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Dive Review of Baani Adventurer in
Maldives/North, South Male and Ari Atol

August, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Rich and Kathleen Rankhorn, IL, USA (2 reports)
Report Number 2953

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Reporter
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Hawaii, Australia, Red Sea, Numerous places in Caribbean

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
calm, currents  
Water Temp
80   to 82    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
25   to 50    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
[Unspecified]30 meters, 60 min. max Computer required. Buddy required. Do
not touch things and nothing can be taken out of the ocean. You drink,
you're done for the day.  
Liveaboard?
yes 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
Lots 
Mantas
Squadrons 
Dolphins
Schools 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
N/A  
Boat Facilities
N/A
Overall rating for UWP's  
N/A  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
[None]We are not photographers but there was no rinse tank on the dhoni
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
5 stars
Food
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
4 stars    
Comments  
[None]We went here because of the review we read in the Jan. 06
Undercurrent. We chose the Adventurer as it was the newer of the two boats,
in operation since January, basically all the same specs as the Explorer.
No nitrox and no hottub working. We knew traveling during the southwest
monsoon season which runs from May to October would be chancey but we did
not see a drop of rain for the 2 weeks we were there. Sunny everyday. They
said it hadn't rained in a couple of weeks so the visibilty was better then
usual which still was not great. We chose one of the upper deck cabins with
a queen size bed and it was very spacious. They kept it clean and it had a
large bathroom. 2 places to eat, inside dining room and outside on the back
deck. The cook was from Sri Lanka so there were many curry dishes.All meals
were buffet style on the back deck.  Breakfast always had eggs or you could
ask for an omlette, fruit, toast, cereal, and traditional Maldivian food.
Lunch and dinner always had a fish dish, curry dish and one other either
chicken or beef, then salad, fruit and bread. A few dinner meals were
prepared and served to everyone. One night was an island cookout. The
speciality dessert was icecream otherwise it was fruit.  Water was always
available, plenty of soft drinks or alcohol to purchase. The boat was full
with 18 divers on board. We were the only Americans. The group from Hong
Kong brought their own dive master with them so each time we were in the
water we had one of the two boat dive masters to ourselves. The back deck
was the meeting place before the dive, 7am, 11am, 3 pm were the approximate
times, wake up call at 6:30 am. One night dive during the week. All
briefings in English. All dives done from the dhoni which traveled
everywhere with the Adventurer. Each person kept the same spot for the
week. Laundry baskets for gear that fit under the benches, plenty of space
for hanging suits. Dive masters checked the currents as they were always
changing. Giant stride off the sides of the dhoni. We dove 3 of the atoll
systems, North and South Mali and North Ari. The fish about the same in
each spot. Prolific groupers, fusiliers, oriental sweetlips, butterfly
fish, anthias, snappers (which often were dinner we think) angelfish,
bannerfish, and a variety of triggerfish. Most dives had sharks of some
kind but mostly grey and whitetips reef sharks. Several turtles were
curious enough to tag along on several dives. We saw a few lionfish, puffer
fish, box fish and one scorpionfish. There are only a handful of fish
unique to the Maldives and the dive master made it his mission to point
those out to us. One spot had a couple Napoleon Wrasse that seemed to like
being petted or fed which the group did not do. The highlight was a morning
dive to see the mantas at a cleaning station and 8 came by. The current was
very strong and we had to hold on tight as not to be pulled away. The dive
master said the spot was sacred to the Maldivians and he did not want
people close to where they circled and he pulled people back if they go too
close. We stayed at about 50 feet for about an hour watching this beautiful
elaborate dance as the mantas circled above us. This was about the only
spot where we were with other boats,dive site called Lankan Beyru. Some
spots were very calm and others had quite strong currents where we were
drift diving. Each time we surfaced it seemed like the dhoni was right
there, we never had to inflate our safety sausages or even wait to climb
back up the ladder. The corals varied from spot to spot. Some places it was
healthy and coming back and some places looked like the coral had been
blown apart and the broken pieces were every where, like a landscape from a
sci fi movie. They are still recovering from the bleaching and the tsunami.
The crew was extremely accommodating. After the week they rinsed all the
gear and brought it to the top deck where there was plenty of space to dry
it out before traveling. We flew through Dubai to Male on Emirates, great
airline. Long flight from Chicago but we took a day to adjust. Arrived at
10 am, stayed at the Hulehule Hotel, near the airport,  which let us check
in at that time and sleep. Dive master picked us up at the hotel the next
morning and we boarded the boat. Did out check out dive and hung in the
harbor as the group from Hong Kong did not arrive until very late that
night. All travel between atolls is done during the day after lunch,
Maldivian law, so the nights were calm and quiet. Had the option a visiting
a couple of the small islands to walk around and shop. You must barter for
everything and everything seemed to start at $20, maybe that was the only
amount they knew. When the trip was done the dive masters delivered the
group to where ever they were headed next either the airport or other
resorts. Spent 3 days in Angsana Resort after departing which was fabulous,
a wonderful place to unwind before the long journey home. Trip was
definitely worth the value, boat was great and the crew made the trip.
Don't bring alcohol to the Maldives, it's illegal and they take it at the
airport as the group from Hong Kong found out. Made all the arrangements
through 
Dominick Macan, dom@diveadvice.com, he was very helpful and he sent us
everything we needed. The website for the boat is
www.maldivesliveaboards.com. There are  more then 100 to choose from and
this was one was excellent.
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Other dive reports on MV Baani

All Maldives Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Maldives
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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