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Night dive at South Ari Atoll, Maldives

Written by Glenn Storey

Our night dive south ari atoll night 3.Hawksbill turtle in Maldives by Glenn Storey

I remember when I was packing my bags in Australia, getting ready for my Maldives trip and I was thinking – “do i really need my dark buster or should I go with the smaller torch”. The dark buster weighs a tonne (excess baggage = $$$) but on the third night at the Maldives sitting in the dhoni boat, ready for a night dive, I was relieved I had brought it with me (even though my luggage was over the weight limits).

The night was pitch black, everybody was excited but nobody was speaking so that they could hear the young dive master. He was bent over the bow of the dhoni with his torch in hand, looking for the right spot, soon he was shouting at the skipper, “here we are”. Suddenly the boat was illuminated as all the dive lights, including my darkbuster, were turned on at the same time.

Everybody eagerly jumped into the inky water & down we went to a nice, shallow depth of about 10-15 metres. The visibility was excellent as we followed the coral ledge along. If you can imagine, the scene looked like the blitz in the London Second World War, only we were lighting the ocean up to look for marine life. There were sleeping turtles galore; metre long painted crays, running away from our lights; sea-snakes dancing in front of me; big groper fish bullying the little fish; large stingrays laying on the dark sandy edges; sharks hiding, just out of range of most lights trying to catch the fish we were illuminating with our torches.

I love night dives, and have done about 200 dives but I have to say that this 50 minute dive in the Maldives was by far the best night dive I have ever done.

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