Diving and Sharks in the Maldives

Last night we popped up at the end of the night dive, the fellow took our camera and set it on the table. When I went to retrieve it there was condensation on the inside. Bad news. On closer inspection there were droplets of water running on the inside. The last time this happened the LED screen turned blue, the camera sizzled and that was that. This time the camera worked all evening. We opened the case and a small amount of water did run out. The camera is still working, the battery is not wrecked and the SD card is fine. Later in the evening we decided to forgo picture taking this morning and take an empty housing to depth and see if it leaked. The answer for all those now sitting on the edge of their seats is ———-No water.

The dive this morning was rather bland. There is a group of reef sharks that hang out at the channel mouth, we are to settle in on the edge of the thila and wait for the sharks to appear. There are several sharks circling around and one or two come within 30ft but not very close. We do get a better look than the other sightings but not even close to being scared.


White Tip Shark

As time progresses we drift over the top of the thila and spot a couple of dining turtles munching on coral. One of them was using his front flippers to hold the coral while eating. I thought this quite clever.

There are no shoes allowed on the boat and with all the time spent in Myanmar temples and the five complete and entire days on the boat we figure we have officially spent ½ of our time without shoes. Personally I do not mind the bare feet thing as long as the substrate is predictable. Having soft feet from so many years wearing shoes can be a bother when having to walk over rocks or some such and the possibility of stepping on a bottle cap is not that appealing. But bare feet we must, so bare feet we do.


More Sharks….

It seems today will be the day of sharks. We again place ourselves along the edge of the thila attach ourselves to the ground and wait. This time the sharks are circling close. We just remain still and the sharks circle and circle. The small, 1½ft to 3ft and the medium size up to 6 or 7ft are close, close enough that Debbie cannot take a picture of the whole shark at once.


And MORE Sharks!

The larger ones  are circling below about 10M away. We stayed there a long time. Just as we are about to move on, a miniature eagle ray, about a foot across, sneaks up and forages just behind our fin tips. We have seen quite a few eagle rays over the years but cannot recall seeing one this small. There is not a lot to see on the top of the thila so we drift off and do our safety stop.

MaldivesThe third dive is a recon for our night dive to follow. It is a bit boring but there are a few reef and white tip sharks hanging out. The highlight for me is I spot a moving feather star. It is walking with all of it’s 10 or 20 legs up the coral wall. It must take a huge amount of calculating to coordinate the move of so many appendages.

Debbie does not enjoy the expanse of dark encountered on a night dive, she does consider going tonight but in the end opts to stay with the mother ship. I on the other hand go. Night dives are not my favorite and the one last night with the mantas is a real tough act to follow. In the end I think this dive would rate as number two in the night dive category. It is to the same Maaya Thila we dove this afternoon. As soon as we have descended there are sharks prowling around. They are not scratching their bellies on the bottom either. They are at every level all the way to the top of the reef. The small ones seem to have disappeared and the larger ones have taken over the area. I do see a couple more roving feather stars, a really cute hermit crab, a huge sting ray hovering the sandy bottom, a flowering coral polyp, and a couple of free ranging morays. It was busy night and I have never seen so many neat things on a night dive before.

Dives two and three included the use of the camera. It emerged from its ‘waterproof’ case dry as a bone. We loaded the pictures on to the computer and it seems we are good to go.

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