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

Baani Adventurer, Aug, 2006,

by Rich and Kathleen Rankhorn, IL, USA ( 2 reports). Report 2953.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Hawaii, Australia, Red Sea, Numerous places in Caribbean
Closest Airport Getting There

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
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
UW Photo 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
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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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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