In the most northern part of the Maldives, we experienced a beautiful sunset. In the background, we hear the mosque at prayer, so time for some food and bed because tomorrow our first Ultimate Maldives trip of 21 days is about to start and we can’t wait.
Day One: Boat ready, Staff ready, let’s go…! So, there we go packed with Corona Quick tests, picking up our guests at the airport. After the test (ALL PASS – Phew!), time to set up the equipment on the Dhoni. Yes, for those of you that have never done a liveaboard in the Maldives, we dive off Dhonis. A Dhoni is a second boat that rides along and you dive from that vessel. Very luxurious diving.
All guests ready? Let’s go! Off we go to our main vessel Blue Spirit. Our 12-diver traditional wooden boat is a classic build 26m Maldivian ship with a crew of 9. She warmly welcomes our guests with a cold drink, where we hold the boat briefing. Oh yeah and don’t forget the paper work!
Unfortunately, no more time today for a check dive, so the only thing left is our safety briefing just before dinner. While the crew is preparing the table for dinner and the chef is busy in the kitchen, the fire alarm and our well-known bell goes and I hear the recorded message, ‘This is a fire drill please grab your life vest and gather in the front of the boat’…. After 5 minutes it’s my turn to explain all safety features and how to handle things in an emergency. It is good to see that our guests take close care of our explanations.
Time for Dinner. After comparing some great dive experiences later and many traveling hours, guests, one by one, disappear to their rooms. One more drink, close the bar and then yes, time for bed. Alarm set for 5:30am.
There we go, Dive one, Check dive. 63 dives to go.
Most of the guests hadn’t dived for a while because of the pandemic, but as we all know, diving is like riding a bike. Diving in the North of the Maldives is mostly beautiful grown thilas (Underwater Islands) with a lot of fish around them. Mantas, Whale sharks, Guitarfish and Zebra sharks are often found in the north.
The amount of weight you bring on your dive is very important and now we are all correctly weighted, we can start our diving experience. Mmmm breakfast – my favourite.
The end of week one. A little rest and then dive briefing 23. We are in the Central Maldives now, and for dive two of the day, we have a Manta cleaning station planned. The Central Atolls in the Maldives is a mix between the north and south. The bucket list species including Mantas and Whale sharks are found here all year round.
Back from the dive, where we witnessed six Mantas cleaning. Absolutely magnificent. It’s time for lunch. Yeah, you know right…
Dive – Eat – Sleep – Repeat.
We’re into week three and it’s the same special routine. Dive briefing 52, time flies. We are in the deep south now and we have our briefing shortly. The local dive guide will do this briefing because we are about to do Tiger Point. Diving with sharks is the main attraction of diving in the South of the Maldives. Channel after channel with many sharks and turtle sightings. Special kinds of species like Tiger shark are most likely to be found in the South and add an extra level of excitement to a dive.
Before you know it three weeks are over. During our last dinner we all get together, and remember our favourite dives, the creatures and awesome moments. The guests thank the great crew for all their hard work, who have been exceptional throughout the expedition.
From the far north to the deep south. 21 days, 63 dives. Countless fish, mantas and sharks galore. Amazing diving, good food and friendly guests and crew.
We’re already thinking about the next 21 day Ultimate Maldives Expedition, and we can’t wait to welcome the next group of adventurous divers next year.
Maggy and Roy