Diving in Maldives
Maldivian coral reefs are home to the richest diversity in the region and are the seventh largest on the globe, accounting for 5% of the world’s reef area. They are world famous for diving and snorkelling enthusiasts and beginners alike, offering countless opportunities to swim with a wide variety of marine life, large and small, in crystal clear waters. Diving in the Maldives is a year-round activity with water temperatures a constant 26-29°C. Sea and sky are clearest from December to May, with plankton more abundant in October and November, making the sea murkier but with bigger fish more active and more easily seen. Mantas, whale sharks, turtles, reef sharks and hammerhead sharks are found in the Maldives all year round. The maximum depth per dive is limited to 30m; diving with a computer and an alternative air-source is mandatory, and it is prohibited to dive alone or do decompression dives. The use of harpoons or spears is prohibited and it is forbidden to remove corals, dead or alive, or any other sea animals, including fish. In the Maldives, it is illegal to collect any coral, shells or other souvenirs from the ocean.
Please check your certification level. Open water diver is certified to dive down to only 18 meters, advanced open water diver is certified to dive down to 30 meters. Night and deep dives are available only to divers with advanced diver certification. If you wish to upgrade your level, advanced diver course is available on board.
Diving with Scubaspa
Diving with Scubaspa is a pleasurable, relaxed experience with all dive related activity taking place on a separate dive boat, one accompanying each yacht. This ensures the main vessel is undisturbed by the noise and activity. Approximately 19m in length, the dive boat carries all the equipment, including air compressors and state-of-the-art nitrox; purpose built for comfort, each has plentiful seating, multiple entry points, stern platform and on-board toilet facilities. Scubaspa Ying and Scubaspa Yang are the only vessels in the Maldives to be awarded PADI 5 Star Dive Resort status. Divers of all abilities are welcomed by the five experienced, multilingual dive masters/instructors and boat crew to enjoy the very best of the Maldives from this luxurious floating resort.
Scubaspa Diving School
Scubaspa offers a variety of courses from single introductory dives to beginner and advanced certifications. Those new to diving benefit from expert tuition provided by the multilingual dive instructors, who will guide guests through the entire process at a level suited to each individual, with full PADI Open Water and specialisation certifications available. Snorkelling is available to everyone who can swim and children as young as ten can learn how to scuba dive.
Living aboard a luxury dive boat offers the opportunity to visit many different reefs and dive sites throughout the Maldives, and Scubaspa vessels cover a wide area including the following:
North and South Ari Atoll: There are many Maldivian atolls where pelagics and big schools of fish can be seen, but Ari Atoll may be the place with the greatest reliability. Whale sharks, mantas, hammerheads and eagle rays are frequent visitors, as well as large residents like the napoleon wrasse, grey reef and white tip sharks, plus large schools of blacktail barracuda and batfish. Broken Rock in North Ari Atoll is a unique formation with a canyon that breaks the reef in two. Look for large fan corals in the canyon and turtles, scorpionfish, moray eels and good coral growth on the reef.
In the South Ari Atoll lies the Kudhimaa Wreck, a medium sized steel wreck lying very close to the Machchafushi house reef. Purposely sunk in 1998 the wreck has easy access to the cargo holds on both sides. On and around the shipwreck live schools of batfish, puffer fish, box fish and the customary large lion fish. The wreck is bursting with macro subjects for budding photographers and film makers.
Vaavu Atoll in the South, features deep channels with nutrient-rich, fast-flowing currents. At any time of year encounters with schooling reef sharks as well as several different shark species including the occasional hammerhead can be expected. The area boasts Fotteyo Kandu - considered by many to be the best dive site in the Maldives with its swim-throughs, caves and overhangs. Expect to see tuna, trevallies, unicorn fish, snappers, triggerfish, eagle rays, mantas and groupers.
North Male Atoll was one of the first to be discovered for its scuba diving delights and comprises some of the oldest and most popular sites including Gaathugiri, also known as Banana Reef. Breath-taking topography with magnificent rock faces, numerous caves, steep drop offs and precipitous overhangs await exploration. The marine life is just as awesome with sharks, manta rays, trevally, black snappers, grouper, schooling bannerfish, large morays, squirrelfish, soldierfish and Maldivian grubfish. South Male Atoll includes Kandooma Thila, a large teardrop shaped pinnacle with dramatic scenery and prolific fish life. The walls are covered with soft corals and patrolled by schools of red bass and big-eye trevally. Grey sharks, white-tip sharks and eagle rays frequent the area, whilst on top of the reef green turtles and batfish swim around undisturbed.