Maldives | Diving


eurodivers, maldives, buceo, diving, paradise, beach vacation, holiday inn kandooma, sharksGrey reef shark.Kail and I did 10 dives on our recent RRB in the Maldives. We spent a total of seven hours and 59 minutes underwater. Less than a year after receiving our PADI Open Water Diver certification (and about seven months after obtaining our Advanced Open Water Diver certification), we’ve completed 28 dives.eurodivers, maldives, buceo, diving, paradise, beach vacation, holiday inn kandoomaA-OK.It had been seven months since our last dive (in Roatán). I was a little bit nervous before our first dive in the Maldives, but luckily we were able to do a refresher/orientation dive in the lagoon, where we practiced flooding and clearing our masks, removing and replacing our regulators and sharing alternate regulators with our buddies. We also practiced inflating our safety balloons, which is mandatory in the Maldives before surfacing because of the number of speedboats zipping back and forth among the islands.eurodivers, maldives, buceo, diving, paradise, beach vacation, holiday inn kandoomaDive boats.We dove with Euro Divers, the dive shop affiliated with our resort, and were really pleased with the experience overall. The dive instructors were very knowledgable and friendly/trustworthy, the dive sites were amazing and filled with all kinds of sea life and the customer service/process for each dive made everything super-easy. We even got to use our own dive computers (aka fancy watches). Granted, it cost like 10 times the amount compared to Central America, but that’s the Maldives for you.eurodivers, maldives, buceo, diving, paradise, beach vacation, holiday inn kandooma, napoleon fishNapoleon Fish. You can’t tell how big it is, but it is huge.What did we see? What didn’t we see? We did not see the elusive whale shark, nor did we see any stingrays or eagle rays while diving. However, we did see: grey, whitetip and blacktip reef sharks; Hawksbill and green sea turtles; Napoleon fish; green, black and honeycomb moray eels; lionfish (in the Indian Ocean they are not invasive so dive instructors don’t have to spear them like they do in the Caribbean); and all kinds of fish — surgeonfish, angelfish, clownfish — and many others.eurodivers, maldives, buceo, diving, paradise, beach vacation, holiday inn kandoomaSome perspective on the size of these fish.Every dive is different, and much of what you see depends on the time of year, current and other factors. But what struck me about diving in the Maldives compared to previous dives in the Caribbean and Pacific in Central America was just the amount of sea life. On any given dive there were tons of fish; there was a never a time when something wasn’t swimming around you.eurodivers, maldives, buceo, diving, paradise, beach vacation, holiday inn kandooma, green turtleGreen sea turtle.We saw large creatures — sharks, turtles, Napoleon fish — on almost every dive. It was like, if you didn’t see a turtle or shark, it would be disappointing.One other thing that made this diving experience different is that we were able to stay underwater for much longer than previous dives — on average about 48 minutes per dive. On some dives we went deeper (up to 30 meters) but generally we stayed more shallow, averaging a maximum depth of about 24.5 meters per dive. Kail and I also had the opportunity to break apart from our group/dive instructor and do our own safety stop/surface balloon a couple times.eurodivers, maldives, buceo, diving, paradise, beach vacation, holiday inn kandooma, green turtleIt doesn’t look that big, but it is!I would say it’s because we’re getting good at diving, but that whole theory was proved wrong on our second-to-last dive, when I thought it would be a good idea to go out with the advanced group, which tended to visit more difficult dive sites (fast descent, stronger current). It was slightly traumatic, and I think Kail may never want to dive again — or at least, for a while. The current was so strong that you would literally blow away into open water if you didn’t hook yourself onto the reef.Despite technical difficulties with my GoPro — which, after getting wet, temporarily breaking and reviving in Utila, again got wet, broke (temporarily) and revived again — I was able to take some underwater photos and videos, including during our ill-fated advanced dive, where you can really see how strong the current is. I’ll share in a future post.eurodivers, maldives, buceo, diving, paradise, beach vacation, holiday inn kandoomaSuffice it to say, despite having Advanced Open Water Diver certification, we are nowhere near advanced-level divers. And any plans of doing a live-aboard diving experience for one of our future trips have been scrapped. I had been on the fence about the idea even before our trip to the Maldives. Two dives a day is a good maximum number — anything more is just exhausting. Also after so much time underwater and on a boat, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was swaying back and forth, even on land.What’s the best diving (or snorkeling) experience you’ve had? What about the worst?See more photos from the Maldives.

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

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