Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes
X
January 2022    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 37, No. 1   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
What's this?

MV Emperor Voyager, Republic of Maldives

manta madness and sharks galore

from the January, 2022 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Subscriber Content Preview
Only active subscribers can view the whole article here

Dear Fellow Diver,

It was a spectacular dive. A trail of dive lights had been positioned on the sandy seabed reminiscent of a landing strip for alien spacecraft. Plankton attracted by the lights proved irresistible for the white-winged mantas as they politely lined up behind one another in the darkness. They glided in, mouths agape, and I could see their gill rakers sieving the plankton, as the mantas gracefully made delightful barrel rolls as if at an air show. I caught a wing-tip full in the face (no damage done), but I sure appreciated the power behind it.

For this night dive, the Emperor Voyager was moored at Maaya Lagoon in Ari Atoll. We were under the boat, only 35 feet deep, so my air could have lasted forever. But an hour was enough on this long day, so I climbed aboard and watched the action from the swim platform. Some photographers later complained that the thick plankton soup that attracted the mantas made it difficult to get clear pictures, but why complain? They had plenty of images from the manta cleaning stations we had visited earlier in the week.

MV Emperor Voyager in the MaldivesThis had been our penultimate dive of a trip that was billed as "The Best of the Maldives." Although the 60-foot visibility on this one-week October trip had not been as good as on my previous half-dozen Maldives trips, the diving lived up to its billing, proof of why the Maldives should be near the top of every diver's wish list.

On our first day, my dive buddy -- an experienced instructor and photographer; she shoots and I "direct" -- and I boarded the Voyager after being transferred by dhoni (a Maldivian-style boat from which all diving is done) from the international airport on Hulhule Island, in sight of Male. Later, off nearby Kurumba island and under the approaching aircraft flight path, we made our 60-foot checkout, where I literally jumped in on top of a large turtle. I saw several lovely eagle rays close up. Our French Tunisian dive guide, Nihed, determined my buddy and I were sufficiently experienced to leave us alone, so he kicked away to nursemaid other divers who needed it. Nothing was too much trouble for him and the two other guides.

With the checkout dive completed, it was off to Lankan in North Male atoll, where many little blacktip reef sharks swam around. We ended our dive at a manta cleaning station, where one circled within touching distance. Then it was south to Kudagiri in South Male atoll, to a pinnacle dive with an intentionally sunk small freighter perched on the reef's edge. The Voyager cruises within the calm water of the atolls during the day and moors at night....


Subscribers: Read the full article here


Get more dive info like these and other important scuba updates sent monthly to your email.
And a FREE Recent Issue of Undercurrent

Free Undercurrent Issue
Get a free
monthly email and
a sample issue!

 

;

I want to get all the stories! Tell me how I can become an Undercurrent Online Member and get online access to all the articles of Undercurrent as well as thousands of first hand reports on dive operations world-wide


Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2022 Undercurrent (www.undercurrent.org)
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.

fc