Sardine Run 2014 – The Holiday Diary

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It’s Sunday morning, day one. The alarm clock shows 6.00 am and its beeping makes it very clear that it’s time to get up. It’s still dark outside, the coffee fragrance is in the air leading us to the breakfast lounge of the Umkomaas lodge; a few muffins satisfy the stomach and get us ready to go. The equipment is all set-up, the wetsuits are on and the boat is loaded. It’s not often to see people getting up before dawn with a smile on the face, but when your early wakening anticipates two dives packed of sharks, then the perspective totally changes. The launch with our speedboat is still the same: hold on tight, put your feet in the straps and the jumping and slalom between the waves kicks the day off. The first dive is a baited dive, but not before having attracted a few dozen blacktip sharks around the boat. We kit-up and with a rollback we are in what looks more like a shark soup then a place in the Indian ocean. The washing machine drum full of smelly fish hangs at an eight meter depth and we’re looking all around at the blacktips getting crazy…

Dive Raja Ampat, Indonesia

How to Dive Raja Ampat – Indonesia

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When a diver thinks about Indonesia, one of the most immediate association he will make in his mind is with ‘’Biodiversity’’; this part of the world, in fact, is extremely famous for his great biodiversity: thousands of corals and fish populate this region. One of the most famous place in Indonesia, with no doubt, is Raja Ampat. Raja Ampat is the western point of the biggest island in the world, the New Guinea and it is politically divided in two parts: the south part is the ‘’Papua New Guinea’’ and it is an independent country; the north part is ‘’Papua’’ or ‘’Raja Ampat’’. Raja Ampat (literally ‘’the 4 kings’’) is divided into seven different protected marine areas. Certainly the underwater share of this great place is the better known because it is considered the epicenter of the marine biodiversity! Just to give some numbers characterizing this place: 1,628 species of reef fish in the Bird’s Head Seascape 1,430 species of reef fish in Raja Ampat 42 species of endemic reef fish found only in the Birds Head Seascape 603 species of hard coral recorded in the Bird’s Head Seascape 75% of all known coral species in the world 10 times…

Dive Thudufushi Thila in the Maldives

Dive Thudufushi Thila – Ari Atoll, Maldives

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While you’re staying in the southern part of the Ari Atoll, Maldives, you shouldn’t miss one of the most celebrated dive spots of the area: the Thudufushi Thila. Located 3 Km from Thudufushi Island and 14 Km from Athuruga island, this beautiful dive site lies in the middle of Kalhahandhi Kandu, at the north of Panettone (another famous dive site in the nearby area). It’s a big Thila of one kilometer diameter and it’s characterized by the circular form. The top of the shoal is at 8 meters and it drops vertically in steps down to 35 meters, where the bottom is sandy. One of the very best diving can be enjoyed in this northern part of the site. This spot is located at the beginning of a pass and occasionally the current can be very strong; because of this, this dive can be a bit difficult when the current is too strong. Due to the presence of the current, if you look into the blue, in the middle of the channel, you can see a lot of marine life, particularly of pelagic life, such as Dog-toothed Tunas, Eagle rays, Jack Fish and Grey Reef Sharks; during the North-East Monson…

Manta Rays of the Maldives

Manta Rays – Marvellous Creatures in Maldives

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While diving, manta rays usually represent, in the diver’s mind, one of the most desirable fish to encounter. There are places all around the world where you can spot these marvellous creatures and one of these is, indeed, the Maldives. In fact, this archipelago is one of the best places to visit if you want to enjoy diving with mantas but you might like to know that there is a precise relation between the location you intend visiting and the period of the year you choose. The reason is that manta rays are filter feeders and eat huge amounts of plankton. Water in the open ocean is quite poor of plankton but by the time the flow goes through the whole atoll, from side to side, nourishment becomes enriched. During the winter season, December to April, the main current follows the monsoon and flows from East to West. During the summer season, May to November, the main current flows from West to East. While planning your trip, it becomes then clear to understand which is the right location where to meet mantas, depending on the time of the year: From December to April you’re more likely to find mantas in…

Dive Mushimasmigili Thila in the Maldives

Shark Thila or Mushimasmigili Thila or Fish Head

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Fish Head is a very well known diving point in the middle of Ari Atoll. The thila is a protected area and it is so famous that it has three different names: Shark Thila, Mushimasmigili Thila and Fish Head. This Maldivian dive spot is particularly interesting for the massive quantity of life it hosts; even the thila’s shape is quite interesting: a straight cube emerges from a 40 meters sandy bottom up to a height of 6/8 meters, all around only white sand and blue water. The top of the tila is generally flat, a couple of canyons and big stones offer cover for groupers and morays. A line of overhangs originates from the top of the thila down to the first drop off at around 20 meters. Here you can find big swarms of blue-lined snappers. Being this a relatively small thila, you’ll dive it all around. You’ll jump on the side where the current comes from and huge swarms of fusiliers will welcome you. Slightly on the side you’ll spot big swarms of doctor fish and, close to the reef, there will be plenty of redtoothed triggerfish. Huge bluefin and giant trevally are restlessly hunting them; below the swarm…