As another year comes to a close, many of us take time to ponder what our own year had in store for us. It’s a great practice to see how far we have come, when the time just flew by. We wanted to make sure that no great tip or news bit got lost in the sea of information we all have to absorb every day.
In case you missed them, here are our top tips, tidbits and news from 2014. Make the most of 2015 with these tips!
- Reef drop offs and in steady currents is where divers should look to find the most abundant marine life
- Staying hydrated through fruit, vegetables, non-caffeinated drinks, and of course, water, will keep your body in top condition for diving and help avoid the risks of dehydration.
- Top two diving skills to master this year are buoyancy control and nitrox diving, the benefits to your dive experience and overall holiday will be immeasurable
- Top dive sites: Baa Atoll’s Muthafushi Thila for its colour, and Hanifaru Bay in the right conditions for unfathomable displays of manta rays and whale sharks. Recommended by photographer, Christian Loader
- Top ways to relax in the Maldives are yoga and Pilates classes, star gazing, spa treatments, and of course watching the underwater world go by while diving or snorkelling.
- First time divers were reminded to always have a buddy and to double check each other’s equipment, to breathe efficiently, swim horizontally and hands-free, and to plan sufficient time between diving and flying.
- Dive buddies were reminded to communicate actively, mastering the proper hand signals, not take risks with skill and training level, and know how to respond to an emergency.
- Honeymooners saw that leisurely beach bum trips are not the only option for an exceptional celebration following tying the knot. Active honeymoons, on liveaboards or from dive- and surf-focused guesthouses, can make for a couple’s holiday like no other in these special islands.
- Local islands, rather than resorts, are the place to go to escape the feeling of mass tourism and have a more exciting “adventure” holiday. Recommended by: Alexander Brown
- Deals on dive packages pop up somewhat frequently – and if you can travel last minute or are flexible with dates you can wind up with mega value diving in the Maldives. Staying current with our Facebook Page and newsletters will make sure you don’t miss and potentially awesome promotions.
ABOUT THE MALDIVES
- A land of sea, the Maldives is less than 1% landmass. The rest is either water, covered in water or living in water.
- These are not islands for bird watching, yet creatures like eagle rays and manta rays may trick divers into thinking they are watching birds fly through the sky. Dolphins also take to the air as they playfully jump the waves in the Maldives’ sea.
- Sandbanks are a sight to see and experience. Just tiny patches of sand appearing out of nowhere in the ocean depths. Recommended by: photographer, Lucie Mohelnikova
FOR BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY IN 2015
Here are some of the top tips for great underwater photography from our blog and from our talented, featured photographers.
- Check seasonal events ahead of time such as planktonic blooms bringing mantas & whale sharks, and time your visit to be able to witness them. Recommended by photographer, Hamid Rad
- Using red camera filters can give your photos more colour by widening the spectrum when light diminishes at deeper depths.
- We looked at many common photo-taking mistakes, such as blurry photos, running out of storage or battery and only shooting the obvious. We advised mastering buoyancy, bringing backup batteries and storage cards as well as taking on the challenge of looking a bit closer and taking more time when exploring the reef.
MALDIVES DIVE NEWS
Scuba diving is synonymous with the Maldives and the industry is constantly evolving.
There were new liveaboards on the scene in 2014. All shined up and ready to sail, these new ships are great picks for a liveaboard tour in 2015:
- ScubaSpa Yang, sister ship of the ScubaSpa Ying, was brought to the seas and began its Far North itineraries in December with a splash. As their name suggests, they offer more than just diving – spa treatments are given in the onboard spa for a bit of pampering at sea. Their super introductory offer stretches into January 2015 and includes up to 17 dives and one spa treatment.
- Newly refurbished in 2014, the Emperor Voyager caters for comfort and relaxation, with sofas, hammocks, deck chairs, a sea view lounge and a jacuzzi. Not to mention, all the diving you can dream of. Snorkellers and non-divers welcome.
New to the Maldives Dive Travel roster, these are established boats that became part of the Maldives Dive Travel website:
- In sailed the MV Emperor Atoll, boasting Sharktastic and Pelagic Magic tours for great dive sightings. Breath easy with free nitrox for the best dive experience.
- The decked-out-for-luxury, Leo Blueforce continued to wow divers with their Big South and Classical South tours. Spa-like facilities are also available on board this vessel, with a sauna, steam bath and, not one – but two – jacuzzis. The quality diving has not been forgotten either as nitrox and rebreathers are available.
- Ocean Divine also came aboard, so to speak, early in the year. Owned and operated by an avid diver and surfer, this boat caters to both water adventure sports, depending on the Maldives’ season.
In other dive news, rebreather technology popped up in the Maldives. This sleek technology allows for more efficient gas usage with closed circuit scuba systems, with recycling of a diver’s air. The air in rebreathers is warmer and dive times are stretched even further than with nitrox. Now, many Maldives’ guest houses and liveaboards are rebreather-friendly or cater to make rebreathers available.
That covers the highlights of Maldives dive news and our tips for great diving and marine photography. Let us take this moment to wish you a happy, dive-filled New Year!
The New Year already has some great itineraries planned. Book your first dive trip of the New Year using one of the great promotions now on Emperor Atoll – click here for more information.