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What to expect in the Maldives…

by Glenn Storey – Maldives Tour Leader

Kuda Giri wreck, Maldives by Glenn StoreyIt was our first day on our luxury, live aboard yacht Amphibiya. I was lying on my double bed bunk, wishing I had never eaten so much at lunch (yum yum) and checking my photos on my laptop from the two previous dives we had done earlier in the day (which were fantastic, manta rays galore!!!). I will tell you about those dives in next week’s newsletter.

As I laid there I heard one of my fellow divers saying aloud as he walked past my cabin, “ding ding, round three”. I quickly hurried up to the middle deck to hear the dive brief, wondering what on earth could match the last two dives. I was thinking a nice, relaxing, low adrenalin dive to finish the day off would be fine; WRONG! As I quickly found out, from Arti our Maldivian dive master, our last dive for the day was going to be a wreck & pinnacle dive!Amphibiya, a floating hotel!

For some silly reason I never thought of the Maldives as having any wreck dives. In fact there are a number of wrecks. This particular one was known as The Kudu Geri Wreck, located at South Male’ atoll, about 1.5 km from Dhigufinolhu. According to Arti, the wreck is a “small” 25-30 metre long fishing trawler that was scuttled 10 years ago. The fishing trawler was sunk to form an artificial reef, which has proven to be a success. It is now covered by stony, stag horn and table corals, and colourful red, orange and yellow sponges that live amongst the coral.

The Kuda Giri wreck sits upright on the sea floor, and can be explored from its bow at 18 metres (which points towards the giri, or pinnacle) all the way down to its stern at 31 metres.

After the dive brief we quickly got ready & hopped into our dhoni (small boat) which holds approx 32 people. Fifteen minutes later and we were at the site, the time was approx thirty minutes before sunset, which set an eerie mood & made for a very interesting dive. We followed the pinnacle down & swam around the reef & then suddenly there she was – The Kuda Giri. I remember looking up at the bow of the wreck, and using a wide angle lens with no flash, I took a photo of the Kuda looking back down on me with it’s blue eyes (I’m sure it winked at me) Air pocket inside Kuda Giri by Glenn Storey

Just then I heard my dive buddies’ mumbled shouts for me to hurry up. I followed him through the cargo hold all the way down to the bottom of the hull, we swam under a bulkhead & discovered something which I have never seen or heard of in Australia – at 25 metres deep – a huge air pocket! I knew being toxic air that you shouldn’t breathe it, but there is nothing stopping you from taking a picture and shouting through your reg at your dive buddy something like I did, “mind your boof head Rudgee!”. J After our brief, muffled discussion in the air pocket we made our way slowly through all the corridors to the stern. Just as we were exiting through the machine room I thought I saw one of the walls moving, when in actual fact it was a huge Hump Head Wrasse or Napoleon Wrasse at about 2.5 metres long! The wreck & the machine room in particular obviously had become a very cosy home for the Wrasse, even though it had to swim through the narrow doorways sideways! ;)

After our surprise meeting with the Wrasse I stopped to catch my breath & slow my heart rate, then we slowly made our way back up to the reef/pinnacle. At our safety stop which was directly above the reef, we were by now nearly in total darkness and were using our dive lights to watch all the marine life trying to find a place to hide for the night.

Back at the Amphibiya, dinner was waiting, and after beers were drunk the story of the encounter with the Napoleon Wrasse got bigger & bigger. If only I was fast enough to take a picture to prove it, I swear that fish was over 200kg in size!  

AND this was only our first day!

For more information on our exciting Maldives Holiday click here!

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