Maldives - Manta Manta

The closest country to the Maldives is Sri Lanka. And so I used this opportunity, coming from a two week Sri Lankan roundtrip and go to the Maldives for a week of diving from a liveaboard. Every diver is talking about the Maldives and probably for every diver it among the most favorite places to dive. And so it was for me.

April 10 - Tourists flood the Maldives, and I want to contribute

Flying towards the Maldives
The flight from Sri Lanka was 1.5 hours and the arrival in the Malé Hulule Airport already made it a clear statement, that the Maldives ARE a place people like to go on vacations. Heard all different kind of languages speaking around me, probably tourists from half of the world was waiting in the arrival and departure are at the airport.

From now on, on this trip, most of the things were now organized for me.

Had to wait one hour for being picked up by the liveaboard staff and then was shipped with a dhoni, a small motorized taxi boat, to the liveaboard "Kefi". Kefi  This liveaboard was tiny compared to the other ones I have been so far. Of course, I knew that when I did my research about the liveaboards in the Maldives and I wondered what the difference would be in contrast to a bigger one. On the boat, we were only 6 divers, one dive guide, one skipper and two people for preparing food.

And so this was where the week started and the four dives per day could start to proceed. As we were only such few divers there was no hassle to prepare for each dive and no problem of losing equipment among a few other hundred dive equipment articles from 20 other divers :). Yes, these things happen :)

Transport DhoniDeckLiveaboard Kefi

April 17 - How are the Maldives for diving?

I don’t remember each place or atoll and I also didn’t make the effort to make write it down, as there were so many and so many of them looked the exact same as the one before. But for sure is that the diving in the Maldives is indeed the best and among top ten areas to dive.

The only problem might be that it becomes more and more overcrowded and the animals disappear, especially in combination with the global warming and its coral bleaching, that also takes place heavily in the Maldives.

Dolphins jumping around
jumping dolphins maldivesDolphins

The Manta Cleaning Station was the best

After diving in the Maldives with about 18 dives in this week, I will surely keep in memory all the cool drift dives, sometimes with strong sometimes with low current.

The wall dives, the great visibility and definitely to mention the encounter with the manta rays, which were getting their beauty program at the so-called Manta cleaning stations. These stations are highly frequented by many manta rays. It’s like a platform area with a few big stones and corals and in relatively shallow water.

The mantas come here and do their circles, trying to get as much cleaning from the cleansing fishes, whereas they don’t care about any divers or their bubbles. 

They seem to even like to swim into the bubbles and makes them swimming right above us divers, with just an arm's length away. It’s the perfect condition to make photos of manta rays.

Fishing from driving Boat is not boring at all

Red snapper maldives
Caught one
But there was not only manta ray watching. There was also time to learn something, like fishing :)

As the condition for high sea fishing was perfect in this water, one diver of the group was an ambitious fisher at home and so he couldn't resist doing here the same.

To my surprise it wasn't extremely difficult, as the only challenge was, not falling asleep while sitting on the back of the boat and hold the cord.

Unfortunately, there is no rule when a fish bites or what kind of fish, and that makes this boring procedure exciting :) And so after some hours finally one bite and then its time to know what to do next. For example "kill that fish... somehow". Sounds easy, but isn't! However, it needed to be done and as fast as possible. That's the food chain and a fish lower on it than humans.

While fishing for red snapper:

April 17 - Visiting Malé

Women play Bashi
At the end of the liveaboard week, there was one afternoon left for roaming around the capital city Male. There aren’t that many monuments or special buildings that are worth a trip to male for only visiting them. But as always, even when a place has nothing to offer, it is even more interesting to explore the area by walking around and see what kind of infrastructure people have there for the living.

The most impressive thing on mainland Malé was the tennis match which wasn’t really a tennis match, but a Bashi match.
Bashi is played on a tennis-like court, where a woman stands with her back to the net and serves a tennis ball with a tennis racket over her head backward. On the other side of the net, a team of girls tries to catch the tennis ball. Broken fingers are a relatively common occurrence. It definitely looked weird but as I found out, it was a national sport in the Maldives, which was played mainly by women and in hijabs :)

Photos Maldives:

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