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The coral gardens of Maldives.

October 20th, 2009 Comments off

Acropora or commonly called table corals is a genus of coral in the phylum Cnidaria. Depending on the species and location, Acropora may grow as plates or slender or broad branches. Like other corals, Acropora corals are actually colonies of individuals, known as polyps, which are about 2 mm across and share tissue and a nerve net. The polyps can withdraw back into the coral in response to movement or disturbance by possible predators, but when undisturbed they protrude slightly. The polyps usually extend further at night as they capture zooplankton from the water.

 The coral gardens of Maldives.

table coral at Kalhahandhi kandu

Acropora genus corals are most common in shallow reef environments with bright light and moderate to high water motion. Many small reef fishes live near acropora colonies and retreat into the thicket of branches if threatened.

Fragileness

These corals have zooxanthellae, symbiotic algae that live in the corals’ cells and produce energy for the animals through photosynthesis. Environmental destruction has led to a dwindling of populations of Acropora, along with other coral species. Acropora corals are especially susceptible to bleaching when stressed. Bleaching is due to the loss of the coral’s zooxanthellae, which are a golden-brown color. Bleached corals are stark white and may die if new zooxanthellae cannot be assimilated. Common causes of bleaching and coral death include pollution, abnormally warm water temperatures, increased ocean acidification, sedimentation, and eutrophication.

Locations

It’s not only the big fishes that you count on a dive, seeing some healthy coral growth brings the complete satisfaction on a dive.

In Maldives there are vast unexplored reefs which display beautiful coral gardens. These reef tops are rich in table coral growth. For example there are few reefs or dive sites on south and north Ari atoll that proves this.

 The coral gardens of Maldives.

Panettone table corals

Kalhahandhi kandu also know as Panettone is one of the best places to discover healthy table corals on the top reef between safety stop depths. Ideal location for snorkelers and scuba divers.

Rangali Madivaru at southern west of Ari atoll, the inner part of the reef has a fantastic stretch of table corals. The best time to dive here is the south west monsoon when the current flows from west to east.

Kandholhudhoo House Reef has a spectacular house reef that displays different species of hard corals mainly dominated by Acropora. This is fantastic reef for beginners, snorkelers and advanced divers to increase their knowledge in different species of hard corals.

Maldives President at UN Climate Change Summit

October 1st, 2009 Comments off

Maldives President Nasheed Speaks Out at UN Climate Change Summit

Maldives President made a moving speech at the UN Climate Change Summmit about his country’s bleak future.  The following text is the transcript of the speech.

Yesterday at the AOSIS summit we agreed to recognize the need to supplement the UNFCCC process by calling on the major emitters to agree to produce enough clean energy to attain the targets of limiting temperate rise to 1.5 degree Celsius and 350ppm of carbon concentration. It is now in all of our national interests to dump first and dump far, that is why the Maldives, without waiting for the outcome of the Copenhagen summit, recently announced its intention of becoming carbon neutral by 2020.

mohamed nasheed maldives Maldives President at UN Climate Change Summit

President Nasheed of the Maldives

And why are we actively formulating a national strategy to put the political commitment into practice? Ladies and gentlemen, as I have made clear, the Maldives is determined to break old habits. From now on we will no longer be content to shout about the perils of planet change. Instead, we believe our acute vulnerable provides us with the clarity of vision to understand how the problem may be solved. It’s very crystal clear to us.

The objectivity to say that it is in all of our interest to aggressively pursue that solution, and the courage and determination to lead by example by walking the path ourselves. In return we ask some bold world leaders to discard those habits that have led to 20 years of complacency and broken promises on planet change, and instead to seize the historic opportunity that sits at the end of the road to Copenhagen.

Please ladies and gentlemen, we did not do any of these things, but if things go business as usual, we will not live, we will die. Our country will not exist. We cannot come out of Copenhagen as failures. We cannot make Copenhagen a pact for suicide. We have to succeed and we have to make a deal in Copenhagen.

Thank you very much.

Maldives – USA President Obama Signs Determination so that Maldives can Receive Defence Articles and Services

September 15th, 2009 Comments off

Maldives to Purchase Defence Articles and Services from the United States of America

The United States embassy in Sri Lanka reports that President Barack Obama has signed a determination entitling the Maldives to receive US defence articles and services.

US Embassy Issues Press Release about Maldives Potential Purchase

The US Embassy issued a press released stating that the US goverment will provide defence articles and services to the Maldives on a case-by-case basis if applications are in line with the guidelines and criteria.

“The Republic of Maldives has not sought to purchase defence articles or defence services from the United States,” the statement reads.

Quote from Maldives Defence Minister Ameen Faisal

Speaking to Minivan News today, Defence Minister Ameen Faisal said the Maldives government had not entered into any discussions with the US about the purchase of arms and the Maldives National Defence Forces (MNDF) had received continuous training by the US even before the current government came to power.

As part of Asia, the Maldives was under the threat of terrorism, Defence Minister Ameen Faisal said. “We have to be prepared.”

Quote from Robert Blake, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia

Speaking after the signing of the determination, Robert Blake, assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, said the Maldives was a transit zone for terrorists, according to zeenews.com, an Indian news portal.

Blake, previously the US ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, said the determination would put in place a legal framework to provide the Indian Ocean island nation with “modest military assistance” if necessary.

As a moderate Muslim nation, the US was interested in helping the Maldives address the challenge of terrorism, Robert Blake added.

“There is one particular challenge in maintaining the ability to monitor what is going on in their seas,” Robert Blake said. “They also sit astride some of the major sea lanes in the world so it is very very important that they have the ability to monitor activity.”

Indian Goverment’s Pledge of Military Assistance to the Maldives

Last month, the Indian government pledged military assistance to the Maldives, including the establishment of a comprehensive maritime surveillance plan, a regional base in the north of the country and a maritime training school.

Refitting of Maldives’ Huravee Warship

The Huravee warship will also be refitted for patrolling purposes.

Statement from the Maldives National Defence Force

A press release from the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) at the time said the partnership would tackle the scourge of terrorism, drug trafficking and piracy.

Faisal said today he believed the US administration’s determination was based on the change of government last year, which saw President Mohamed Nasheed oust 30-year ruler Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in the country’s first-ever democratic elections.

‘They think we are mature enough to purchase weapons from them now,” said Faisal. “That’s the difference between a dictatorship and a democracy.”

Source: Minivan News

Broken Rock Dive Site in the Maldives

September 4th, 2009 Comments off

Dive at the beautiful Broken Rock Dive Site!

Book your trip on a Maldivian liveaboard now…The only way to experience the beauty of the Broken Rock Dive Site!

The Broken Rock Dive Site is located in the Maldives, more specifically in the South Ari Atoll, which is also home to the Kudarah Thila dive site. The islands located most near to the Broken Rock Dive Sites are Dhangethi to the north and Dhigurah to the south.

Broken Rock Dive Site, or Kuda Rah Thila

The Broken Rock Dive Site (or Kuda Rah Thila) is a thila (pinnacle) dive site located in the South Ari Atoll, and more specifically the Dhigurah Channel. The GPS position of Broken Rock Dive Site is 03.33345, 072.56195 and the depth range 12 meters to 30 meters.

sea fan at broken rock dive site maldives1 Broken Rock Dive Site in the Maldives

Sea Fan at Broken Rock Dive Site Maldives

Broken Rock Dive Site is not a clever alias, but rather an appropriate representation of what this dive site is, a broken rock.

The two sides of the broken rock are separated by a 2-meter wide canyon, which splits the Thila into two segments from west to east. Not surprisingly, this canyon is the main attraction of the Broken Rock Dive Site, providing countless nooks and crannies for marine flora and fauna to florish and thrive.

Diving the Broken Rock Dive Site

The Broken Rock Dive Site is better suited for advanced divers, due to its depth and strong currents, which flock in droves to this underwater wonder. Kuda Rah Thila is covered in soft corals, and only one diver can manage to shimmy through the cavernous crack at a time.

In addition to the canyon, the Broken Rock Dive Site boasts an array of caves, overhangs and innumerable coral heads.

The north side of Broken Rock Dive Site features two big coral blocks and is approximately 25-30 meters deep, whereas the top reef possesses hard coral growth, a perfect place to encounter leaf fish and nudibranchs. To the east of the Broken Rock Dive Site is another rock formation which plateaus at around 17 meters.

A dive torch and a surface balloon are both highly recommended at Broken Rock Dive Site.

Broken Rock Dive Site Marine Life

There is an abundance of fish life swimming in and around the canyon of Broken Rock Dive Site, including species such as Redmouth Grouper, Scorpion Fish, Barracuda, Clownfish and Snappers.

In addition to fish, keep an eye out for sea turtles, whale sharks and moray eels.

Book your trip on a Maldivian liveaboard now…The only way to experience the beauty of the Broken Rock Dive Site!

 Broken Rock Dive Site in the Maldives

Shrimp and Fish at Broken Rock Dive Site Maldives

Long Nose Hawkfish

August 29th, 2009 Comments off

Long Nose Hawkfish

The Long Nose Hawkfish, or Oxycirrhites typus, is a species of Hawkfish, and can be differentiated by its long nose.

Long Nose Hawkfish HabitatMaldives Underwater Photos Longnose Hawkfish Long Nose Hawkfish

The Long Nose Hawkfish is a tropical fish found in saltwater, most commonly associated with the coral reefs of the western and eastern Atlantic and Indo-Pacific, like the beautiful Maldives! You can expect to see a long nose hawkfish when scuba diving in the Maldives.

Long Nose Hawkfish particularly enjoy hanging around tree-like soft corals, particularly sea fans and black corals.

Long Nose Hawkfish Body

The long nose hawkfish shares many morphological features with the family Scorpaenidae, which includes Rockfishes, Scorpionfishes, and Lionfishes (though the long nose hawkfish does not have the Lionfishes’ prominent head spines). The Long Nose Hawkfish, which has 26 to 28 vertebrae and truncated tail fins, has a white body with red stripes that run both horizontally and vertically. Their dorsal fin bears ten spines, is continuous hard and soft and often possesses cirri. Ray counts range between eleven to seventeen for the soft dorsal fin and five to seven soft rays for the anal fins. The long nose hawkfish‘s pectoral fins are unique given their elongated, unbranched lower rays. The long nose hawkfish lacks swim bladders.

Long Nose Hawkfish Reproduction

Long Nose Hawkfish lay demersal (bottom) eggs.

Long Nose Hawkfish are known to engage in courtship dances. The male and female long nose hawkfish possess some sexual differences. Male long nose hawkfish are generally smaller and more colorful, with black margins on the pelvic and caudal fins. All cirrhitids studied thus far are protogynous synchronous hermaphrodites, meaning that they begin life as females and later turn into males. The long nose hawkfish tends to have monogamous relationships, as opposed to haremic conditions.

Preventing Hypoxia while Scuba Diving

August 19th, 2009 Comments off

How to Prevent Hypoxia while SCUBA Diving

Hypoxia is a medical condition wherein a certain part of the body is deprived of a certain amount of oxygen. This condition can lead to various tissue damages and can affect even the most experienced diver. Divers usually experience hypoxia during altitude dives. It is caused by a decrease in air pressure in deeper waters, hence providing less oxygen for the diver to breathe. What can a diver do in case of hypoxia? Have no fear because here are some safety tips you should consider.

Symptoms of Hypoxia

Symptoms of hypoxia include:

  • fatigue
  • shortness of breathing
  • light-headedness
  • exhaustion

If you ever experience any of these symptoms it is best that you stop diving immediately. You should then rest until you can breathe normally again and you have resumed normal respiration.

What to do Before going underwater to prevent Hypoxia?

In order to prevent hypoxia, make sure you are resting before the dive.  Try not to exert yourself too much while hauling your diving equipment. Once you get into the water, be sure to catch your breath before descending into the water. Resurfacing slowly prevents your body from getting shocked by the sudden change in pressure, and this will help prevent hypoxia or decompression sickness from occurring. If you live at a high altitude, then it is best that you try to familiarize your body with the sudden change in air pressure by staying in lower places for a while before scuba diving in the ocean.

Altitude Diving Safety Measures to Avoide Hypoxia

Before going altitude diving, it is important that you go through the proper training in order to avoid Hypoxia. You can get the required training from certified diving centres. In addition, you also must have the proper gear for it, and make sure that your equipment is in good condition. If you are an experienced scuba diver, but you haven’t done it for a while, then it is recommended that you take a review class to refresh your skills before the dive. Finally, it is important that you always dive with a buddy. Even the most experienced divers do not go into the water without having a dive partner with them. There is always time for safety, so don’t take it for granted!

British Airways to start direct flights to Male from October

July 13th, 2009 Comments off

British Airways to start direct flights to Male from October

British Airways is to launch new thrice-weekly direct services from Gatwick airport to Male’ in the Maldives from October 25, 2009. It will also begin operations to Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt. This will be the first time British Airways has flown to the Maldives, but will be a return for the airline’s colors to the Red Sea resort.

British Airways Male Route

These routes will be operated by Boeing 777 aircraft with a three-class configuration: World Traveller, World Traveller Plus and Club World.

Richard Tams, British Airways‘ head of UK & Ireland sales, said: “These new routes will be great assets to the BA network and a real winner with customers. They are both perfect holiday destinations, known for their great beaches and fantastic diving. We’re particularly pleased to be serving a completely new destination, the Maldives and returning to Sharm El Sheikh. We expect both routes to perform well.”

british airways 777 300er. British Airways to start direct flights to Male from October

A wide range of good value hotels from independent properties to luxury five-star resorts in both the Maldives and Sharm el Sheikh will be available to book on ba.com giving further choice and flexibility to all holidaymakers.

Judy Jarvis, British Airways‘ regional commercial manager, South Asia, said: “It gives me great pleasure to announce the start of non-stop flights from Male to the UK. The Maldives offers sunny beaches and unspoilt lagoons, a perfect combination for the ideal tropical holiday destination. I am confident that it will be very popular with our customers.”

Lead-in fares from Gatwick to Male will start from £629 return including taxes, fees and charges. Flights to the Maldives will depart from Gatwick on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday at 7.10pm returning from Male on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 1.20pm local time.

Tickets will be on sale from Friday May 29, 2009 through www.ba.com and direct through BA reservations on 0844 493 0787.

Other changes to the network include the cessation of the London Gatwick to New York flight from October 25.

British Airways operates up to ten daily flights to New York and will launch the first ever London City – New York service later this year.

Adventurer 2 reveals Maaya Thila for this week divers.

March 30th, 2009 Comments off

 

The orientation dive and our first dive this week was Kuda Giri at 07:30. A calm and easy dive to get adjusted to the underwater and at the same time experience an introduction to the fish life, coral growth, current and visibility.

The diver’s on board this week are advanced and very experience divers. We decided to check out Kandooma Thila before crossing over to north Ari atoll.

With medium /strong outgoing current and poor visibility, we began the dive from west and drifted to east. Jack’s corner was densely clouded of Big Eye Travallies, drifting near the coral blocks, caves and overhangs making few stops on the interesting areas we saw 5 gray reef sharks, 6 eagle ray and loads of other fish.

 

After dive we crossed over to north Ari atoll and anchored at Maayafushi lagoon and at around 6 went off to night dive at Maaya Thila.

The timing and the condition couldn’t have been better than this. No current and it was a topnotch night dive. Everything and everything what was mention during the dive briefing.

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Black Pearl divers end the day after Maaya Thila night dive.

March 28th, 2009 Comments off

 

We woke up this morning at 07:00 and briefing 07:30. We started the dive at Dhonkalo Thila with a very mild current.

After a long wait at the point where mantas gather and knowing that we will not see any mantas we decided to swam close to the thila and check out.

Mushimasmingili Thila – Fish Head was the second, dive began at the up current where all the fusiliers gather, the friendly napoleon greeted each diver with curiosity. This was a typical Fish Head dive everyone got to enjoy a calm dive with an abundant fish life.

Banded coral shrimp Black Pearl divers end the day after Maaya Thila night dive.

Third dive to Maaya Thila; one of the highlights of the trip and perhaps the best night dive one can do. Everything was there from white tip reef shark to turtle, sting ray to barracuda, scorpion fish to stone fish.

Maaya Thila offered us the usual and the complete package.

Final anchorage Maayafushi lagoon and tomorrow we will be sailing towards Rasdhoo atoll.

 

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Adventurer 2 embarks to Gulhi with late arrival.

March 28th, 2009 Comments off

 

This afternoon at 15:00 we got the new arrival with Qatar Airways. A total of 10 clients (09 Italians and 01 from Philippines) out 07 are divers.

All the arrival were completed and on board Adventurer 2 started towards south Male’ atoll, Gulhi.

Big nose unicorn fish Adventurer 2 embarks to Gulhi with late arrival.

Because of the late arrival time the, orientation dive is planned for tomorrow morning and for today it’s all about boat briefing, dive info and the route.

Check out this week’s adventurer 2 underwater encounters and many more…stay tuned.

 

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