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Captain’s Log Maldives Aggressor 2
From August 12th to August 22th , 2018.
Best of Maldives
Water temperature: 29-30°C.
Visibility: 20-50 meters
Francesco, Umberto, Matteo, Jana, Grant, Meghan, Gretchen, Sharin, Gregory, Christopher, Michelle, Barbara, Price.
Monday: Sunlight thila, Fish factory, Kuda Giri Wreck
Tuesday: Medhu Faru, Kandhooma Thila, Alimatha jetty (night dive with nurse sharks)
Wednesday:Dhevana Kandu Thila, Vilamendhoo thila, Machchafushi wreck
Thursday:Kudarah thila, Lax island (whale shark search) x2
Friday:Kudarah thila, Lax island (whale shark n°382), Lily rock ( manta)
Saturday: Mahibadhoo rock (manta) X2, Raidhigga thila
Sunday: Moofushi rock, Himandhoo thila, Maalhos thila
Monday: Fesdu wreck, fish head, mayya thila (day and night)
Tuesday: Hafsa thila, Batalhaa kanthila
We welcome on board thirteen new guests including eleven Aggressor repeaters and some that have already met in previous aggressor trip, we introduce them with their new home and start with the fantastic captain briefing followed by a well appreciated dinner in which all guest begin to know each other’s, then we give them a general briefing about the dive operation.
we began our day with diving Sunlight Thila, easy dive to begin with and get back to diving safely, 16m sandy bottom with few cleaning stations, we had great successful sighting of a manta that came 3 times above the cleaning station and turning around and above divers, that was a great beginning.
Then we dove at Fish factory, it is like to be in a fish tank, there were huge school of baby red toothed trigger fish, huge moray eels of many different kind and sting rays going around. Guests really appreciate this life profusion and were amazed.
For the third dive we visit Kuda Giri wreck and its thila, this wreck begins at 18 meters for the bow and finish at 28 meters for the stern, current was light and allow us to properly visit the wreck before exploring the reef just next, on the reef we saw a turtle, an octopus and profusion of small reef fish of many different colors.
Medhu Faru is a nice channel dive drifting with the current, divers has enjoyed to see at least 15 sharks in the middle of the channel while we spotted three turtles, a big Napoleon fish, few moray eels and many Trigger fish that begin to build there nest for the matting time.
At Kandooma Thila we dove with silver tips sharks and a schools of eagle ray cruising around the pinnacle, the top is about 17m depth and is full of nice corals and life all around, there was also schools of jacks and snappers.
Then we cruise to Vaavu Atoll to conclude that day and we dove at night at Alimatha Jetty where there is a lot of resident nurse sharks and sting rays, we just knee down to enjoy the spectacle during the whole dive.
We began our day with Dhevana Kandu Thila, nice small channel drift dive with sandy bottom, we saw some reef sharks and three turtles, the scenery is very special and the sandy bottom in the middle of this narrow channel just look like a river in between corals walls.
After we cruise to our next Atoll (South Ari Atoll) which takes us around five hours, once arrived, we jump on the Dhony to dive Vilamendhoo Thila, this large pinnacle is well furnish with corals and bat fish, we encounter also few white tip sharks.
Drift dive was the point on Vilamendhoo Thila, current was strong to very strong and guest did experience something from another dimension, sharks enjoyed to stay nearly stationary and we hooked on the reef to see them from closer and longer, some were just two meters from us and did not seems to be annoyed, the thila in itself was absolutely full of life, we even meet a turtle that was close to 1m50, it was an incredible dive.
Then we dove the impressive Machchafushi Wreck at sunset, this Japanese steel fishing trawler has been sunk intentionally in 1998, marine life took it over and we can even penetrate safely this wreck.
We begin our first dive with a very beautiful dive on Kudarah Thila, we were lucky to be the only boat on that famous dive site, at 25 m we found one large white tip shark, then the shallower we went the more fishes there are such like big groupers and school of thousand blue lined snappers, there is also an eagle ray cruising around divers with her baby, they are resident of this thila and very friendly.
After breakfast we went for the wale shark search and another after lunch, we try hard first from the surface and there under water while diving, luck was not smiling today.
Our guests enjoyed so much Kudarah Thila that we had to repeat it, the scenario was the same and the dive enjoyable.
Later we try again our luck with whale shark search, our guests really wanted to find one so we do so, this time was exceptional as we dove with a juvenile whale shark for 37 minutes!!! Awesome dive and moreother, our guests had everything they expected :).
In the afternoon we cruise to Lily rock, this is a nice cleaning station at 17 meters surrounded by corals and sand patches, as we arrived it was already twos big Mantas on top and they stayed there during all the dive time, we just missed some popcorn during the show.
We began Saturday with a dive at Mahibadhoo rock to look for Mantas, which is a very famous location for Mantas, there is a cleaning station where we knee down and enjoy the ballet of the mantas coming for the cleaning, the first try was not very successful as the mantas shows up when we finished the safety stop time, after breakfast we try again and we saw a big female reef manta that is around five meters width and a second one came and played around, big thumbs up!
During Lunch we start cruising to West part of South Ari Atoll and conclude the day by a dive at Raidhigga Thila, this medium size thila has plenty of cavity which is covered by colorful soft corals, at depth people enjoy to watch tunas hunting and shallower we found some octopus.
We start the day with a dive at Moofushi Rock, as soon as we had the head in a water we spotted already some white tip sharks and few marble sting rays, then we spend some time at a cleaning station and hoping for some mantas to show up, this dive was a nice waking up.
Later, we dove at Himandhoo Thila which was one of the best dives of the trip, this is a very large thila with constant drop off and surrounded by two channels, visibility was perfect, around 50 meters, current was friendly enough to let us stay on the incoming current edge, reefs sharks and eagle rays were everywhere and few turtles around, I let you imagine the feeling we had to be there.
After lunch we dove at Maalhos thila, this thila is special as there is many big cavity with soft corals covering the ceilling in a mixture of colors, mostly white but also blue and violet, the snowy coloured soft coral is amont the finest to be seen in Ari Atoll. We also liked to watch tuna’s hunt.
Morning dive at Fesdu Wreck, it is a 30 meters coastal fishing trawler lying on sandy bottom at 29 m, the wreck is well covered by aquatic life, next to it there is a small thila with a 12m top covered with anemone and soft coral, we saw nice nudibranch, few mantis shrimp, few juvenil yellow box fish and scorpion fish.
We continue the dive adventure at Fish head, fisherman have been traditionally fished for sharks and was the best fishing spot of all Ari Atoll, today it is a protected aera thank to the gouvernment statement in 1995.
This dive was good for watching grey reef sharks and white tip sharks, the top was full of blue lined snappers, fusilier and schooling barracuda, we also found a cute small red frog fish.
In the afternoon we dove twice at Mayya thila to get day and night scenario, this dive site always give us a good feeling, it is famous for white tip reef sharks and stone fishes at the top, at nigh we can observe the changement of comportment of the sharks that are entering in feeding mode as well as the giant trevally that use the divers light to hunt, we were lucky to get two massive marble rays staying with us at the top of the reef and big moray eels also hunting at that time, we got also a couple of stone fishes to observe.
That was great dives.
First dive in the Morning we dove at Hafsa thila to see grey reef sharks and white tip sharks mainly.j
Last dive of this trip was Bathala Kantihla which is a very long finger thila where reef sharks are king, we position ourselves on the ledge with a light incoming current, we enjoyed reef sharks habits during the whole dive, that was a good dive to conclude the trip, guest liked it so much.
Afterward, we returned to our home port and said our farewells to our guests. We are sad to see this group to go as they were a pleasure to serve and very fun.
Congratulation to Gretchen to become an SSI adventurer diver and congratulation to our new Iron divers: Francesco, Umberto, Matteo, Jana, Grant, Christopher, Michelle and Price.
Thanks again for joining us this week along the Mistral Aggressor, we hope to see you again soon!
Maldives aggressor 2 team