Archive for the ‘North Ari Atoll’ Category

Map of Maldives

December 17th, 2009 Comments off

Map of Maldives

A map of Maldives is an essential tool to any holiday in this exotic destination.  But, finding a map of Maldives is not as easy as you might expect.  The islands of the Maldives are spread out over an enormous distance, so a map of Maldives is a very long map, with not very much land mass at all.  We have put together a selection of maps of the atolls of the Maldives to help you get a better grasp of where everything is in the Maldives.

Map of Maldives Islands

Map Maldives web Map of Maldives
Map of Maldives

This map of the Maldives shows all the atolls, which cover an area of around 90,000 square kilometres in the Indian Ocean.

Map of Maldives’ Male Atoll

Male Kaafu Atoll web Map of Maldives

Map of Maldives Male Atoll

Male Atoll is divided into two sections – the North Male Atoll and the South Male Atoll.  Dive sites that can be found in North Male Atoll include Lion’s Head, HP Reef and Okobe Thila.

Map of Maldives’ Felidhe (Vaavu) Atoll

Felidhe Atoll Web Map of Maldives

Map of Maldives' Felidhe Atoll

At Felidhe, or Vaavu Atoll, there are a variety of great scuba diving sites, but by far the best is Fotteyo Kandu, widely regarded as the very best dive site in the Maldives.

Map of Maldives’ South Ari Atoll

South Ari Atoll Web Map of Maldives

Map of Maldives' South Ari Atoll

Ari Atoll has a wide variety of dive sites, including the exciting Pannettone, Gangehi Kandu and Broken Rock.

Map of Maldives’ South Male Atoll

South Male Atoll Web Map of Maldives

Map of Maldives' South Male Atoll

In the South Male Atoll, divers can look forward to diving at Guraidhoo Kandu, Kandooma Thila and Cocoa Corner.

Black Pearl Liveaboard Begins a New Week of Diving Adventures

November 24th, 2009 Comments off

Black Pearl liveaboard sets sail, commencing a new week of diving adventures in the Maldives!

Black Pearl live aboard performed its last dive of the week to Maaya Thila, North Ari Atoll. Once the dive was finished, the Black Pearl started heading back to Hulhumale’ of the North Male’ Atoll.

Maaya Thila Dive Site

The Maaya Thila dive was one of the best dives last week with regards to Maldives marine life. Although the visibility was below average, there was an abundance of fish life, where highlights included grey reef sharks, dogtooth tuna and white tip reef sharks.

Maldives Underwater Grey Reef Shark1 Black Pearl Liveaboard Begins a New Week of Diving Adventures

Grey Reef Shark at Maaya Thila

Visiting Male’,  Capital City of the Maldives

It took about 3 and a half hours to cross Alihuras Kandu, the channel that separates Ari Atoll and Male’ Atoll. During the crossing, the sea remained calm, allowing for an extremely pleasant and enjoyable cruise back to Male’. The clear Maldivian weather was an added bonus. After reaching Hulhumale’, the anchoring process began. Once fully anchored, the guests took off for their visit to Male’, the capital of the Maldives.

Guests Departure and Arrival

Black Pearl‘s guests from the UK departed on the morning of the 23rd, the same day the new diving group arrived, which was a total of 12 divers from Switzerland. The orientation dive began after lunch.

Farukholhu Fushi Beyru Faru, aka Faru Beyru, Dive

 Black Pearl Liveaboard Begins a New Week of Diving Adventures

Mobula Rays in the Maldives

The orientation dive at Farukholhu Fushi Beyru Faru (also called Faru Beyru) turned out to be a very exciting check dive for everyone. We saw 10 mobula rays…Absolutely unbelievable! The orientation dive to Farukholhu Fushi Beyru Faru, aka Faru Beyru, was a great start to the week! Mobula is a genus of ray in the family Myliobatidae (eagle rays). Their appearance is similar to that of manta rays, which are in the same family. The devil fish can attain a disc width of up to 5.2 meters (17 feet) and probably can weigh over a ton, second only to the manta ray in size. Despite their size, there is little known about this genus. Black Pearl recently spotted a mobula, also called devil fish, at Kandooma Thila dive site.

Black Pearl Live Aboard Begins a New Week of Diving Adventures

November 17th, 2009 Comments off

A new week of diving adventures begins in the Maldives on the Black Pearl live aboard…

***Make your reservation for a holiday on the Black Pearl live aboard now!***

The Black Pearl live aboard, a boat measuring 95 feet long and 26 feet wide, featuring a magnificent main deck made entirely out of Balau wood, begins a new week of fabulous diving in the Maldives. Learn more about the Black Pearl’s accomodation, diving & prices here!

Black Pearl Live Aboard Welcomes Guests from the UK

Yesterday, the Black Pearl live aboard began a new week of diving adventures, playing host to a total of 10 guests from the UK, of which 7 are divers. All arrivals were checked in and  the Black Pearl live aboard left Hulhumale’ after the orientation dive.

Orientation Dive on the Black Pearl Live Aboard

The check dive (normally the first dive you do on holiday or in new diving conditions) was performed at Beyru Faru (Farukholhu Fushi Outer Reef). Surface conditions and underwater conditions were more than perfect to perform yesterday’s check dive. The current remained mild and visibility at around 10 to 15 meters.

 Black Pearl Live Aboard Begins a New Week of Diving Adventures

Starfish Seen on the Reef in the Maldives

Diving Adventures on the Black Pearl Live Aboard

The Black Pearl live aboard anchored in Himmafushi, in the North Male’ Atoll, for the night. This week, the Black Pearl live aboard will explore the dive sites of the North and South Male’ Atolls and the Ari Atoll.

The group from the UK requested to perform 2 dives per day and daily snorkeling for the group’s non divers. They are also looking forward to visiting local islands and unihabited islands.

Current Weather Conditions in the Maldives

Weather: Generally fine

Winds: southwest / westerly 3 – 11 knots

Visibility: 12 km

State of the sea: Slight

Wave Height: (open sea) 2 – 4 feet

Get more information and Maldives weather updates here!

Black Pearl Liveaboard Returns to Hulhumale’ Island in Maldives

November 8th, 2009 Comments off

The Black Pearl liveaboard docks at Hulhumalé island in the Maldives after a great week of diving…

Book your liveaboard holiday on the Black Pearl now!

The Black Pearl liveaboard, whose mission is to comfortably transport divers to the Maldives’ best dive sites, has returned to Hulhumale’ island of the North Male Atoll after a great week of diving.

The Black Pearl liveaboard‘s final dives were performed at the Northern Ari Atoll (also called the Alif Alif Atoll), which boasts some of the Maldives’ most magnificent dive sites. The Southern Ari Atoll also features an area of beautiful diving destinations, including Broken Rock and protected marine area Kuda Rah Thila.

Black Pearl Liveaboard Dives to Lhamiyaru Gaa Thila & Maaya Thila

The Black Pearl liveaboard‘s initial dives took place at Lhamiyaru Gaa Thila and Maaya Thila.  The dive at Maaya Thila was an especially wonderful dive, where the current were very weak and the divers had the opportunity to closely observe the Malidves’ fish without much effort, such as Clownfish and Oriental Sweetlips.

Black Pearl1 Black Pearl Liveaboard Returns to Hulhumale Island in Maldives

Black Pearl Liveaboard Maldives

The Black Pearl liveaboard‘s third dive was planned as a night dive to Maaya Thila. However, the dive was cancelled for safety reasons due to poor weather conditions.

Black Pearl Liveaboard Dives to Makaru Thila

The Black Pearl liveaboard‘s last dive took place at Makaru Thila, where grey reef sharks and juvenile white tips were seen up close.

The return trip to Hulhumale’ island began right after the last dive at Makaru Thila.

All the divers checked-out this morning.

The new groups of divers arrived this morning and right now the Black Pearl liveaboard is getting ready for the check dive.

Book your liveaboard holiday on the Black Pearl now!

Upcoming Diving Season in the Maldives

November 8th, 2009 Comments off

A new diving season has arrive in the Maldives…

For more information on diving holidays, visit Maldives Dive Travel now!

The Maldives, an island nation located in the Indian Ocean and comprised of over 1000 atolls, features some of the world’s best scuba diving sites

Maldives Diving Season

Iruvai, the North-East Monsoon, brings with her the Maldivian dry season, ushering in a distinct diving season.

Maldives Weather

The Indian Ocean has a great effect on the climate in Maldives by acting as a heat buffer; absorbing, storing, and slowly releasing the tropical heat. The temperature of the Maldives ranges between 24°C and 33°C throughout the year. Although the humidity is relatively high, the constant cool sea breezes keep the air moving and the heat mitigated.

The weather in the Maldives is affected by the large landmass of South Asia to the north. The presence of this landmass causes differential heating of land and water. These factors set off a rush of moisture-rich air from the Indian Ocean over South Asia, resulting in the southwest monsoon.

Two seasons dominate Maldives’ weather: The dry season, associated with the winter northeast monsoon “IRUVAI,” and the rainy season, brought by the summer southwest monsoon “HULHANGU.”

According to the traditional Maldivian calendar, the IRUVAI begins in December with typically strong, unsettled winds and rough seas that gradually travel down the Maldives from the north. It is divided into nine “Nakaiy,” or periods, with the last “Nakaiy” finishing in April. The “Iruvai” brings the driest weather period to the Maldives, where the air possesses a comparatively short sea track compared with that during the remainder of the year.

Diver hooked on the reef using a current hook. Upcoming Diving Season in the Maldives

Diver hooked on the reef using a current hook

Currents in the Maldives

The exposure of the Maldives to the vast Indian Ocean ensures that an immense body of water is constantly flowing across the plateau on which these atolls are built. Oceanic currents are largely influenced by the direction of the trade winds. They flow from the NE to SW during the Iruvai and from SW to NE during the Hulhangu. They are of great strength, where currents in the channels near Male’ have been recorded at four knots or more.

Tidal currents flow according to the height of the tide and the direction of the prevailing winds, and are said to be much weaker than oceanic currents, though they causes velocity variations in the flow. At the atoll passages, current streams can be quite irregular due to the islands, reefs and sandy shoals.

Best Time to Dive in the Maldives

The North-East Monsoon is considered the best period to dive in the Maldives, as a result of continuous flowing of water into the atolls, especially the channels the feature clear water and lots of food for the pelagic creatures, such as the gray reef shark and the whale shark.

Due to the continuous flow of the North-East Monsoon current, the visibility becomes crystal clear, which is why this is one of the best times to go scuba diving in the Maldives.

Felidhu Atoll

The Felidhu Atoll, within the range of liveaboard diving, is often visited during the North-East Monsoon due to the high possibility of spotting some larger marine life.

Almost all the dive sites are channels in local “Kandu” based dives. The incoming current attracts lager fish and channel crossing has become a common way of performing dives in these channels. The entrances of the channels are at a depth of 28 to 30 meters and the width of these channel are no more than 150 meters.

 Upcoming Diving Season in the Maldives

Gray Reef Shark

Maldives Fish Life

Due to the North-East Monsoon‘s currents, the channels’ entrances are attractive to bigger fish, such as gray reef sharks, white tip reef sharks, schooling silver jack fish, tuna, schools of eagle ray and many more.

Early morning dives to hammerhead shark point “Fotteyo Kandu” is also a highlight during this season. Hammerheads are not only seen during the early morning hours here, but have also been seen by divers during the day.

Channels like Miyaru Kandu, Devana Kandu, Diggiri Kandu and Alimatha Dekunu Kandu are also well known among the liveaboards.

In addition to Felidu Atoll, other atolls, North and South Male’, Ari atoll, Meenu atoll and Baa atoll are also considered to be excellent diving sites during the North-East Monsoon.

If you are booked for a diving holiday this season, I strongly recommend that all the divers possess a current hook, have your scuba gear tuned up and get ready for a new season of diving in the Maldives!

For more information on diving holidays, visit Maldives Dive Travel now!

Black Pearl cruises towards northern Ari atoll today.

October 15th, 2009 Comments off

Black pearl continues their diving through southern Ari atoll and heads towards northern side of Ari atoll today.

Yesterday’s 3 dive site was Kuda Rah Thila (protected marine area), Angaga Thila and Dhigaa Thila.

 Black Pearl cruises towards northern Ari atoll today.

Kuda Rah Thila offered an easy dive with no current but a display of abundant marine life. While few white tips and turtles were found on Angaga Thila.

Last dive was to Dhigaa Thila where colorful soft coral were displayed and few gray reef sharks and barracudas were seen.

The weather is absolutely fantastic since yesterday: Sunshine: 10 Hrs 48 mins (14 October 2009) Rainfall: Nil (14/0800 hrs – 15/0800 hrs) Temperature: 31° C 87.8° F, Wind ENE 05 mph and Humidity: 70%.

Fish Head Dive Site

September 11th, 2009 Comments off

Fish Head (Mushi Mas Mingili Thila) Dive Site in the Maldives

The Fish Head dive site, known as Mushi Mas Mingili Thila in the local Maldivian language of Dhivehi, is a really popular dive site in the Maldives.

Maldives Underwater Blue Fin Jack Fish Head Dive Site

Blue Fin Jack at Fish Head Dive Site

Where does Fish Head dive site get its name?

The name Fish Head is given to the site because of the incredible numbers of fish and other interesting marine life found at the dive site.  The word head is given because this is a pinnacle, or Thila, site, so there is literally a “head” of coral where all the fish gather.

What Animals can I see at Fish Head dive site?

Fish Head is a great dive site for scuba divers who are fascinated by sharks, since this is a feeding ground for White Tip Reef Sharks.  It is also a good spot for Napoleon Wrasse and other large pelagic species.  There is also a good chance of seeing schools of Jacks and Trevallies, and the coral formations at the dive site are really spectacular.

Where is Fish Head dive site?

Fish Head dive site is located in the North Ari Atoll of the Maldives.  For more information about the exact location, GPS position and more diving hints and tips, visit this page about Fish  Head dive site.

Best of South West Monsoon

July 30th, 2009 Comments off

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.

Sting Ray embarks with 15 divers on their last cruise for this season.

April 26th, 2009 Comments off

Sting Ray embarks with 15 divers today on their last cruise for this season. The divers this week are British, French, German, Japanese and Singaporeans.

Having collected all the guests by mid day we headed to south Male’ atoll Guriadhoo Region and the orientation dive was made at Villivaru Giri.

MV Sting Ray Sting Ray embarks with 15 divers on their last cruise for this season.

The plan for this week is to move to south Ari atoll tomorrow after the first dive then to north Ari atoll and to finish it at Rasdhoo atoll.

Will keep all the reader updated on Sting Ray’s encounters and other activities as the week progresses.

Adventurer 2 reports Manta Ray at Boduhithi Thila north Male’ atoll.

April 13th, 2009 Comments off

On the 12th we made our first dive at Nassimo Thila. At 6:30 we began with good visibility and strong current. This week our divers got to witness this oval shaped Thila (reef that rises sharply to the surface of the water) located in the north Male’ atoll. Rising up to 10 – 12 meters from the surface, the main attraction of Nassimo Thila is the series of scattered coral chunks in deeper depths.

These coral blocks are covered with pastel colors of soft coral. The abundant fish life, like lagers pelagic and the invertebrates makes this Thila one of the top dive sites in Maldives.

Nassimo Thila Adventurer 2 reports Manta Ray at Boduhithi Thila north Male atoll.

For the second jump we took the divers to Boduhithi Thila at 10:30, which is located on the western side of the north Male’ atoll. The thila rises up to 8 meters below the surface of the water while the sides of the Thila slope down to a sandy bottom at 30 meters deep. The sand bays on the top reef provide cleaning stations for manta rays. We were lucky and saw seven manta rays during the dive.

After returning to the Adventurer 2 we started to cross the channel heading to the north Ari atoll. We aimed for Maayafushi lagoon and were able to take a night dive at Maaya Thila.

With almost no current and a notoriously amazing fish life during the night, Maaya Thila once again held its reputation.