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Dive Review of Baani Adventurer in

August, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by David Vickery & Suzanne Leeson, NJ, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (11 reports)
Report Number 2937
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Fiji, Australia, Palau, PNG, Yap, Hawaii, Caribbean & Central America.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
Water Temp
81   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
The boat was short one DM, and was the group to stay together on current
dives, and to surface with 500 psi. Depth, time, and psi were logged after
each dive, but no one was criticized for violating the rules  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 stars  
No rinse tanks on either the dive dhoni or the mother ship for cameras or
any other gear. We had to use the fresh water showers to rinse cameras,
computers, etc. No E-6 on board. (do people still shoot film?)There is a
plasma TV you can connect your own laptop to and display digital pix. Only
power is 240 volt. so bring your own transformers. Power strips are
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
4 stars    
 As my Great Books of the 20th Century professor used to say, "You
pays your money and you takes your chances." Rates are cheaper in the
low season, and at $1,136 each for a suite, less than half what you'd pay
on the Peter Hughes boat. The Maldives in the low season is apt to be a
trifle rainy. We only lost one dive due to weather. The week started out
OK, turned cloudy, then rainy, then sunny, and finished brilliant. 
 There are, however, only three dives a day on the Baani fleet, so if
you're a hard-core 4-5 dives a day person, you may wish to look elsewhere.
 The Baani Adventurer is a four-deck monohull, 100 feet long with a 28-foot
beam. Bottom deck is the engine room and engineering, the top deck is an
exposed sun area with two chaises, although you could conceivably heave a
few more up from the lounge area below. Unless you have skin like a
rattlesnake, it's not worth it. When the sun is out in the Maldives, you
can burn in 15 minutes. The main deck houses the salon/dining/bar area, a
few cabins, and the al fresco dining tables that also serve as the briefing
area. The upper deck accommodates the two suites, the bridge, and a
partially covered lounge area with about 8 chaises.
 Like all Maldivian dive boats, diving is from a dhoni that carries all the
gear, the compressor, a selection of aluminum 80's and a few 62's. Tanks
have DIN valves, but most were outfitted with adaptors for yoke rigs. No
Nitrox is available. Fills were always at 3,000 psi. 
 First dive was a 6:45. Then breakfast of fruit, pancakes, toast, eggs to
order, or cereal. Oh, and tuna mixed with onions and eggs or another left
over. Second dive was at 10:30. Lunch was the big meal of the day with
burgers, colds cuts, basic salads, pastas, curries or other Asian dishes.
And tuna. Ice cream was served at each lunch. Dinner might be fish, another
Asian dish, potatoes or rice, a well-done steak, fruit or cake for dessert,
and, you guessed, it, tuna. We would make any lengthy crossings during the
lunch break, with a third dive at 3:00. There were no nighttime crossings.
 The group of six Germans, four Americans and two French got along well,
and were all pretty much on the same skill level. We thought the best place
to sit was on the bench on the forward main deck. You could see everything
and the breeze was better than the A/C in the cabins, which never went
below 78 degrees. Once the A/C failed but was repaired during the next
 The first day we didn't get the whole group together until noon before
departing Male. There was a check out dive in the afternoon in
"medium" current. Three large turtles, titan triggers, honeycomb
and black cheek morays. The next day we started at Lankan Beyru where we
crawled hand over hand over the reef (no gloves allowed) to a rocky rise
where we clung (bring your own reef hooks) waiting for the mantas. Two
showed up; one stayed for about a minute. Later that day we dove Kuda Haq,
twin bommies requiring a max depth of only 82 feet. It would be easier to
say what we didn't see than what we did. Indian Ocean species galore, in
great quantities, including some rarities such as long nose hawkfish and
phantom bannerfish. Only a few white tips on this dive. The first day next
day was at Makaru Thila which is Male Atoll's Blue Corner. Descending into
a current, clinging to the reef. Large gray reef sharks, dozens of white
tips, Napoleon wrasse, hordes of unicorns.
 The week went like that. Even experienced divers hit the fish books after
each dive trying to list all we had seen. One bummer was the 'whale shark'
dive at Mamagili Beyru was a bust, and if the big guy doesn't show, there's
nothing else to see. There appears to be little use of GPS. Divemaster
Husen Abd stood in the bow and looked for the reef. When we arrived at
Kuderah Thili there was one other boat. Once the other liveaboards knew we
found the reef they clustered around. Eventually there were six dhonis on
the reef, each with 12 to 16 divers in a 3-knot current trying to hang on
and wait for the sharks. 
 The atolls themselves are beautiful and well worth the odd shore
excursion. The staff on the boat was friendly, helpful, and attentive. By
sunset the third night, the barman handed me a well-made G&T without my
asking. We would return. We'd like to try the Peter Hughes boat in the high
season, but sailing on the Baani Adventurer allowed us to save money the
first week and blow it all on an expensive land based resort the second
week, and in the Maldives the resorts are spectacular.

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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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