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turtle pic

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Nice Pic! love the color...what type of camera were you using??

How is the water right now there where you are at??? I am in Qatar but heading to Sri Lanka-the south, and will dive in Hikkaduwa area when I am there. I assume sea life will be similar but have no idea about current water temps, viz, etc. in November. It is finally cooling down a bit and water temps here dropped below 27 for the first time in months... which of course brings the big fish :)
hi there Anton

the water is 29deg C... was amazing this morning.

i don't know much about Sri lanka... i haven't had many good reports about it as a diving destination.. but a good person to contact is Alison.. she lived over there for a while i think.

the camera is a little sony p10.
I dropped Alison a line over on one of the scuba threads already :)

What I could find looked great concerning diving but I agree, there is not much. I will do a good report (for 1 day of diving) when I return but I suspect the lack of reports from there is do to the past, ahem, instability, political situation, and chance of being caught up in the tamil stuff of that past few years. I did notice a lot of germans seem to go there right now...

Thanks though and good to hear your water temps are holding. We had it start dropping last weekend (first time without +28 in months... Might have something to do with that tropical storm we have brewing off oman though-hope it heads to the red sea/sharm and not our way up the persian gulf!
I am probably moving to Dubai next year... I remember the few times i was there in the past going swimming at 0200am off Jumeirah beach... jeez the water was boiling!

Looking very much forward to moving there, getting into the diving/fishing scene and also a life a little less isolated...

i have been to Sri Lanka a couple of times.. i don't think there is anything to worry about politically wise. i had a great time and it is very multicultural and interesing. So many different temples, mosques, shrines... so fascinating.

The road from the airport to anywhere.... is the pits!
Believe me,
I know what you mean about the water temps-Nothing like being at 17 meters with the gauge showing 31-33C !!!!! The good thing is my 3mm suit hangs in the backroom between March and November! The only time I don't dive with just my speedo and dive-shirt is when the jellyfish are too thick.

Whats weird is night dives when the water is really hot. It is really like a jacuzzi, just with lots o' lights and no champagne!
cool! look forward to hanging up my 7mm semi-dry for a bit then... :D
nice photo

just looking into a holiday for the maldives some time in the new year:D

whats it like about march time?:)
Hey Sharky march is a good time to come... manta season on the west side of the atolls is from November to April!

if you go down to south ari atoll you have a very good chance of seeing whale sharks.

btw, nice avatar! lol!

Snorkel Bum AVOID June to mid-July.. it's very rough....and very wet.
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it's very rough....and very wet.
Ah! Great! Just the way I like em... oh wait! You mean the weather! hehehehehehehe!
Oh well thats a shame! I wont be spearin just freediving and partying... how are the clubs over there?
lol! there are no clubs in the Maldives.. there is no alcohol in the capital city.. and each island is one hotel only. so the only "clubbing" facilities is what the hotel offers, normally it's a DJ night or live band night once a week. Only the hotels and liveaboards have liquor licences.

Party islands are both Club Meds, Ellaidhoo, Bandos, White Sands (whale sharks). (Bandos is half under renovation so check when it will be completed). I would recommend White Sands, great island and huge possibility of seeing whale sharks.
Ellaidhoo has a great house down to 30m and has loads of stingrays and reef fish. the current can get quite strong so you could be drifting from one side to the other and walkin' back :)

Party boats (liveaboard)... Rani, Island Safari. Maldives is mostly drift diving so you have to find some protected inside reefs or just do house reefs if you want to freedive.. although it is quite fun going down and drifting on the bottom.. :)

Let me know which island you are thinking about booking and i'll give you some pointers..

box fish
booked it!

OK the wife has gone and booked it for march.

Its called Paradise Island Resort on the north Male Atoll
A 20 minute speed boat ride from Male town.

Is there any thing you can tell me about it.

Paradise island

yes! that's another good one... Paradise Island (real name Lankan Finolhu) is the very island whose house reef hosts the famous Manta Point!

so you can actually swim from the beach out to the reef and freedive manta point. there are 2 cleaning stations where the mantas frequent, depth 12-20metres. believe it or not though, it's best on scuba... i have stayed on that cleaning station on scuba for one hour... watching mantas overhead.

below is a video that i took last year on with my P10... on scuba... (as you can hear). Goes to show that you don't necessarily have to freedive to get close to these animals.

on the same dive site there are loads of white tip sharks, stone fish, snappers (different kinds), turtle, and also sometimes you can see mobula rays (small little mantas). there are some coral heads with great overhangs full of soft coral. The reef top is about 3-8 m and during manta season you will have mantas coming really close.

the only downside for me being so close to male is being able to see the city in the distance and also the planes fly overhead as it's so close to the airport. Paradise is about 20min speedboat ride from the airport. other dive sites close to Paradise (by boat only) are Okobe Thila, Furana Thila, Paradise Rock, and the channel, and the famous Banana Reef. Next to the airport you have the Victory wreck (scuba only) which lies in 30m of water and has a shot line because the currents get up to about 4-5 knots in that channel.

So for relax, sun and drinking, Paradise is great. The snorkelling should be ok too. It doesn't have the greatest dive sites close (except for Manta Point, which is spectacular if there are mantas around) but if you're not going on a diving holiday it's a nice choice.

if you decide to do the Male' shopping day trip thing during your stay, visit some mosques and also the local residential areas. Male is very interesting, you can walk the length of it in about 30 mins and 75000 people live there. There are loads of places to buy sarongs, sharks teeth :head , souvenirs etc and also a great place called the Seagull Cafe where you can buy fresh fruit juices, sit outside and enjoy a nice moment. Male' is very hot and sweaty! just potting around (visit the park and the museum, there is also a small art gallery) is great, some people live in the shabbiest of houses yet there is a huge satellite dish on their roof. the lifestyle is very interesting and the maldivians are very nice people, quiet and calm.

It's recommended that women don't wear strappy tops when they go to male or short skirts etc. Remember that its a Muslim country albeit quite modern. A sarong and t-shirt is great. you'll need a sarong to go into the mosque (its ok for men to wear shorts in Male' :head :head ) but to enter the mosque you must wear long trousers or a sarong.

You can get quite cheap diving gear in Male, and especially the digital camera market is quite competitively priced. the sony p10 with housing is going for 750USD now, (i bought mine last year for 900). with loads of bargaining and arguing you can get some good deals.

The airport in male is the most expensive i have known. in the restaurant inside it cost me 8USD for a coffee and croissant.

The tap water in the hotels is desalinated and normally it's ok to drink. bottled water on the islands is around 3-4 USd per bottle. beers are around 4-8USD.

Paradise puts on a good spread apparently and you can always request seafood in Maldives, the Indian Ocean lobster is really good!

anything else you need to know... ask me.
here is the vid... you can see some of the photos i took of the mantas in this same forum, a few months back.

manta point

manta thread
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Hi Sands,
Got back about midnight from Sri Lanka-AWESOME. We had a great time and I did only (1) day of diving since the wife is abou 26/27 weeks along now. The diving was very very good/ Spent 20+ minutes fighting off an enormous hawksbill from my assigned buddy who was on her first dive after certification. She thought it was cool (I was getting worn out keeping the turtle from biting through her air lines!!)

I will write up a proper trip report and post here somewhere but it was very good and assuming I find a decent priced flight, I will be returning in about 2-3 weeks (mid december) for a week + of straight diving/no sightseeing... it was that good.

*Even dove the "first-ever" oil tanker, the Conch which sank off the coast in 1903 !!! Was supposed to be at 14 meters but my gauge was telling me we went to 21+ when I surfaced :)

hey why don't you write a travel report... i am sure that deeperblue would be grateful. get hold of Francesca Koe (see her profile).

did you get a pic of the turtle??
Good morning Sara,
Yes, I write one up early next week since I will be off work (going spearing this weekend!) I will look up Francesca.

No pics of the turtle-camera malfunction so I only had it functional the second dive. Picked up the pictures last night but most are trash (backscatter) It is a cheapo camera anyway... when my digital (the first fuji model) dies I will get another, probably something like the 810 but for now it still works most of the time! I would tell you what I saw but I only know what the fish I shoot look like. I am terrible at fish id... I still am hunting for a GOOD reference book and try to use fish base but that means I am online... by which time I forgot the fish I saw :)

anton, you can look into www.fishbase.org and suprisingly enough they have most of the fish in the arabian gulf. also there is a book, its really rare, but your local EPA should have it, along with a fish guide to your local waters, and if they dont, then dont feel guilty about telling them what a lousy job they are doing and to go shove it.. also the coast guard should at least have a wall chart.
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