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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 Dives at North Male Atoll at Lankan Manta Point

November 18th, 2009 Comments off

Black Pearl Dives at Lankan Manta Point of the North Male Atoll

The Black Pearl live aboard continues its scuba diving adventures in the Maldives!

Lankan Manta Point, North Male’ Atoll

Black Pearl live aboard diving started from North Male’ Atoll at Lankan Manta Point. With a mild current and visibility of 10 meters, divers from the Black Pearl observed 3 mantas at the cleaning station during the entire dive.

Kuda Giri Wreck, South Male’ Atoll

After Lankan Manta Point, the Black Pearl live aboard cruised to South Male’ Atoll and dived at Kuda Giri Wreck. With almost no current at all, divers got the chance to explore the wreck without much difficulty.

Maldives Underwater Manta1 Black Pearl Dives at North Male Atoll at Lankan Manta Point

Manta Ray over Coral in the Maldives

Guaraidhoo Region

For final anchorage, the Black Pearl live aboard was around the Guraidhoo region and will be crossing over to the South Ari Atoll today.

Maldives Weather

This week began with clear, sunny skies…Holidaying and scuba diving conditions have remained perfect!

For present weather in Maldives and a 5 day weather forecast, click here.

Weather: Apart from a few showers in the upper north province, generally favorable weather is expected to prevail over the country.

Temperature: 30° C / 86° F

Humidity: 63 %

Winds: West / north-westerly 4 – 11 knots.

Visibility: 12 km

State of the sea: Slight

Wave Height: (open sea) 1 – 3 feet

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 Dives North and South Male Atolls – Miyaru Faru, Kuda Giri & Kandooma Thila

November 13th, 2009 Comments off

The Black Pearl liveaboard explores the underwater marine life around the Maldivian North and South Male Atolls…

Fortunately, the weather in the Maldives brightened up, allowing the Black Pearl to perform three spectacular dives. Check out special offers for the Black Pearl liveaboard here!

Black Pearl Liveaboard Dives Miyaru Farunapolean wrasse maldives Black Pearl Dives North and South Male Atolls   Miyaru Faru, Kuda Giri & Kandooma Thila

The Black Pearl‘s first dive was to Miyaru Faru, meaning Shark’s Reef. North of Black Pearl is a channel dive, where divers can take advantage of the island’s best currents, which generally bring lots of fish feeding on plankton. The current was not as fast as usual, though there remained an abundance of Maldivian fish life. Divers saw white tip sharks and napoleon wrasse during their dive at Miyaru Faru.

Black Pearl Liveaboard Dives Kuda Giri Wreck

Kuda Giri, in the South Male Atoll, possesses two dive sites: the giri, or pinnacle, and the small, 10-year-old wreck, which sits upright on the sea floor. The wreck can be explored from its bow at 18 meters all the way down to its stern at 30 meters.

Kuda Giri Night Dive

The Black Pearl dove the giri, or pinnacle, at night, discovering a large variety of noctural fish life, such as the nocturnal squirrel fish.

Kuda Giri Wreck Dive

The Kuda Giri wreck is a small fishing trawler, which was scuttled (or sunk deliberatively) at the south western side. The 25 meter long fishing trawler is home to many species, including beautiful sponges, seasonal school of glass fish, shrimps, nudibranches and many more.

Black Pearl Liveaboard Dives Kandooma Thila

Shaped like a teardrop, Kandooma Thila is one of the most spectacular dives in the South Male Atoll, for scenery as well as for prolific fish life.

During The Black Pearl‘s dive at Kandooma Thila, there was little current, though divers spotted a couple of white tip reef sharks.

Maldives North East Monsoon Disrupts Route of Black Pearl Liveaboard

November 10th, 2009 Comments off

The dive safari route of the Black Pearl liveaboard changed slightly due to the Maldives’ North East Monsoon

The Black Pearl liveaboard left Male’ this week planning to embark upon the classic Maldivian dive safari route that includes the South and North Male’ Atolls and the Ari Atoll. However, plans were changed due to the weather in the Maldives.

Eagle Ray at Guraidhoo Kandu Dive Site Maldives Maldives North East Monsoon Disrupts Route of Black Pearl Liveaboard

Black Pearl Liveaboard Route Changes Due to Weather

The Black Pearl liveaboard is currently anchored at the North Male’ Atoll at Himmafushi Lagoon. Although the initial dive safari route was changed, two exciting dives were performed at Lankan Manta Point! Learn more about Maldives dive sites here!

Scuba Diving at Lankan Manta Point, North Male’ Atoll

Although the surface conditions were a bit rough, both dives at Lankan Manta Point turned out to be excellent. On the first dive, scuba divers spotted four manta rays and a leopard shark. On the second dive, scuba divers spotted three big, beautiful manta rays.

Current weather conditions in the Maldives: isolated showers every now and then, gusty winds and rough seas at time.

The Black Pearl liveaboard plans to move to South Male’ Atoll, more specifically the Guraidhoo Kandu Dive Site tomorrow.

Black Pearl Liveaboard Currently at Himmafushi Island of the Male Atoll, Maldives

November 9th, 2009 Comments off

The Black Pearl, a Maldivian liveaboard, sets sail once again, and is currently at the Himmafushi island of the Male’ Atoll…

This week, the Black Pearl liveaboard set off with 11 divers from Switzerland. Following the check-in orientation dive, the diving team headed to the outer reef of the Farukholufushi unihabitated Maldivian island. Learn more about the liveaboards offered by Maldives Dive Travel here!

Black Pearl Liveaboard Dives at Banana Reef

This morning, the first dive took place at Banana Reef, where visibility was fantastic, allowing us to see a large collection of Maldives marine life, such as Clownfish, Whale Shark, Reef Shark and Manta Rays.

Black Pearl Liveaboard Dives at Lankan Manta Point

The Black Pearl liveaboard‘s second dive was to the Lankan Manta Point, truly a top of the line dive. The diving group saw 7 manta rays, 4 of which were happily parked at the cleaning station of Lankan Manta Point. Throughout the dive, the other 3 manta rays periodically glided through the Lankan Manta Point’s cleaning station.

Black Pearl Liveaboard Dives at HP Reef

 Black Pearl Liveaboard Currently at Himmafushi Island of the Male Atoll, Maldives

Manta Ray at Lanka Manta Point, North Male Atoll

The Black Pearl liveaboard‘s third dive was to HP reef, where divers spotted a sting ray and a couple of eagle rays.

North East Monsoon Transition Period

The North East Monsoon transition period has begun, which has caused less-than-optimal weather conditions during the past week, such as isolated showers and gusty winds, where the average wind speed is 15 – 25 mph, gusting up to 45 mph. However, this Maldives weather is limited mostly to the central and southern Maldivian atolls.

Current Diving Conditions

Weather: Widespread rain with isolated heavy showers and thunderstorms will be experienced over the country. Get up-to-date Maldives weather here!

Winds: South-west / westerly 9 – 17 knots in northern atolls and 13 – 22 knots elsewhere. Winds may increase 35 – 43 knots during showers.

Visibility: 10 km, becoming 3 – 1 km during showers.

State of the sea: Generally rough.

Wave Height (open sea): 5 – 7 feet.

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!

From underwater, Maldives sends warning on climate change

October 18th, 2009 Comments off

Underwater Cabinet Meeting about Climate Change in the Maldives

With fish as witnesses, the president of Maldives and his Cabinet wore scuba gear and used hand signals Saturday at an underwater meeting to highlight the threat climate change poses to the archipelago nation.

The Maldives declaration will be presented at a U.N. summit on climate change in December.

The meeting, chaired by President Mohamed Nasheed, took place around a table about 16 feet (5 meters) underwater, according to the president’s Web site. Bubbles ascended from the face masks the president and the Cabinet wore, and fish swam around them.

At the meeting, the Cabinet signed a declaration calling for global cuts in carbon emissions that will be presented before a U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December.

Maldivian ministers signed a climate change document under water From underwater, Maldives sends warning on climate change

“We are trying to send our message to let the world know what is happening and what will happen to the Maldives if climate change isn’t checked,” Nasheed said, according to his Web site.

Asked what would happen if Copenhagen fails, the president said, “We are all going to die,” according to the site.

The ministers signed their wet suits, which are being auctioned, to raise money for coral reef protection in the Maldives, the Web site said.

Maldives is grappling with the very likely possibility that it will go under water if the current pace of climate change keeps rising sea levels. The Maldives is an archipelago of almost 1,200 coral islands south-southwest of India. Most of it lies just 4.9 feet (1.5 meters) above sea level.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change has forecast a rise in sea levels of at least 7.1 inches (18 cm) by the end of the century.

The country’s capital, Male, is protected by sea walls. But creating a similar barrier around the rest of the country will be cost-prohibitive.

Soon after his election in November, Nasheed raised the possibility of finding a new homeland for the country’s 396,000 residents.

The tourist nation wants to set aside part of its annual billion-dollar revenue into buying a new homeland, he said at the time.

“We will invest in land,” he said. “We do not want to end up in refugee tents if the worst happens.”

Nasheed’s government said it has broached the idea with several countries and found them to be “receptive.”

Cocoa Corner to Kandooma Thila: A fantastic dive and a must to do.

October 12th, 2009 Comments off

Black Pearl has set sail on the 10th October and is right now at southern Ari atoll, Dhangethi. This week Black Pearl has 3 Italian, 3 Germans and 2 Hungarians.

With a total of 8 divers Black Pearl has so far covered dive sites on north Male’ and south Male’ including Lankan Manta Point. During their 2 dive on Sunday morning to manta point they have encountered four manta rays on each dive simply gliding on the top of the cleaning station.

 Cocoa Corner to Kandooma Thila: A fantastic dive and a must to do.

After north Male’ atoll Black Pearl cruised over to south Male’ and covered Guraidhoo Kandu and Cocoa Corner / Kandooma Thila.

Black Pearl dive guide Issey reports that out of these the best was crossing from Cocoa Corner to Kandooma Thila where 25 to 30 gray reef sharks patrolling the channel entrance and a school of 10 eagle rays cruising at pace speed just above the divers.

The average visibility these days are between 7 to 10 meters and at times 12 to 15 meters. The weather has been so far at its top level, giving calm sea conditions with a mild breeze and keeping Maldives as the sunny side of life with 29 degrees throughout the day.