Deep South & Southern Sharks
February to April - 7 day trips
Please note: This itinerary suits experienced divers (100+ dives) with a strong focus on drift diving. Divers may find some dives challenging and may be asked by the Cruise Director to skip dives that are not suitable for their diving experience.All your diving is made from dhonis to give precise entry and exits points.
February to April is the time to sail to the southerly Maldives atolls and dive into the shark action in these out-of-the-way southern dive sites between Huvadhoo and Laamu. Spend a week away from the madding crowds and dive Foammulah and Huvadhoo on the lookout for the Indian Ocean's larger residents; tiger sharks, silver tips, grey reef sharks and whale sharks. From Male we take you to Huvadhoo by plane to join your liveaboard - or from Huvadhoo to Male depending on how you have chosen to dive it - and then it's off on our adventure. Here you can expect to meet tiger and silver tip sharks around Foamulah. At Huvadhoo, one of the deepest lagoons in the Maldives, the currents are ideal for even more shark sightings including hopefully whale sharks and silkies, hammerheads, tiger and grey sharks spotted most of the time. There are swift channel dives with several kandus; Vilingilli, Nilandhoo, Mareehaa and Kondeey, as well as reef thila dives; Gazeera and Vaadhoo. The night dive on the Hyatt Reef is definitely one to be experienced.
Please note: The following itinerary highligts are a sample only and any itinerary is subject to change without notice. The itinerary and dive sites visited will depend on several factors including, but not limited to, weather, diving ability of guests & the number of other boats already present at the various dive sites.
Meemu Atoll: You are almost guaranteed to see manta rays on every dive. The eastern and western rims are characterised by deep channels with currents that sweep in plankton-rich water, sustaining healthy soft corals and thriving marine life. Large numbers of a variety of pelagics populate the channels. In addition to manta rays and the occasional appearance of a magnificent whale shark; grey reef sharks, mobulas and eagle rays can be spotted almost everywhere. The Mulaku Kandu channel in the north east is peppered with submerged pinnacles covered in predominantly soft corals whilst snappers and jacks are abundant in some parts. Rays and sharks can be spotted as you descend and ifurther north along the reef is an overhang rich in soft coral. The wall below is home to moray eels, while sting rays sleep in the depths and groupers look for snacks in the coral formations. At Medhufushi Thila, you descend through the warm, clear waters of a north eastern channel situated between 2 wide lagoons,. Dolphins might accompany you to the start of your dive on the northern side of the thila. Peaking at 4m below the Indian Ocean's surface, the thila is covered in a colourful selection of hard corals. You could descend to as low as 35m to take a look at the steep wall with overhangs, but remember to save bottom time to scout out the caves and marvel at the countless reef fish. The current is virtually non-existent here, making it one of the few Southern Atolls sites that are suitable for scuba divers of all skill levels.
Thaa Atoll: One of the least-explored areas of the Maldives and a good location for whale sharks. Whilst these gentle giants are rare, some of the other Maldives favourites can be seen regularly, such as schools of eagle rays, and big reef fish like Napoleon wrasse. Healthy corals decorate the craggy wall at the site 7-Up, and nearby, a large garden of gorgonian fans makes a pretty landscape for circling manta rays. The strong currents of Thaa's large kandus ensure that sharks are plentiful, especially whitetips.
Laamu Atoll: With a length of 48 kilometers and no resort, it's exploration is still very much in-progress, prepare to descend at incredible sites that have seen few or no divers before. Big schools of fish like tuna and jacks can be found in deep channels. In fact, some say that Laamu tops all the atolls of the country in terms of large schools of fish. While drift-diving these kandus, expect to see whitetip reef sharks and eagle rays as well. The lagoons, some of which are over 70 meters deep, also hold incredible fish biomass.
Huvadhoo Atoll: This remote area of the Indian Ocean is only accessible by liveaboard and therefore, remains mostly unchartered. There are two distinct districts, Northern Huvadhoo Atoll (Gaafu Alifu) in the north, and Southern Huvadhoo Atoll (Gaafu Dhaalu) in the south. The atoll is the 10th largest in the world, giving ample reef rim space for diverse marine wildlife. There are more than 230 islands at the center of its lagoon - more than any other atoll in the Maldives. The sapphire-colored lagoon inside the atoll is one of the deepest in the Maldives, the lagoon bottom is covered with sand and reaches a maximum depth of 90 meters. The strong currents bring lots of pelagic and reef life; whalesharks, silkies, hammerheads and grey sharks all frequent this area. Channel dives like Vilingilli, Nilandhoo, Mareehaa and Kondeey and reef dives like Gazeera and Vaadhoo are not to be missed. Divers can experience unforgettable displays of manta rays, eagle rays, sea turtles and reef sharks. Staghorn coral reaches toward the sunlight as black and white tip reef sharks patrol the ecosystem below. Angelfish, clownfish, anemones and lionfish guard their small patches of reef. The Hitraadhoo Nature Reserve provides shelter to nesting turtles.
Foammulah Atoll: Also known as Fuvahmulah Atoll, this solitary islandl lies within the Equatorial Channel between Huvadhool Atoll to the north and Addu Atoll to the south. It consists of a low lying coral formation that spans 4.5 km in length and stretches 1.2 km wide. What sets this unique atoll apart from other Maldives dive sites are the frequent sightings of thresher sharks, oceanic white tips and tiger sharks.