Diving in Maldives

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Maldives Diving Trips: All you need to know

Planning for diving trips to Maldives? Get the details of such trips

Thursday, 22nd April 2021

Manu Nair, at first felt that he arrived in a different world. For a moment, everything around him looked the dark, deep surreal blue. Nothing was clearly visible to his eyes and it seemed, as it were, things were occurring in slow motion. However, eventually, the translucent creatures emerged from the deep bluish darkness- there were slow-moving, patient whale sharks, dancing, sprightly Manta Rays, colorful coral reefs, and the like.

Nair felt that it was all ‘magical’.

An aspiring and passionate astronaut, Nair is one of the few chosen for PoSSUM, a suborbital research project supported by NASA. The project needs its participants to have an experience in scuba-diving. Nair’s account is about his experience in the Maldives- at the Maaya Thila, one of the most famous dive sites in the whole of the world. The sea therein replicates the sky, he says, adding, “Most of my training would be underwater because it simulates the microgravity environment. When you are on land, you know nothing can harm you. But it’s not the case under the ocean; you surrender to it and what you see is something surreal”.

The lure of Maldives, one of the most premium diving destinations in the whole of the world is too hard to resist and of late many Indians have given into the temptation, thereby hitting the shores of the Maldives in scores. As per the stats from the Indian High Commission in the Maldives, 62,905 tourists from India vacationed therein in the year 2020. This accounted for nearly 11.3% of the total market share of the Maldives from the tourism industry- the most in terms of any country.

Also Read: Vaccinated travelers will be allowed into Thailand soon but must adhere to the 4-stage plan.

The air traveling bubble that our country shares with the Island Country, the tourist visa, and also the three hours of flight time are a few of its key attractions.

 “Maldives has not decimated its fish population. There are no large waves and the clarity [under water] is very good. Because you are in an atoll [a ring-shaped reef], you are not hit by the ocean,” says Nitish Chengappa. He had visited the archipelagic state for the first time in the year 2002 along with Nikhil Chinapa, his brother, and a celebrated TV host too. In the year 2015, the two had jointly founded Fleetfoot Adventures in the IT hub of Bengaluru…the company organizes several diving trips to Egypt and Maldives among the other destinations of the world, further informing that more than 250 customers have been taken to the Maldives each year by them since then. However, the year ‘2020’ was very different due to the Covid pandemic. There wasn’t any trip from March until November in that year but the situation is changing for the better gradually, says Nitish Chengappa, who has organized four such trips since the month of November and receives several hundred tourist inquiries each month.

“The Maldives spoils you. In other locations, you might not get to see magnificent creatures like sharks, mantas, and eagle rays. But here you see them all the time,” says Karina Aggarwal (@Gigglewater411), a beverage expert who had been to the Maldives last month on her 2nd Live-a-board tour and was accompanied by a 10-people group. She had used a 40m Live-a-board vessel equipped with open-air dining and AC suites for the tour.

In the case of the live-a-board trips — you need to stay overnights on a vessel while moving from one diving site to another. Such trips are best meant for serious, seasoned divers, opines Anees Adenwala, Mumbai’s Orca Dive Club’s Director. Typically, such trips continue for a week and consist of at least three dives per day. “You can even sail from Malé to the southernmost island called Gan, discover the entire chain of dive sites and atolls. Or you can just be in a resort with great food and a bit of diving and other water sports,” says Adenwala.

However, prior to embarking on such trips, you need to do a 4-5 days long open water diver’s course. The course is priced at ?30,000 and consists of three parts: Part 1 is based on knowledge development (wherein you would learn about dive safety), 2nd part deals with the confined dives (wherein you would practice in the pool) and the 3rd part is about to open dives (wherein you would be diving at a local diving site).

Since these vessels can accommodate a maximum of 20 passengers, Chengappa informs that such live-a-board diving trips are enjoyed best when a familiar group accompanies you to the trip. “It is very important that you put together a socially compatible bunch. Because you’re going to be spending six nights together,” he states.

The News Talkie Bureau


The Hindu

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