diving.
The marine life
As for the dives, what can I say? Marine life of all shapes, sizes and colours. The manta ray at the cleaning station which passed inches over my head; a dive site called “Fish Head” by the local fishermen as they complained if they caught anything all that was left when it got to the surface was its head, the sharks had got there first. We went there twice and just sat on the end of the rock facing the current watching carnage, jacks, tuna and we counted 15 reef sharks cruising round filling their boots.
As a word of advice, if you do go to the Maldives make sure you’ve got a reef hook, there are some quite strong currents, hopefully, you won’t need to swim against them, but there are times you want to clip onto a piece of rock (definitely not coral) and just sit and watch the life. Thankfully, Pepe from S’Algar gave me this tip before we left so with a birthday approaching, I was fully prepared for arrival.
The night dive
I will never forget my first-night dive there, we had been in the water for about 20 minutes when we came round a corner, saw a small cave, then it all kicked off with sharks appearing from nowhere, circling round and enjoying their dinner.
Nearly every dive we saw turtles, lovely amphibians going about their doleful business in their own peculiar way. On the smaller end, nudibranchs were there to be found if you took a bit of time rooting them out, big is not always best.
Sadly, all too soon the week was over but not before a chance to have a walk around Male, our first time to put feet on the ground and wear shoes, for a week. A final night dinner on board then the flight home, back to the UK in November, not good after a fantastic week. At least the memories remain and bring on next year’s trip!