Under water Maldives

Under water Maldives


Maldives have one of the most rich and diverse world that we know and is one of the best places in the planet to snorkel, dive, and see what is hidden under the waters: corals, sharks and mantas are only a few of the beauties that you will see going under water with us in the Ari Atoll.

Throughout the country there are hundreds of sites in which to dive and are divided into four macro categories that we are going to see:
coral reef: the edges of each island where the reef meets the open sea and degrades, more or less rapidly, towards the blue. Here you will have the opportunity to see tropical fishes of all species (surgeonfish, moray eels, triggerfish, etc.) and larger creatures such as white tip reef sharks or barracudas;
kandu: passages between the various atolls or islands where the currents are very strong and carry plankton that attract the whale sharks that come to these places to dine. In the candies you can also see soft corals
thila: they are coral formations that rise almost to the surface from the seabed. Around the thila the underwater life is very intense and, sometimes, also the current. Similar to thila are the turns that rise even more to the surface until they touch the surface of the water.
wrecks: numerous throughout the country, sometimes sunk on purpose.

What will we see when we dive or simply snorkel around Hangnaameedhoo or around deserted islands or sand-bank that we’re going to visit?
Surely the corals, which are found in warm and shallow waters. Along with them, almost in symbiosis, in the coral reefs of the Maldives we find worms, crustaceans and starfish and about 700 species of fish.

Of these 700 species many are reef fish that live inside the lagoons and among the corals and are protected by the reef itself. Other species, the pelagic species, live in the open sea and sometimes approach the islands in search of food.
You will have the opportunity to see them simply walking in a meter of water or putting on a mask and snorkeling.
Moorish idol (zanclus cornutus): it’s a small fish, about 20 cm, the feed on seaweed and they live in the coral reef. They have black and white stripes and a long snout. The dorsal fin is white and very long, it resembles a thin flag in the wind;
Angel fish (pomacanthidae): it’s a very large family, about 90 species, that you will easily see in Maldives. They are fishes capable of swimming up to 20-30 meters depth, alone or in small shoals. Dimension varies from 10 cm to 40 cm and they feed on seaweed, zoo plankton and sponges. To see the big members of this family swimming in the depth of the ocean is like a dream. Their body is compressed at the sides and their fins are quite developed, like wings. Their gender changes with age;
Surgeon fish (acanthuridae): they are very common and between the most colorful fishes in Maldives coral reef. They have sharp blades that emerge from their side and from the caudal fin. In Maldives you can find about 20 different species and the most common is the surgeon fish with the white throat. They measure up to 60 cm and they feed on seaweed both in the coral reef and the sea floor. It’s very easy to see them, even in shallow waters. Their color slightly varies whit their mood, making invisible some details of their livery;
Triggerfish (balistidae): also the triggerfishes are a big family! Their name comes from their shape, very similar to a crossbow. Them too, as the surgeon fish, have the body compressed on the sides. You will find them in the coral reef and around the islands even in shallow waters. Some of them, like the crossbow clown, are easily recognizable: they are black, with small yellow patches on the upper part, big white patches on the lower part and yellow lips;
Clownfish (pomacentridae): it’s a big family that includes the Clark clownfish, (Amphiprion Nigripes), maybe the most famous. They are all covered in mucus which allows them to live in perfect symbiosis with the sea anemone, whose tips are poisonous. You will see them often, in the coral reef, hiding in the anemone and looking at you both curious and scared. You may also see the Sebae clownfish (Amphiprion Sebae);
Wrasses: more than 500 species belong to this family of fishes, the most famous, maybe, is the Napoleon fish (Cheilinus Undulatus) that can weight up to 200 kg. They live both in the reef, the open seas and the sandy sea floor. The small ones measure just 10 cm while the big ones up to 2 mt. You can distinguish them for their colorful livery and the Napoleon fish in particular, for the protuberance on their forehead that resembles the hat of the famous Franc Emperor;
Snappers: it’s a family of 28 species, almost all of them living in deep waters. Their length varies from 20 cm to 1 mt and the feed on meat. The Red Snappero lives in the atoll reef and it’s not hard to identify;
Moray eels (muraenidae): they belong to the eel family and they are very common in Maldivians coral reef. Sometimes they are black, sometimes spotted, they emerge from nocks in the reef. In reef where divers often go, they are accustomed to the presence of men, even if it’s always better not to get to close to them;
Stone-basses (epinephelinae): they are big fishes and are easily scared so they don’t love divers very much. They feed on small fishes and invertebrates; their length can reach 1 mt and more;
Carangues (carangidae): capable and fast predators with an argent livery, even if some species have multicolored reflexes, they live in the open water and they feed on the fishes of the reef. More than 20 species live in the Maldivian sea and it’s not hard to see them while hunting. In the Indian Ocean lives the Gigantic Indopacific Carangues that measure up to 170 cm of length;
Sharks (selachimorpha): there are different types of sharks in Maldives and as many are the sites where you will able to see them. Sometime it can be enough to walk on the water edge to see the babies of the white fin shark of the reef a few meters away. Other times you can see the parents, or the cousins black fin sharks of the Reef, while you snorkel on the Reef. You can also see the Grey Sharks and the Hammerhead Sharks in these Atolls. Among them, the most famous maybe, it’s the Whale Sharks, visible, mostly, from May to December in the Ari South Atoll;
Turtles (cheloniidae): in Maldives we find 5 species of sea turtles. They lay their eggs on the beach from May to October and the two species most frequently seen are the Hawksbill Turtle and the Green Turtle. To see them swimming peacefully under water is a true pleasure. It’s not rare to see them emerge and breath while you navigate from an island and the other. They are prey for the Tiger Shark and can be seen while snorkeling because they are able to swim in different bathymetric range;
Mantas (mobulidi): they are among the biggest fishes that swim in the Maldives waters. You can see them “fly”, because that is the effect seeing them swim, both snorkeling and diving. Them too, as the Whale Shark, they feed on plankton and it’s possible to organize an excursion to see them and swim with them. It’s not difficult to see also their relative, the Sea Eagle, while she peacefully swim around the coral reef;
Rays: flat almost as the Soles and with bones of a shark. It’s easy to see the babies while walking in the shallow waters of the islands. In particular, in the West Harbor of Hangnaameedhoo, at night you can see a couple of them of huge dimension, that come to eat;
Whales: there are different species of whales that can be seen in Maldives, up to 25, during the excursion expressly organized. Sightings are quite rare. The species that live in these waters are the Blue Whale, the Short-finned pilot Whales, la pseudorca, the Bryde’s minke Whale, the Sperm Whale, etc. The best season to seek the whales goes from February to May;
Dolphins: they are many in the whole Maldivian Archipelago. Sometime they follow the boats in groups of 50-60 elements and start to jump on the waves in a very funny and disorganized dance! They are curious animals that can reach the island in search for food. The species present in Maldives are numerous as, for example, the Spotted Dolphin, the Bottlenose Dolphin, the Fraser’s dolphin, the Striped Dolphin, etc.

Pre-diving suggestions

– The water in Maldives is always warm, around 28°/30° or 82-86 Fahrenheit. To dive with a 3 mm short wetsuit can be useful for those who feel the cold. Many dive with t-shirt and costume;
– The use of a dive computer it’s mandatory. If you don’t have one it can be included in the diving package that you will choose;
– A torch and a compass can be useful if you decide to dive at night;
– The diving session bought singularly or on site are more expensive than in other countries. In the deals that we offer those costs are conformed to the diving costs of the majority of the other Countries.