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Manta Rays Where and When in Maldives?

March 12th, 2015 Comments off

The Maldives is blessed to be one of the few places in the world where you have a permanent resident population of Manta Rays which move around the Maldives following the their food, the plankton around.  There are believed to be around 5,000 Manta Rays living in Maldivian waters, with the Maldives Manta Ray Project having already identified over 3,000 individuals, constantly increasing with new sightings from their team of Marine Biologists, volunteers and many ordinary tourists such as yourselves. If you would like to assist the Manta Trust and the Maldives Manta Ray Project with their research you can log on to http://www.mantatrust.org/make-a-difference/id-the-manta/ and upload your pictures. Its a great way to find out more about the Manta Rays you have seen, as well as help a worthy cause to help us all better understand the habits of Manta Rays, which should help with their continued protection.

Hanifaru Manta 27 300x199 Manta Rays Where and When in Maldives?

Manta feeding frenzy in Maldives

So where will you find our beloved Manta Rays in the Maldives you might ask? Well the simple answer is it depends on what time of year it is. As mentioned previously, the Manta Rays migrate following their food. Plankton is moved around by the winds and the currents, so its position is determined by the Monsoons that affect the Maldives each year. The Maldives has 2 Monsoons, the South-west monsoon from May to October, and the North-east monsoon from December to March. April and November act as transitional months where the predominant winds can be pushing from either direction.

So what does this mean for your Holiday in the Maldives?

Liveaboards:
Well if you are wanting to stay on a Liveaboard it usually does not matter as they will alsways try to find you as many Manta Rays & Whalesharks as possible. However as a rule of thumb if you want to see Manta Rays, June to November look for cruises that take you to North Male, Baa Atoll, or South-west Ari Atoll.

If you are looking for Manta Rays December to May, then your best best is to find cruises that will take you to Ari Atoll, which has Manta cleaning and feeding sites year round, which are however most active in the North East Monsoon.

Guesthouses:

South West Monsoon May – October
Aveyla Manta Village
 Baa Atoll is one of the best value for money / budget land based options for finding Manta Rays in the South West Monsoon, with its close proximity to Hanifaru Bay, and surrounding Manta cleaning stations. A brand new establishment with an experienced dive team and fun friendly atmosphere.

North East Monsoon December – March
Casa Mia @ Mathiveri Dive Retreat in North Ari Atoll is a great year round diving destination, and is perfectly situated on the West coast of the Maldives during the North-east monsoon from December – March. In this period Mantas can be seen outside the harbour feeding, and there are numerous great Manta dive sites where you can sit with the Manta Rays for up to an hour while the cleaning wrasse clean then. Like a Manta car wash!

IMG 4968 300x194 Manta Rays Where and When in Maldives?

Manta Cleaning @ Lankan Manta Point, North Male

Maldives Diving Season

December 22nd, 2009 Comments off

The Maldives Diving Season is in full effect!

While people in countries like the UK, Germany and Italy are shaking in their boots, trying to stay warm during the winter holidays, the Maldivians are welcoming their summer, also referred to as the North East Monsoon Season. (As opposed to the South West Monsoon Season.)

Book your liveaboard diving holiday in the Maldives now!

maldives atoll Maldives Diving Season

Diving in the Maldives during the North East Monsoon Season

The North East Monsoon season greatly effects diving in Maldives. The North East Monsoon season begins in November, characterized by strong winds and heavy rainfall lasting for about a week. Then, it travels from north to south, eventually setting in January.

During the North East Monsoon season, the weather in the north and mid atolls is distinct from that of the southern atolls. The north and mid atolls experience clear skies, sunshine and calm seas for most of the period. Scuba diving is fantastic during the North East Monsoon, characterized by excellent visibility on the eastern side of the atolls and incredibly warm water, averaging around 28 degrees.

Take advantage of Maldives Dive Travel’s BEST PRICE GUARANTEE!

During this season, there are very few rainy days and the sun is almost always shining, making the Maldives a perfect winter escape.  Imagine the envy of your colleagues as they are trudging to work in the snow while you sun yourself and scuba dive in the Maldives!

On the other hand, the southern atolls receive a large amount of rainfall and experience rough seas during the early stages of the North East Monsoon. However, the sea becomes more calm and hot, dry periods prevail until the arrival of Hulha’ngu, the South West Monsoon.

eel in coral reef maldives Maldives Diving Season

Currents during the North East Monsoon Season

During the North East Monsoon season, currents begin to flow from the northeast, making visibility superb on the eastern side of the atolls. Scuba divers can expect a lot of action in the channels and atolls, including whale sharks, grey reef sharks and other large pelagic species.

Currents tend to be stronger in January and ease up in February. During February, the waters become more calm and the surface of the sea is undisturbed by any major wind or wave action. The doldrums continue through March and April, characterized by easy diving and slack currents. During the end of May, the season begins to transition to the South West Monsoon.

Check out this special offer on the Carina Liveaboard for February!

Marine Life during the North East Monsoon Season

Throughout the North East Monsoon Season, pelagic species, such as shark and jacks, can be easily spotted on the current points on the eastern side of the atolls. Futhermore, there is usually an abundance of reef life.

However, manta rays and whale sharks are normally found on the western side of the atolls during the North East Monsoon Season.

divers with whale shark maldives Maldives Diving Season

Grey Reef Sharks and Eagle Rays at Guraidhoo Kandu

November 25th, 2009 Comments off

Guests aboard the Black Pearl liveaboard spot grey reef sharks and eagle rays at Guraidhoo Kandu

With the beginning of the North East Monsoon transition period, manta rays are becoming less frequent at the Lankan Manta Point cleaning station.

The Lankan Manta Point (of the North Male’ Atoll) manta ray season begins in early September and lasts until late November or early December.

Maldives Underwater Manta Flapping Wings Grey Reef Sharks and Eagle Rays at Guraidhoo Kandu

Manta Ray at Manta Point in the Maldives

Lankan Manta Point Dive

Black Pearl liveaboard dived at Lankan Manta Point for the first time this week. However, no manta rays were spotted, so the divers enjoyed the colorful Maldivian coral and selection of other reef fish that darted along the sandy ocean floor. Read about the Black Pearl’s sighting of a school of mobula rays!

Black Pearl liveaboard plans to cover South Male’ and Ari Atoll this week.

Kuda Giri Wreck and Guraidhoo Kandu Dive

After the dive at Lankan Manta Point, the Black Pearl liveaboard crossed Vaadhoo channel and arrived at the Kuda Giri Wreck for the day’s second dive. The day’s third dive took place at Guraidhoo Kandu.

With an incoming mild current, all divers saw 8 grey reef sharks, a school of 12 eagle rays and loads of white tip reef sharks.

Black Pearl live aboard will be sailing to South Ari Atoll today.

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!

Maldives Fly Fishing

September 15th, 2009 Comments off

Fly Fishing in the Maldives

The Maldives is an excellent destination for fly fishing. The clear, still blue waters mean you can see the bottom of the ocean in so many places, that fly fishing in the Maldives is relatively easy.

Maldives Island Maldives Fly Fishing

Fly Fishermen love the Shallow, Crystalline Waters of the Maldives

Maldives Fly Fishing Season

The fly fishing season in the Maldives runs from May until October, roughly coinciding with the Maldives season known as the Southwest Monsoon, when the Maldives weather is windier and wetter than during the other season, the Northeast Monsoon, when the weather is hotter and drier.

Maldives Fly Fishing Specimens

The amazing marine life that can be caught while fly fishing in the Maldives is another great attraction of this destination. Fly fishermen can expect to catch Tarpon, Bonefish, Blue Fin Tuna, Barracuda and Trevallies. The fish here grow to great sizes, so fly fishermen will be happy with their catches.

Fly Fishing Equipment

When preparing for a fly fishing trip in the Maldives, you should take the following fly fishing equipment. If you do not have it, you can hire it in the Maldives from one of the fishing tour operators.

  • Flyrod
  • Flyreel
  • Sun Cream
  • Sun Hat
  • Long-sleeved lightweight shirts
  • Polarized Sunglasses
  • Aquatic Footwear

Maldives Fly Fishing Tips and Hints

Fishing is a very important part of the Maldivian culture and economy. Scuba diving is also very important to the economy and so fish populations need to be protected. Most resorts here are located on private islands and many of them do not allow fishing on or around their coral reefs. Be sure to check with your hotel before making your reservation if you plan to partake in any kind of fishing. This way you will be sure to avoid disappointment.