Dive 1 (morning)
Dharavandhoo Thila, Baa Atoll
This morning started really wet with rough sea with winds, everything that would make you wish for a miracle. First we checked out Hanifaru but there was no action so we made our way to Dharavandhoo Thila which is just the opposite of the island Dharavandhoo. We had a small drift at the start of the dive. The reef structure was with overhangs and coral outcrops. It was beautiful with massive sea fans and soft coral. Saw a spotted sing ray at the start of the dive, squirrel fish in the overhangs and lots of snappers. Towards the middle of the dive the currents picked up and big schools of blue fin trevally gathered in numbers to chase the silver sprat. As they attacked, the silver sprat ran for cover towards the reef. With the commotion morays started to come out and join the hunt on the reef. We came across a Honeycomb moray on the chase.
Snorkeling at Hanifaru
During the time that we were underwater from the dive, the weather did improve and we had the sun breaking out from the clouds and the wind had died. We decided to have a look out for mantas at Hanifaru Bay but before we even reached there we came across mantas in massive numbers not in the bay but on the Hanifaru, The Dive guide yelled out “everyone snorkeling time”!!! I never saw a boat full of people disperse so quickly into the water. We snorkeled for about over and hour with the rays just feeding on the surface very close to us all. As the dive boat cruised off to Black Pearl for breakfast we saw mantas still gathering near Hanifaru.
Dive 2 (noon)
Hanifaru, Baa Atoll
After a quick breakfast, the dive boat headed straight to Hanifaru. We spotted mantas in numbers, perhaps more then 50 strong close to the reef. We stayed shallow as they were mostly feeding near the surface. Mantas in all sizes and number were there. Some schooling, some individually feeding at different spots of the reef and in the blue as well. The dive was absolute mayhem. It is very addictive to watch them. If you were there amidst the frenzy you wouldn’t want to go up.
Snorkeling at Hanifaru.
After the dive some of the divers wanted to snorkel a bit with the Mantas so we spent about 45 minutes just observing them and taking photos at the surface.
Dive 3 (Afternoon)
Kuda Thila, Baa Atoll
The 3rd dive of the day was at Kuda Thila. With incoming currents we expected it to be quite different from the other day we visited the place. Couple of grey reef sharks was patrolling at the upcurrent bit of the reef along with schooling eagle rays. The site it self was interesting and color full with overhangs and interesting reef formation. We came across a massive overhang that was with a swim through. Inside were sea fans, oriental sweetlips and a lot of squirrelfish. Towards the end as we came to shallow waters we found a Hawks Bill Turtle busy breaking the coral and eating the soft parts inside Giant Surgeon Fish were everywhere. Even the shallow part of the reef was as interesting as the deeper parts. Anemones where all over the reef top with Anthias, creating a beautiful scene with the blues. Siday and two other guests came across bottle nose dolphins and took pictures of their brief encounter. It has been a most perfect day. Even though the sky was dark and a storm was on its way but none of us did cared as we had a fantastic day.
Category: Black Pearl Liveaboard