Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Maldives by Night

Tried my luck to catch a glimpse of the Manta feeding frenzy at Baa atol made popular by the amazing  National Geographic photographer  & conservation advocate Thomas Peschak  but was unfortunate bad weather loomed... which forced us to do a last minute reroute. Personally did around eight dives (of supposedly 18) where I immensely enjoyed two.

Alimatha was incredible.. was a fiesta of nurse sharks, marble rays and giant stingrays with occasional fly-bys by black tip sharks, but similar to other great interaction sites, it involved feeding. The second site was in Fesdhoo Lagoon, where our boat was docked while the staff flicked on a flood light positioned on the stern of our liveonboard which attracted enough plankton to reel in two mantas which stayed with us for 45 minutes. Below are few photos from the two awesome dives

Alimatha by Night


fly by

close encounter with Allen 
Nurse Shark with Tricia

Stare Down with Marble Ray

Still Hungry

Mantas..Fesdhoo Lagoon

Clemence catches some shots

Chris & Allen takes some more

Flying low

The lowdown.. Advanced divers will love the strong current action and big fish (whale sharks, white tips, black tips, gray reef sharks, battery of barracudas... challenging photographically due to strong currents) but for happy snappers, Night dives at Alimatha and Fesdhoo Lagoon are great opportunities for surreal close encounters with sharks and rays.

Fun in the Indian Sun

                                                         Short Trip video, Aerial videography by Calvin Tee
                                               Maldives 2014 (Air/UW) teaser from PaparazSea.com on Vimeo.

                 the Luckier group (week before), Great vid by YY using a china gopro and home made red filters
                                                        Pretty impressive for a SJ4000 -USD100 action cam
                                                                                                                                                                        Maldives 2014 from y2 on Vimeo.

killing time in Male
Getting There
Port of entry- Male, capital of Maldives
Main hubs ASEAN are Singapore and Malaysia
Cost via Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Airlines USD600 (low) to USD1,000 (high)
Philippines to Malaysia average ticket price USD200+/-
**for divers, Malaysian Airlines comes out much cheaper than all other airlines as 30 kilos of baggage are 'fare inclusive'

Live on Board costs
from USD1,000- USD3,000+++, depending on boat class, itinerary

relative distance of sites mentioned

Accommodation Hotels in Male 

(in case of flight differences with boat schedule)
Budget Guesthouses/Lodges USD45-60, always have an 8% gov't tax on top
google Luckyhiyaa Hotel & Skai Lodge
Average Up USD100..Traders Hotel etcLocal Food in Male

Hole in the Wall joints
Rf50-80 / USD2-5 per meal, local restaurants, mainly Indian and the usual Burger and Pasta joints

Ferry Boats from Airport to Male Capital

Rf10, 10-15 minutes

Exchange Rate as of Aug 2014
USD1= Rf15.20+/-
USD1- Php43.65