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Dive Review of World Wide Dive & Sail/Maldives Siren in
Maldives/Northern atolls

September, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Jason Marks, CA, US
Reviewer   (5 reports)
Report Number 6240
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Indonesia, Micronesia, Thailand, Fiji, Caribbean.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
83   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
4   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
100 feet, time usually unlimited  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  1 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
The Siren has ample table space and charging stations in the salon.  Rinse
tanks on dive deck.  Crew very helpful and careful with cameras.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars    
3 stars   
2 stars    
This northern itinerary covered a lot of water, from sites near Male all
the way up to Hanimadhoo, and including the famed Hanifaru Bay in Baa
Atoll.  There were no mantas at Hanifaru when we were there.  On this trip,
we never found the squadrons of mantas that others have seen in the
Maldives -- the most we encountered were 3 at one shallow site.  Eagle rays
came by at several sites, and we had a wonderful close encounter with them
(one approached right up to my camera dome port) at a site in Noonu Atoll. 
We had groups of gray reef sharks on two sites, and a few white tips and
nurse sharks elsewhere.   

The condition of the reefs was disappointing:  several sites had large
areas of dead hardcorals and rubble, and only two or three of the 25 or so
sites I dove were truly vibrant with coral and sponges.  (I don't know if
this results from bleaching or from other causes.)  With the exception of
one site in Haa Dhallu Atoll, there were very few colorful softcorals.  

Fish life, however, was generally good, with more large snapper and grouper
than I have seen on most Indo-Pacific reefs (less local fishing here?),
lots of Oriental Sweetlips, and clouds of smaller tropicals on many dives. 
Jacks (including one large aggregation), tuna and barracuda also showed up
at a few sites. The occasional turtle or octopus added to the variety.

The Maldives Siren (the same boat sails elsewhere at other times of the
year) is a comfortable and attractive Pinisi-style yacht.  The crew, some
Maldivian and some from other Indian Ocean countries, is friendly, skilled
and well organized.  The food was excellent, with a wide choice of dishes
-- surprisingly well made -- at most meals.  Dive operations were
professional and safe, and the free Nitrox allowed for extended dives on
several sites.  On this cruise, however, neither of the dive leaders had
extensive experience in the Maldives, which may have contributed to the
higher-than-normal number of dives on which the current was incorrectly
predicted, sometimes leading to extreme difficulty getting to the pinnacle
or corner that was the intended focus of the dive.

I would definitely dive with the Siren fleet again, though probably in an
area where they have more experience.  I doubt I would return to the
northern Maldives, given the reef conditions we observed on this trip. 

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Other dive reports on Worldwide Dive and Sail

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Diving Guide to Maldives
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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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