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Dive Review of Manthiri in

Manthiri, Sep, 2003,

by Peter Belden, CA, USA . Report 847.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was our best trip yet and weíve been on about 10 dive trips. 2 Whalesharks!!!! Need I say more? The crew actually spotted 8 different whale sharks from the boat but we only saw two while in the water. We were approached by both on our safety stop and all of the whalesharks were spotted on one of the 8 days. There is one spot where they consistently hang out. Mantas were only an occasional fly by. We didnít see any manta cleaning stations from the boat. However we did dive for one day from the Four Seasons on another part of the trip and there we spent 30 minutes with 5 mantas. Fantastic!

Interestingly although there was still some coral damage from el nino, the fish were very abundant. Giant schools swarming around you and occasional dog toothed tuna strafing by to hunt them. There were also plenty of places with beautiful coral. White tip reef sharks were common and one day we also saw a large grey shark. Many turtles. Dives had a great diversity of topography and we also did some great night dives. There were some strong currents on the dives and one dive we did abort early due to extreme current. The food was extraordinary on the boat. Home cooked meals the whole time and plenty of it. The boat is made for 12 divers and 12 crew but on our trip there were only 4 divers! Visit the Manthiri website for photos of the boat The crew was very friendly and even helped us with some minor gear repairs. Nancy the travel agent at Livewell Ventures who books the Manthiri was also great and gave us a great Sri Lanka itinerary for 4 days before the diving Ė a nice combination.

One travel tip. For the flight from Sri Lanka to the Maldives its worth considering flying first class. Itís only about $20 more but they give you much better food, seats, etc. and you get to spend your layover in the much nicer first class lounge which also has free food and free internet access!

The Maldives is a world-class destination and the Manthiri is an excellent boat. Eight days is a lot of diving but youíll see more fish than you ever thought possible. Definitely a must see destination.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Maui, Grand Turk, Belize, Monterey San Diego and Channel Islands California, La Paz, Curacao, Little Cayman, St. Kitts, Great Barrier Reef, Zijuatenejo
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 75-80°F / 24-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40-100 Ft/ 12-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions We did 4 dives a day and so the divemasters usually suggested particular depths but this also corresponded to the most interesting sites underwater anyway.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Boat has a camera table and rinse tank.
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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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