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Itinerary: Pelagic Encounters
Dates: 7th – 15th December 2019
Aboard: M/Y blue Voyager
Originally sailing as a blue o two fleet vessel in the Red Sea, M/Y blue Voyager was fully refurbished in 2017 ready for her move to the Maldives. M/Y blue Voyager is a 37 metre, steel hulled vessel that boasts three spacious double and ten twin cabins. She features a separate outdoor dining area, bar and sky lounge, as well as a luxurious Jacuzzi.
M/Y blue Voyager benefits from a separate tender and diving dhoni which allows for the best use of space on the liveaboard to explore the pearls of the Indian Ocean in comfort. The vessel is also equipped with a nitrox membrane, booster pump and camera station.
This itinerary travels further south to Vaavu with the purpose of seeking out the larger pelagics. More channel diving is offered to maximise your chance of ‘big fish’ encounters and manta cleaning stations are also visited.
**PLEASE NOTE** the dive sites below are just an example of the route taken and are not guaranteed. All dives sites are subject to weather conditions and local seasonal knowledge and the final route taken is at the absolute discretion of the captain and dive guides.
Fish Head also known as Shark Point or Mushimasmingili Thila, fits the classic definition of a Thila – a large isolated flat top reef rising sharply from the inner atoll floor at 40 to 50m to around 10m from the surface. It is one of the best sites for seeing sharks. Featuring a series of caves and overhangs in between where you can see thousands of blueline snappers against a backdrop of black coral bushes and large gorgonians.
Unsurprisingly given that ‘miyaru’ means shark in Dhivehi, sharks feature prominently at this North Male spot! At around 30 metres there is an overhang which can shield you from the strength of the passing current, and with an incoming current the visibility can be excellent and the parade of pelagics and local residents, impressive. You might see a number of grey reef sharks as well as barracuda, kingfish and tuna. Large groups of eagle rays and their larger cousins, the manta rays, are often seen here, filter feeding in the plankton-rich water.
Many scuba divers consider Fotteyo Kandu (Vaavu Atoll) to be the best dive site in Maldives and it is also rated among the top 5 dive sites in the world. The mouth of the channel is exposed to the ocean and during north east monsoon when the currents are incoming, a good variety of fish species gather at the entrance to the channel. Animals commonly spotted here include grey reef shark patrolling the channel mouth, jack and tuna in the deeper water, schools of midnight snappers and red snapper form in huge groups. The wall features caves, overhangs and swim-throughs at different depths. These caves and overhangs are filled with colourful yellow colour like soft coral, deeper caves and overhangs are filled with huge bushes of black corals.
Guraidhoo Kandu South
Since the eastern side of the channel is open ocean, large predatory fish can regularly be spotted here. This site is famous for sightings of sharks, schools of eagle rays and the occasional sail fish and hammerheads. The best condition to do the dive is when the current is flowing into the atoll. The dive begins on the outer reef following the current into the atoll. Most of the pelagic species can be observed on the eastern side, where the reef drops off into the deep ocean. At the end of the dive in the channel, along the reef you can find overhangs with plenty of soft coral growth and small fish.
All dive sites are subject to weather conditions and cannot be guaranteed.
£2,295 per person + £80 NCL flight supplement*
* + £100 superior cabin upgrade available
Includes: Return flights from NCL, 7 nights full board accommodation on vessel, visa, internal transfers, all diving, single 12lt cylinder, lead weights, tea, coffee and water.
Please contact Callum Coats at The Diving Centre Ltd on 0191 2327983 or email email@example.com for more information or to book on this Maldives safari!