Best of South West Monsoon

September 22nd, 2009

During the south west monsoon diving can be done on both east and western side of the atolls. While the eastern side remains protected from strong wind and rough sea, there are some precautions to take when diving on the western side if the weather is choppy.

Accessing dive sites on the western side can be difficult during rough seas and windy condition. The entry points on most of the channel are on the outside and with rough seas this can lead to a strenuous entry due to big waves and precaution must be taken.

Here are few top dive sites that are must do’s:

North Male’ atoll: Lankan Manta Point
Type of Dive Site: Outer Reef
Location: Lankanfinolhu House Reef
Depth Range: 5m – 30m
Coral Growth: Poor
Fish Life: average
Features: Manta Ray
Diving Hints and Current: This is the manta point in North Male’ Atoll during South West Monsoon from early April till late December. It’s fairly an easy dive if the current is not too strong. Usually divers being the dive a bit away from the cleaning station and the dive guides will guide all the way to the cleaning station. On a good day manta’s can be found circling above the cleaning station. Divers have to take a seat around the cleaning station coral block and watch the graceful show. Divers are not allowed to come on top of the cleaning station coral block as this would scare away the Mantas.

Manta Ray close to surface Best of South West Monsoon

North Ari atoll: Gangehi Kandu
Type of Dive Site: channel
Depth Range: 5m – 30+m
Coral Growth: average
Fish Life: very good
Features: channel, white tips, gray reef, leopard shark, caves and overhangs
Diving Hints and Current: This is one of the longest channels in Ari atoll, with more than 2.5 km to drift from the entrance of the channel and finish the dive at inside the atoll. When current flowing in dive begins a bit further out and drifts inside the channel. Once inside the channel start the caves and overhangs, few outcrops away from the reef. These out crops have interesting features and covered with excellent hard coral and soft coral.

The entire channel’s bottom consists of sand and this is the perfect resting ground for sting rays, white tip and a very commonly seen shark here is the leopard shark.

Gray Reef Best of South West Monsoon

North Male’ atoll: Voshimas Thila
Location: North Male’ Atoll / Rasfaree and Reethi Rah
Type of Dive Site: Thila
Depth Range: 16 to 30+M
Coral Growth: above average
Fish Life: very good
Features: white tips, gray reef, eagle ray, jacks, tuna
Diving Hints and Current: Best to dive when the current flows into the atoll from west to east (south west Monsoon) and with an ideal incoming current. Here the fish life depends on the current. Spend as much as time possible on the up current as the fish life can be very interesting. A quick descend is necessary as the top reef is 15m to 16m. Be prepared to make a safety stop in the blue water and safety balloon is a must on this dive.

Leopard Shark Best of South West Monsoon

South Ari atoll: Pannettone
Location: near Thundhufushi Resort
Type of Dive Site: Channel
Depth Range: 5 to 30+M
Coral Growth: Very good
Fish Life: very good
white tips, gray reef, eagle ray, jacks, tuna
Diving Hints and Current:
Pannettone is subjected to strong current at times and creates washing machines and turbulence underwater. A long overhang between 12m to 25m has fallen due to underwater disturbance to the bottom this part is easily noticed when you begin the dive for outgoing current. But here the water flushes back and forth; this channel receives replenishment on a continuous basis.

Along the reef wall is covered floor to ceiling with a plethora of multi colored soft corals, sea fans, sea whips, and sponges. Squirrelfish, Angelfish, Fairy Basslets, Butterfly fish, Scorpion fish, Coral Cod, Triggerfish, Puffer fish and Pipefish in various combinations of colors lurk among the corals and gaps.

The shallow part / top reef is the most ideal place to do the safety stop, endless table corals in perfect condition makes this reef a must to do.

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Related posts:

  1. Diving in the South West Monsoon
  2. MV Sting Ray arrives to south Ari atoll today after the first dive.
  3. Sting Ray Reports Mantas and Whale Shark Sighting Despite Monsoon Weather.
  4. Maldives North East Monsoon Disrupts Route of Black Pearl Liveaboard
  5. Upcoming Diving Season in the Maldives
  6. Black Pearl Liveaboard Dives at Kandooma Thila and Crosses Over to South Ari Atoll
  7. Adventurer 2 Faces the Start of Monsoon Change
  8. MV Sting Ray resumes diving safaris on southwest monsoon season.
  9. From north Male’ atoll to South Male’ Atoll
  10. From Meemu Atoll to South Ari Atoll.
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