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Ari Atoll Dive Sites - Maldives

Ari Atoll

Located in the western part of the Maldives Islands, the Ari Atoll is one of the largest atolls in the Maldives, and as such is home to a wide selection of dive sites.

Broken Rock

Named for a large broken rock at the center of this dive site, Broken Rock is home to a beautiful array of soft and hard coral formations that attract a wide variety of reef. There is a channel that divers can swim through, giving the dive an interesting dimension. Broken Rock varies in depth from 40 to 100 feet. Sometimes, there can be very strong currents at Broken Rock. Among the marine life often seen at Broken Rock, common sightings include the puffer fish, trigger fish, moray eels, and Napoleon wrasse.

Gangehi Kandu

Recommended only for advanced scuba divers, the Gangehi Kandu dive site is located in the northern part of the Ari Atoll. Currents here can also be challenging, and the site should only be dived when the currents are flowing into the site. Gangehi Kandu is known as one of the best dive sites in the Maldives for spotting sharks, including gray reef sharks, white tip reef sharks and the occasional leopard shark. Coral formations at this dive site are particularly colorful, and divers here can expect to see moray eels, nudibranch, mantis shripm, and trigger fish. Large pelagic species are also frequent visitors to the site.

Hukrueli Faru (Rangali Madivaru)

Commonly known as Rangali Madivaru or just Madivaru, Hukrueli Faru is home to a very colorful coral reef. The site is named for the abundance of manta rays seen here (Madi means manta ray in the Maldivian language. Depths at Hukrueli Faru range from 8 to 30 meters (25 feet to 100 feet), making the dive particularly interesting and varied. Manta rays are attracted to Hukrueli Faru because of the strong currents that form a whirlpool effect in the deeper parts of the site, where they can hover over the currents. The mantas are also attracted to the cleaning stations located around Hukrueli Faru.

Kudarah Thila

Declared a Marine Protected Area (MPA) by the Maldivian government, Kudarah Thila is a popular dive site which enjoys many incoming currents. Coral reef formations at Kudarah Thila are bright and colorful, including a variety of soft and hard corals. Thila means “pinnacle” in Dhivehi, and at Kudarah Thila there are actually four pinnacles, which can be all visited in one dive. A swim-through at the south-east corner of the dive site makes this a particularly popular dive, as does the rich variety of marine life, which includes trumpet fish, snapper, gobies, dartfish, oriental sweetlips, and grouper. Further away from the reef, divers are likely to see gray reef sharks, napoleon fish and sea turtles.

Maalhos Thila

Maalhos Thila is only suitable for experienced scuba divers because the best part of the dive site lies deeper than 25 metres. Maalhos Thila is an attractive dive spot, featuring several coral heads about 28 metres below the surface, all of which are covered with beautiful corals. Common visitors to the reef here include oriental sweetlips, white tip reef sharks and blue-lined snappers. Because of the strong currents at Maalhos Thila, a safety sausage must be deployed here to ensure the divers’ safety.

Maaya Thila

Maaya Thila is one of the most famous dive sites in the Maldives and is known as a great spot for both day and night dives. The marine life seen at Maaya Thila depends largely on the currents, which vary greatly; when the currents are not strong, Maaya Thila is an easy dive site, suitable for less experienced divers, but when currents are strong Maaya Thila is recommended for only advanced divers and they will need to use a safety sausage.

Maaya Thila is most famous for the white tip reef sharks that can nearly always be seen here, both during the day and night. On a night dive at Maaya Thila, divers will likely encounter moray eels, turtles, octopus and stonefish.

Mushi Mas Mingili Thila (Fish Head)

Fish Head, or Mushi Mas Mingili is one of the most popular dive sites in Maldives. Prior to the site being declared an official Marine Protected Area by the Maldivian Government it was a common shark feeding spot among scuba divers. Marine life typically seen at Mushi Mas Mingili Thila includes gray reef sharks, white tips, Napoleon wrasse, jacks and tuna.

Pannettone (Kalhahandi Kandu)

Kalhahandi Kandu has earned the nickname Pannettone from the many Italian divers who believe it resembles the traditional Italian fruitcake. It is an attractive dive site, recommended mainly for advanced scuba divers, except for when the currents are not strong. There are some spectacular coral formations here, featuring a variety of soft and hard coral species, which attract a wide selection of fish including angelfish, basslets, butterfly fish, scorpion fish, trigger fish and puffer fish. The corals here are in good condition and weather conditions at Pannettone mean the dive site can be explored year-round.

Republic of the Maldives - Divers Paradise

The Maldives, an island republic with more than 1,000 islands and atolls offers scuba dives amazing dive experiences. The multitude of dive sites owe their abundance of marine life to the nutrient-rich currents that feed the coral reefs.

The channels between the islands and atolls can create strong currents that besides feeding nutrients to the marine environment, offer challenging drift dives along the reef walls. Other dive sites offer underwater pinnacles and protected lagoons offer calm areas that thrive with marine life.

The Maldives is an underwater photographers paradise. Macro critters are in abundance and for those who love encounters with large pelagics, sharks, whale sharks, grouper, eagle rays and mantas, and Napoleon wrasse are found. Shark species include tigers, hammerheads, and threshers.

Visibility is usually 20-40 meters (65-130 feet) and water temperatures range between 23-26 degrees C (78-84 degrees F). Dive conditions are excellent all year but November thru May are out of the summer monsoon season. Many of the dive sites throughout the Maldives are marine protected areas. 

Casa na Praia - Tofo, Mozambique

Africa offers both amazing diving and the opportunity to visit wilderness reserves. Mozambique is the gateway to both worlds.

Location, location, location. If you are looking for a beautiful and comfortable place to stay just a stone’s throw from the Indian Ocean and to enjoy a private beach area with deck chair, sofas and parasols, then look no further. Casa na Praia is located in arguably the best spot on Tofo the only one really on the beach. Nestled in the corner of the bay close enough to walk to local amenities but far enough away to feel private, it is the perfect escape from the realities of everyday life.

Casa na Praia is comprised of two properties, Casa Azul and Bungalow Africano. Casa Azul offers comfortable rooms full of charm. Bungalow Africano with higher standards is a mixture of modern luxury and traditional design.

Casa Azul is an old colonial building lovingly restored and refurbished. It is of historical importance to Tofo as it was one of the first houses built here. Casa Azul has 4 rooms, the most loved of which is known as the Tree House and offers quirky space with a large veranda and views to die for. The other property is Bulgalow Africano. The brand new rooms are stylishly decorated and have panoramic views of the beach. Finished to higher standards, these rooms are available with AC and feature hammocks to relax and enjoy the crystal clear ocean.

Rooms for two including breakfast in the Bungalow Africano:

  • Room Sea - Low Season $45 USD per night, Normal Season $135 USD per night
  • Room Beach - Low Season $125 USD per night, Normal Season $$160 USD per night
The room rates do not include dive packages but these can be added.
 

ROOM SEA

 

ROOM BEACH

Galapagos Master - Siren Fleet Liveaboard 10% Discount

The Siren Fleet is celebrating the launch of their newest ship, the Galapagos Master. Book any 7-night or 10-night charter between 01 May and 31 June 2015 and receive a 10% discount. Charter must be booked before 31 July 2014.

  • 7-night Charter starting at $4750 USD
  • 10-night Charter starting at $6150 USD

The Galapagos Master is built of steel and with a cruising speed of 12.5 knots and the ship is set to be the most eco-friendly, dive liveaboard in the Galapagos Islands. She has 9 well-appointed modern cabins, a spacious interior and generous outside space for relaxation and dive gear preparation.

Diving the Galapagos 

The most spectacular pelagic diving on the planet!

The Galapagos is one of those rare places where you can dive through hundreds of hammerhead sharks to find a whale shark cruising along.  Toss in silky sharks, sea turtles, giant morays and schooling fish in their thousands… And that’s just the first dive at Darwin!

At Wolf Island you can expect huge Galapagos sharks and eagle rays up close whilst dives at Cabo Marshall will put you face to face with giant manta rays and inside a school of millions of black-striped salemas.  Mola mola (sunfish) may be seen in the depths too.

Macro life is plentiful. Black coral bushes shelter seahorses, blennies, nudibranchs, hawkfish and frogfish. Sea iguanas are a unique sight, along with speedy penguins and playful sea lions.

This is but a mere taste of why divers consistently proclaim the Galapagos to have the healthiest marine life in the Pacific.

 

All photos courtesy of the Galapagos Master & Siren Fleet.

Saipan Dive Sites

Dive site map courtesy of Saipan Explorer 

The Grotto

This dive site in is sure to amaze you. After a giant stride into the water from a rock in the cavern, divers can take three different exit holes out to open ocean. Once outside, there are beautiful walls, swim-throughs, and caves to explore. Turtles and Clown Triggerfish are some of the many types of sea life to be seen at this magnificent dive site. Several resident White Tip Sharks lounge on the bottom during the day.

This site is one of the four dive sites most frequently visited by professional dive shops on Saipan. Because of its difficulty, it is typically used only for divers who have already been certified, though on rare rough-weather occasions when all other sites are undivable, open water students and even introductory divers are brought here.

The Grotto is possibly the most popular and most challenging dive in Saipan. It is a natural tunnel leading from the top of a high cliff down below sea level, then exiting into open ocean through three wide openings at depths between 0~60ft./0~18m.

Wing Beach

Wing beach is the beach/boat dive closest to The Grotto. Access is via a very poor dirt road, then to a small jungle clearing near the far northeast side of Wing Beach. From there, beach divers walk across a white pebble beach and follow the northeast rocky wall of the beach down a flat rocky slope, then follow the underwater wall around further to the northeast. Exit is by the same route. This site is not commonly visited by professional dive shops.

There are some great geographical features here, such as large crevices and breathtaking drop-offs. Rock formations include a 30m/90ft. tower and equally deep canyon in the underwater wall.

Tanapag

This shallow introductory beach dive site should not be confused with the Saipan boat harbor of the same name. The two locations are separate, with extremely different beach and water conditions.

Tanapag is possibly the easiest, most convenient, safest introductory dive site on Saipan.Moderate 30ft./10m visibility. Although occasionally strong longshore currents inside the lagoon may reduce visibility to near-zero and require that divers cling to a submerged, anchored rope "walkway" along the dive's route, typically the conditions are near-ideal, with near-zero currents.

The Korean/Japanese Troop Ship

This World War Two troop ship was owned by the Japanese, but sank while carrying conscripted Korean soldiers. It is a rare type of shipwreck since it is in shallow water and contains almost no overhead environment, making it a very simple, safe dive.

Controversially, in the mid-1990s Korean divers placed a memorial plaque on the wreck and a large stone memorial within a few yards of the wreck. The plaque, it's said, mourned the death of the Korean soldiers but made no mention of the other war casualties. This caused a minor uproar in the multinational professional dive community of Saipan. The wreck is located in the large lagoon outside Garapan/Tanapag.

Ice Cream

Ice Cream is outside the lagoon, slightly south of Garapan on the west side of Saipan . It is a very large submerged coral mound of staghorn corals rising from a bottom at about 50 ft to a baseball-diamond-sized summit roughly 40ft(16m) below the surface.

Visibility is typically 20m/60ft, and currents are rarely problematic, though divers should take care to cling to the anchor rope while descending, ascending, and making safety stops.

Obyan Beach

Pronounced "ob-ZAHN". This beach is particularly well used by professional dive shops, both for easy "fun dives" and for open water training dives. Occasionally, dive boats will moor and dive here and also visit the nearby site called "Mushroom rock/Boyscout beach/Secret beach". Located near Naftan Point. Visibility generally varies from 30ft(10m)~60ft(18m). On a good day, there may be 150 + feet of visibility.

Lau Lau Beach

This is one of Saipan's most frequently visited sites, and is an ideal dive site for beginners or people interested in smaller, more colorful animals. Lau Lau hasone of the largest reefs on the island.

Secret Beach / Boyscout Beach / Mushroom Rock

Boyscout 1 & 2 - Both Boyscout beaches are rarely visited by divers or anybody else for that matter, because they are hard to get to. Divers who take the trouble are rewarded with beautiful coral and white sand.Some of the largest clams can be found here.

Bird Island - WW2 Plane Wreck

B-29/Emily - Okay, so the wreck is not a B-29 the name led you to believe, but that of a Japanese H8K or Type 2 Large Flying Boat. The Allied reporting name for this type of plane was Emily. The Emily was an Imperial Japanese Navy Flying boat used during World War II for maritime patrol duties.

Managaha Island - Eagle Ray City

Eagle Ray City is one of the most unique dives in Saipan. Rising out of the sand at a depth 30 feet is a rocky formation that on a good day will have up to 40 Eagle Rays hanging out. While divers hold on to the rock Eagle Rays glide overhead.

Dimple

Suitable for all skill levels, this is a boat dive site seamount on the Western side of Saipan.

Naftan

One of the best wall dives in the CNMI, with amazing visibility and fish life located on the southern tip of the island. The top of the wall starts at 45 feet and goes down to over 130 feet

Chinsen Maru

Chinsen Maru is a large Japanese freighter that lies at 30 foot of depth in the lagoon. The ship has been in the water for over 50 years, allowing for some significant coral growth as well as becoming a home to thousands of fish.

Banzai Cliff

There is only a brief time during the year when conditions are suitable for diving, but it is well worth the wait if you like the big blue dives with a beautiful wall

Spot Light

This cavern dive is named Spot Light because when the sun shines through a hole in the top of the cavern, it is like a spotlight shining on a stage. This dive site is very close to Banzai and as with Banzai only accessible during a brief time period. The cavern has some of the largest lionfish you will ever see.

Huracan Diving - Long Caye, Lighthouse Reef Atoll, Belize

If you are looking for a small, private dive resort that caters to divers like they were on a liveaboard, and offers personalize service….look no further. Huracan Diving on Long Caye, Belize is your answer. How about 5 boat dives a day…!

This resort accommodates 8 divers in their Bed & Breakfast styled lodge and the service is first class.  The lodge is nestled in untouched littoral forest on Long Caye, and is off grid - on solar and rainwater and protected by a beautiful forest of mangroves and beyond that, amazing reef!

The resort is just a 2 minute boat ride from probably the most famous dive site in Belize… the Aquarium, and all dives from Blue Hole, Half Moon Caye wall to the east and west of Long Caye are all a few minutes boat ride away. 

 

Huracan Diving is proud to be different and away from the “beaten path” of Ambergris Caye, yet extremely easy to get to – all the packages include the 1.5hour transfer to and from Belize City.

 Dive packages start at $890 usd per person – that’s a low season price and includes transportation to and from the island, all accommodation based on double occupancy, all meals (breakfast buffet American/continental/ English full/a la carte, post dive home baked snack, light dive lunch of salad/kabobs/home made bread sub, post dive snack, 3 course gourmet dinner) tea, coffee, water complimentary, 5 guided dives by boat, snacks and soda/water on the dive boat. Book a 7 night package at the low season rate of $1790 USD per person double occupancy. 

 

Arenui Liveaboard Charter to Alor-Komodo, Indonesia - 22 July - 04 Aug 2014

The Arenui has offered us a last minute deal of the 22 July 2014 charter to Alor and Komodo. There are only two remaining cabins, one master suite and one deluxe, available on all of the Arenui charters in 2014 and only a couple remaining cabins in 2015. If you want to dive the Arenui, now is the time to get a discounted cabin. Here's the sample itinerary:

Day 1 Embarkation in Labuanbajo

Day 2 Loh Liang or Loh Buaya (walk with dragons) / Komodo-Flores Channel, Day 3 Gili Lawa Laut, Day 4 Gili Lawa Laut / Sabolan,

Day 5 Pamana, Day 6 Serbete Reef / Adonara Island, Day 7 Kawula Island, Day 8 Suangi / Lamalera, Day 9 Pantar Island,

Days 10, 11 Alor / Pantar Strait, Day 12 Bacatan / Pulau Komba, Day 13 Pulau Babi, Day 14 Disembarkation in Maumere

This charter is normally $6,500 USD for the Deluxe cabin and we will discount this published price $1,000 to $5,500 USD (no credit cards). Book this space fast!

 

Palau 2015 Early Bird Special

Our dive buddies, Chris and Jason, with Palau Dive Adventures are offering us a great Early Bird Special for 2015. Book a trip to Palau before June 15, 2014 for travel April 1-15, May 7-July 15, or October 1-December 18, 2015 and get this great package:

  • 7 Nights Accommodations at Palau Pacific Resort
  • 5 Day Diving with Palau Dive Adventures
Your package includes room accommodations at PPR, daily buffet breakfast, lunch provided on the dive boat, plus the usual first class dive experience Palau Dive Adventures is known for, one of the best in Micronesia.
 
  • Garden View Room $1880 per person double diver occupancy
  • Ocean View Room $2105 per person double diver occupancy
  • Ocean Front Room $2330 per person double diver occupancy
Book this package with us before June 15 and we will discount the package price $100 per person. Contact us for availability.

Ask about our availability for Business Class airfares at huge discounts…!
 

Caribe Dancer Liveaboard - Travel Review

Our dive buddies, brother and sister, Matt P and Kay P have just returned from the Bahamas aboard the Caribe Dancer. Here's their report:

"We had a great time diving in in the Bahamas with the Carib Dancer and its crew. Overall, we are hooked on the live aboard experience. We loved having so much time to be in the water, and the crew were really great."

"Some of the pluses in our book were:
- the night dives were great, and the boat had wonderful lighting so it was easy to find when returning - bright strobes and two down lights which, over the 40 minutes of the dive, would attract all kinds of strange sea creatures to look at during the surface interval. Also, the hot chocolate waiting for us was a real pleasant surprise.
- the food was incredible. Really surprised at the variety and the healthy options (fruit and veggies) at each meal. Kay has some dietary restrictions and we thought the staff bent over backwards to accommodate. Really A+.
- the captain did a good job of navigating to good visibility and smooth seas despite some weather predictions to the contrary."

South Moon Liveaboard Relaunch Celebration - Save $800

South Moon Liveaboard Relaunch Celebration Summer Sale!

Forget the Egyptian politics on land, the Red Sea underwater world is alive and well….! Our dive buddy Ahmed Nassrat is offering us a fin-tastic deal for the relaunch of the South Moon liveaboard. For a limited time a 9 day package is $2900 per person AND includes international airfare. Trip Highlights: - 7 Day Liveaboard: 25 dives in the best dive sites in the Red Sea - All international and domestic flights are included.  For a limited time only SAVE $800 on the following trips this summer with direct flights from Toronto to Egypt (full trip only $2,100). Other departure cities available. You can also add a Pyramids tour while connecting through Cairo for ONLY $150. Contact us for air pricing from your departure city.

  • May 16 - May 24 2014: 6 Spots Available 
  • May 23 - May 31 2014: 16 Spots Available 
  • May 30 - June 7 2014: 16 Spots Available 
  • June 6 - June 14 2014: 16 Spots Available 
  • June 13 - June 21 2014: 16 Spots Available 
  • June 20 - June 28 2014: 16 Spots Available 
  • June 27 - July 5 2014: 16 Spots Available 
  • July 4 - July 12 2014: 16 Spots Available 

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