Diving in the Maldives
Luck was a bit against us this week with pouring rains, high winds, and heavy cloud cover. I couldn’t even get the drone out for a quick loop around the ship the weather was so bad. But even without the postcard picture backgrounds the Maldives still delivered where it counts – underwater! Tons of mantas, sharks, macro, just an insane amount of life everywhere. It was like diving in fish soup all week.
Our itinerary was the ‘Best of Maldives’, which is a great sampler of the areas northern atolls. Drifts, channels, wrecks, reefs, walls, cleaning stations, big pelagics, and macro all in one awesome week.
After a nice check out dive, we hit the famous Lankan Reef cleaning station for our second dive of the trip. This cleaning station is unlike the ones I’m used to in the eastern Pacific. It’s a shallow dive with a small coral plateau in the center that looks like a helicopter landing pad for reef mantas. Soon as we got down to it, there were already 2 mantas circling taking turns visiting the station. But within minutes, another arrived… and then another… and another… and before we knew it there were 10 mantas at the station. It was like watching a coordinated dance of these huge underwater airplanes taking turns coming in for a landing and then gliding off to the side to get back in line. We’d spend the full 60 minutes of the dive with a front row seat to this amazing experience. That dive alone made the entire trip for me. We could have ended there, and I would have been completely content.