Tag: Hai

Diving with Sharks in the Maldives

“There is no strong current today,” said Divemaster Hussain Sharmeel, known as Sharky in his briefing aboard the dive boat. “Diving down quickly will not be necessary. We’ll glide slowly down the reef and watch the sharks.” This is my first time in the Maldives. And my first time diving with sharks. My base is the small Como Cocoa Island in the South Malé Atoll, 40 minutes by speedboat from Malé Airport. 350 meters long, 34 overwater villas, a restaurant and a bar. The night before the dive I hung out at the bar and drank martinis on the rocks. Faru Bar on Cocoa Island is a bar you couldn’t imagine more seductive: Bottle next to bottle on an open shelf and a view over the Tiffany-blue Indian Ocean, where the sun sets behind the horizon every evening with a psychedelic light show. The adrenaline rises As you can guess, I was nervous. The Martini was only good for my nerves. I had learned to dive years ago at Looe Key Reef off Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys. Maximum diving depth there: a little over nine meters. The most exciting underwater encounters I had were with stingrays that glided weightlessly through the water with their outstretched wings like angels. I swam in a school of transparent shimmering jellyfish, every now and then I saw a small nurse shark. Otherwise, I admired the colorful diversity of the inhabitants of tropical waters. Sharks in the variety, as they occur on the Maldives, I only knew from hearsay. Ideal conditions for the first dive with sharks The next morning at 9:00 a.m. Sharky and I had reached the dive site Vaagali Thila at the South Malé Atoll in the Maldives after 30 minutes boat drive. Behind us, the water sparkled in a soft turquoise. In front of us, the Indian Ocean shimmered dark blue. The unfathomable depth, the reef drops to 30 meters at this point, could only be guessed. The water temperature measured 29 degrees Celsius at the surface, the visibility was good at 25 meters, the current one knot. I had completed around 50 dives in my life. But this, despite ideal conditions, was another story. I was worried about the sharks, about the depth, about creatures unknown to me. As befits a pre-dive briefing, Sharky’s instructions got my adrenaline pumping. Did I have enough lead weights? Would the nitrox air supply, fortified with supplemental oxygen, be sufficient?… weiterlesen

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