This was my first time going to Maldives, for a combination of reasons like it's just about as far as you can make something be from where I live in California (more convenient for people in Europe), I'm also troubled by the country's politics and laws, and the place is pretty crowded but most of the boats seem to offer similar dive sites on similar schedules, causing more crowding. Still, it was time to go and try, so I picked one of the higher end boats, Carpe Novo.
I first did some land based diving with Ocean Junkies as soon as I arrived (2 dives in the afternoon after arriving and 2 more dives the next morning before going on the liveaboard). Those dives were actually surprisingly good:
so many eels in a hole
The next morning, I went back with Ocean Junkies for 2 more dives, and they were quite good too:
got lucky to see a tiger shark so close to town
I then went to Carpe Novo, we were supposed to get a checkout dive that day, but it never happened, so in the end we started diving the next day:
We did a couple of dusk/night dives:
we got to see a whale shark in passing
rally realy small octopus
this was really special, we saw 2 octopus having sex
poor shark went for a tasty lure
beautiful jelly fish
We definitely got to see a lot of eagle rays:
We also got to see a fair amount of nurse sharks, they are so cute. I found this one:
One of the highlights was this dive where we saw 8 or 9 mantas that stayed with us for the whole dive:
It's a good thing that I had two cameras (RX100M3 and RX100M7), as the M3 I normally used, ended up fogging up from how many pictures I took, and I was able to continue with the other one:
We got lucky with octopuses, plenty to see, one even went feeding for us
And that was it for the dives, 9 days, unfortunately not a lot of dives for that amount of time (only 25 dives), but apparently in Maldives, it's hard to get more for a variety of reasons (3 dives/day seems standard, and it's not allowed to boat at night if the weather isn't good, and it wasn't).
We had a fair amount of rain, and bad visibilty and low light most days, but all in all, we still had a good time and saw things.
We saw some nice islands from the boat:
The day before last, we got a covid test so that we could fly out:
'till next time:
If I come back, they recommended a south trip the 10 day trip coming back in April-May, or a north only trip (which they don't currently offer).