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Dive Review of Pretty Thombili/MY Teate in
Maldives

Pretty Thombili/MY Teate, Oct, 2007,

by Don Acheson, MD, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports). Report 3722.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Micronesia, Australia, Bali/Komodo, Papua New Guinea, Red Sea, Fiji, Vanuatu
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 82 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 30 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No decom, 100 feet max, 60 minute max, buddy diving, use surface float during safety hang - not checked nor strictly enforced
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 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]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The MY Teate was built as a luxury yacht, and it shows - air-conditioned throughout, teak decks outside, varnished mahogany decks throughout inside, light oak paneling and carpentry, eight spacious double cabins for passengers with side-by-side beds and private baths and showers, two large lounges, outside eating and relaxing spaces on rear and forward decks, and a sun deck. The food was usually too highly spiced for my taste, but others in our group of 12 enjoyed it, so the problem was me, not the chef. Beer, wine, and liquor was available.

Both nitrox and air were available. We dove from a "dhoni" - a local boat about 35 feet long with a roof to provide shade, a row of benches down each side, and a rack for tanks down the middle - comfortable for 16 divers. The crew was capable, competent, and helpful. Dive briefings were excellent, offering a clear picture of the upcoming reef structure, what to expect or hope to see, and where to look for it. Most of our diving was on "giris" or "thilas" - coral reefs, usually flat-topped, located in the channels between islands. The former are too shallow to safely take a boat over their tops (often 15 feet of water or less) while the latter's tops are deeper (often 25 to 30 feet). Since the Maldives consist only of atolls, the channels between islands drain or fill the lagoons within and there's usually lots of current there. Hence, it's drift diving looking for big stuff and difficult to find little critters. An big stuff we did find! White tip and grey reef sharks, a half dozen thresher sharks, and a couple of whale sharks; large snappers and groupers on almost every dive; jacks and tuna cruising the edge of the reef; many turtles; seven HUGE bumphead parrotfish on one dive; manta, spotted eagle and sting rays; schooling barracuda and a few large great barracuda; numbers of humphead wrasse; schools of large unicornfish; numerous giant, honeycomb, and whitemouth morays. In addition, there was the expected array of colorful or conspicuous reef fish; especially striking and numerous were clown triggerfish, a variety of anemonefish, many species of butterflyfish and angelfish, surgeonfish, and an assortment of triggerfish. Included among the latter were the agressive (when nesting) titan triggerfish and huge numbers of small redtooth triggerfish.

Occasionally, especially toward the end of a dive when my buddy and I hooked in or found shelter from the current to execute our safety stop over a reef instead of in the deep blue, little critters could be found. I spotted a pair of banded pipefish on one dive, octopi on several, the blenny and blind shrimp pair a few times, banded coral shrimp, and others.

I'd rate the diving a notch higher for experienced divers except a few things: the bilge pump exhaust right at the dhoni's ladder, the lack of overhead handholds as one shuffled with fin-clad feet along the benches to the exit points, and the need to switch tanks after every dive since filling-in-place never occurred. The latter capability would eliminate the need for the tank racks since we returned to the Teate after every dive. In fairness, the dhoni was leased and had the Teate its own at that time, these deficiencies may not have existed. The often-strong currents would always make this difficult diving for the inexperienced.
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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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