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Dive Review of Adora in
Maldives

Adora: "Blue Beauty At The Equator", May, 2016,

by Eric A Frick, IL, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 29 reports with 21 Helpful votes). Report 8924 has 3 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments My preferred dive shop DJ’s Scuba Locker (djscuba.com) arranged a trip to the Maldives for a week aboard MV Adora. Getting to Malé certainly takes a while from North America but few plane-to-boat transfers could be easier. The quayside is steps from the airport terminal and we were aboard in no time.

Adora’s second deck includes a small cabin for a single traveler or perhaps a couple as well as a tiny cabin usually occupied by the dive master. I was in the dive master cabin and, although it is very cozy, it met my needs and getting to the salon couldn’t have been easier since it is on the same deck. Light sleepers should note that the anchor winch and locker are just forward of these cabins so occupants will definitely hear when the anchor is dropped and weighed. Other more spacious cabins are located on the first and third decks. The 123-foot Adora was built in 2013 and 2014 and it is a beautiful craft. Hot and cold running water and air conditioning were in plentiful supply. Interestingly, the finishes on decks and wood trim seem to have suffered in use and at the hands of the equatorial sun and rain and sea air. We understood that after high season, Adora was heading in for maintenance and I’m sure the woodwork will get some attention. The top deck features a generous sunshade and lots of open space. It makes a superb area for any gathering.

Diving is done from a smaller craft called a dhoni. The dhoni pulls alongside Adora and guests step from Adora onto the dhoni. The transfer is not difficult but the top deck of the dhoni is right at eye-level as you step across and represents a real hazard for a nasty bump on the head. The crew seems to know this was always at the back of Adora to assist gests on and off the dhoni with a warning about the hazard. When the dhoni is alongside Adora, the Adora’s exhaust port is between the two vessels so when Adora’s engines are running, those on the dhoni will suffer. The dhoni is completely covered and is a comfortable boat from which to dive. The compressors and all scuba equipment stay aboard the dhoni and it trails well back of Adora when underway so guests don’t even hear compressor noises.

Dive masters presented dive briefings aboard Adora before we transferred to the dhoni for the brief ride to the dive spot. Briefings were complete and featured a whiteboard drawing or an image on the big screen TV. Dive teams stayed together for the entire trip and were led by the same dive master each dive. Nitrox was available and used by most divers.

We caught fish off the stern of Adora and many of them made their way into the dishes we were served. Coffee and cereal were available before the first dive which was followed by breakfast. Omelets were made to order each morning with other breakfast items on a buffet. One of our fellow guests who is a technician at our dive shop and is a Maldivian was on the trip and the chef made him several Maldivian dishes which we enjoyed as well. The menu included a few items familiar to us but those demanding food “just like home” will not be satisfied. Gluten-free requests were honored. There were after-dive snacks served but they weren’t at all special.

Our late March trip took place during a popular time for people to visit the Maldives and at the height of whale shark season. If you go at such a time and select the itinerary we did that did not stray too far from the capital island, don’t expect much splendid isolation. There are many dive boats that make the Maldives their home and plenty of non-divers visit to enjoy the many resorts. It seemed that every other island featured one of those over-the-water resorts. For much of our trip we were within sight of other dive vessels and saw divers from other boats on three or four of our dives. Next time I will opt for a trip to the more remote Baa and Raa atolls.

Speaking of whale sharks, we were eager to see one and so was everyone else. When we reached a likely area for spotting one we boarded the dhoni and prepared to jump into the water whenever the captain advised. Imagine a “fleet” of dhonis on the water, each keeping an eye out for signs of whale shark. Whenever a dhoni turned or seemed to move toward a likely spot, other dhonis would do so too. When instructed to do so we all jumped in, as did everyone else. Picture several dozen tourists flailing through the water in snorkeling gear. We came upon one 12-footer and enjoyed looking at it but we were a solid mat of humanity floating on the surface. Actually, a shot of all those writhing visitors on the surface would have been better than the one I got of the shark. After that, I was happy to simply motor to a reef to do a dive and wonder of wonders, a magnificent 18-foot whale shark appeared. Now that was a magical encounter! A short video of our encounter can be found at: [youtube.com link]

Mantas are also frequently seen but are more shy than whale sharks.
Websites Adora   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Various Caribbean, Mexico, Florida Keys, Great Lakes, Hawaii, Fiji, Solomon Islands.
Closest Airport Malé, Maldives (MLE) Getting There I went Miami (MIA) to Doha, Qatar (DOH) to MLE, a long but trouble-free trip

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82-86°F / 28-30°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Divers were asked to limit their dives to a maximum of an hour. Guides seemed comfortable to let us proceed on our own once they were satisfied with our underwater skills.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks > 2
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments A charging station aboard Adora provided ample space. Cameras were treated carefully aboard the dive boat.
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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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