Archive for: ‘September 2012’

MV Orion’s Log: 13th – 20th August in Maldives

September 24, 2012 Posted by admin

A multicultural group boards the MV Orion in the third week of August. Travelers from around the world here to experience the Maldives in the fullest way possible, aboard a liveaboard, cruising the atolls and the seas of the Maldivian Archipelago.

For their check dive, the instructors choose the usual point, Lankan Manta Point, off the island of Lankanfinolhu. Famed for its reputation of attracting Manta Rays consistently, the site was strangely abandoned, except for the last moment when only a few divers saw the Manta that glided in, before everyone emerged. Mario took a look at the tide charts, and the group jumped back in for a second dive a while later, when they saw a couple of Mantas that swept the scene for about 20 minutes.

The pinnacle that stops short of 9 meters to the surface two kilometers to the west of Lankan Manta point, the Nassimo Thila was the second dive the travelers experienced. The Protected Marine area is also called Paradise Rock and Virgin Reef, and is well known for pelagics, seafans and soft corals, but the divers were more interested in the immense volume of fish that included Giant Trevally and large Dogtooth Tuna hunted schools of fusiliers while two turtles and a couple of Napoleons, and a Nursing Shark almost 3 meters long.

 

manta 600x450 MV Orion’s Log: 13th – 20th August in Maldives

Diver near a Manta during our Trip

 

The next day, the divers were at Okobe Thila. The brisk current brought with it high visibility and plenty of fish life that included two Eagle Rays, one White Tip Reef Shark, Napoleon, Turtle, Big Tunas, and plenty of Trevally.

Orion then journeyed to Rasdhoo, to the Madivaru divespot. Although the visibility was medium, divers saw plenty of fish and gliding eagle rays on their way to some distant errand. The third dive was at the famed protected marine area, the Maaya Thila. This night dive featured large numbers of White Tip and Grey Reef Sharks, Sting Rays and Snappers using the flash lights of the divers to pick out their prey hiding in the darkness.

Maaya Thila is a relatively peaceful reef where marine life thrives and flourishes in the absence of human intrusion. The pinnacle is roughly circular and has a diameter of 80 meters, and is studded with soft coral and gorgonians. The divers had a great time afterwards, exchanging and comparing photographs and videos of the spectacular dive.

16th of August saw the travellers at Hafsa Thila. Amidst the action packed hunting that was going on by Tuna of the Trevallies, the group spotted four Grey Reef and White Tips. On the top reef, there were Batfish and Baby White Tips, and a Grey Reef shark lurking around the edge.

For the second dive, the group headed to the Fish Head, another protected marine area famous for the spectacular overhangs and caves and vibrant marine life diversity. The pinnacle is roughly square shaped and about a hundred meters to a side.

The divers from MV Orion saw White Tips, Fusiliers and Trevallies at shallower areas, while Grey Reef Sharks were getting dental service by a huge Moray Eel and Banded Boxer Shrimp. A few turtles and flatworms completed the scene. Mario came across a couple of guitar sharks on the bottom of the dive spot. Later, the group went for a third dive at Dhegaa Thila, which was pretty, despite the change in weather. Marine life was normal, with plenty of batfish and nudibranches.

 

17th and the next few days

MV Orion spent the next few days cruising Ari. Friday morning was spent diving at Reethi Thila, where Grey Reefs and big Tuna made up an interesting mix, while the top reef had turtles gliding around in a spectacular view. A few divers managed to see two mobula mantas, also known as devil rays.

The vessel then cruised to Maamigili where it was Whale Shark time! The first few minutes were spent snorkeling, taking in the magnificient mammal, before going for the main dive. Here they found yet another Whale Shark in the depths. A wonderful dive, seeing as there weren’t any other safari vessels around at the time.

The third dive was at Machafishi Wreck, where two Stone Fish and Nudibranch added life to the wreck, and gave the divers an opportunity to spot the rare black leaf fish while looking at the detail. The shallow reef is a pretty sight, glittering in the late afternoon sun.

Early the next day, Kudarah Thila was on the list. High visibility and a gentle current helped the group in spotting Blue Line Snapper and Humpback Snapper, as well as a friendly Napoleon. There was also a school of Chevron Barracuda. On the reef, the divers came across a few Mantis Shrimps and a Dancing Flatworm undulating in the current.

The MV Orion then set sail to South Malé Atoll, to the Guraidhoo Corner. The divers hooked into the corner and had a great view of White Tips and Grey Reef Sharks, and the 4 Eagle Rays that were swimming over the group. Schools of Tuna and a Napoleon completed the visual feast of marine life.

divecake 300x225 MV Orion’s Log: 13th – 20th August in Maldives

Have you tasted the Mv Orion Diving Cake ?

The final day was spent at Kandooma Thila, where 4 Eagle Rays in formation was quite a sight. The divers with Enrico also found 15 Grey Reef Sharks, while Mario’s group counted about 25 of them! Back at Lankanfinolhu for the final dive, two Manta Rays made an appearance at the cleaning station.

All in all, MV Orion had yet another successful trip, with all clients leaving with memories that would last a lifetime! Join us on the next trip check out our special offers here

By the Team of MV Orion

MV Orion’s Log: 13th – 20th August in Maldives is a post from: Maldives Blog

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Maldives from the Air

September 17, 2012 Posted by admin

Wherever you travel, the easiest way to get where you want to go is by air, and coming to the Maldives is almost exclusively so, due to the fact that it is a country of islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Let’s take a look at how you’ll be coming in and travelling around the archipelago.


Booking your ticket can be a big deal of stress, after you’ve chosen your holiday, or rather, plan to just wing it after flying over. It’s not that there aren’t enough airlines that fly over to the Maldives – more than 20 from some of the largest hubs around the world – but that the journey can either set you off on the right foot or ruin what could have been a grand entry into the Maldives.

All flights inbound and outbound get a spectacular view of the country of islands scattered over the sea, much like omelettes with parsley garnishing sprinkled over. At night, the streetlights of the islands shine like lost jewels on a dark beach. It’s a sight for jetlagged, grumpy folk, who seem to get a new leash on life when they first see the stunning sight.

areal view 600x420 Maldives from the Air

Maldives from the Air

 

Choosing airlines

It’s very possible that you may have to take a local flight before you begin the longest leg of the journey, if you plan to make it to the Maldives with a little less strain on the bank. Cheaper flights will require you to make a couple of stops at hubs like Dubai, Mumbai or Colombo. The other flights require less layovers and changing flights, but will definitely be more expensive. It’s a tradeoff between convenience and cost, as usual.

Most of the hubs that have flights to and from the Maldives are London, Paris and Frankfurt in Europe. The lesser travelled ones are Zurich and Moscow. From the Middle East, there’s Qatar, and Dubai, while the local hubs are Mumbai in India, and Colombo, of Sri Lanka. Colombo deserves special mention because it’s the base of the Sri Lankan Airlines that flies to quite a few destinations around the world, and is only an hour’s distance away from Malé, Maldives.

The hubs in the east are Bangkok in Thailand, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Narita in Japan, and Beijing, China.

And locally…

Locally, there are two seaplane operators in addition to the National Flag Carrier “Maldivian” by Island Aviation Services Ltd and FlyMe, by Villa Air. They fly to even domestic airports, from north to south; Hanimaadhoo , Maamigili, Kadhdhoo, Kooddoo, Kaadedhoo, Fuvamulak and Gan.

There also is the international airline, Mega Maldives that connects Malé and Gan, Addu to Hong Kong, Seoul, and the Chinese destinations of Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Hangzhou.

Most flights between the islands of the Maldives will average less than an hour, with the longest sector between the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, Malé, and Gan International Airport in Addu the exception as the flight takes about one and half hour and crosses the equator.

Booking these flights is quite easy. You can either visit their website like how we normally book International flights, or walk into a ticket sales agent in Malé and be on the go before you know it.

Travel Tips

There are a few things you’ll have to keep in mind while travelling to the Maldives. As with all travel, always keep your travel documents at an easily accessible place. There will be baggage restrictions on most of the domestic flights as these are smaller turboprop aircraft. Usually the airline will forward your luggage on the next available flight if your luggage is offloaded due to a full flight.

Surfboards exceeding 8 feet in length cannot be loaded on these aircraft, so surfers will have to keep that in mind, if they’re planning to fly in with their equipment.

In your first check in into the Maldives, you’ll get a month’s time on a visiting visa. While tourists are required to have proof of prior reservations at any divind safari or accommodation in the Maldives, backpackers will have to consult with the airport’s helpdesk on what their options are.

Alcohol is banned for import, and will be confiscated by the customs upon arrival and be destroyed, so purchasing from duty free before you arrive at the Maldives to beat the cost of buying from the bar will ultimately end in tears. It then goes without saying that having drugs on oneself is an offence that carries severe consequences.

It’s a good idea though to have a bottle of water with you while you’re stepping out of your flight into the Maldivian atmosphere. Although the temperature is quite acceptable at about 27 – 32 degrees during day time, visitors often suffer from heat exhaustion as they require time to get adjusted to the climate.

Maldivians are a dependable people who are warm and friendly, so if you have a friend in the Maldives, you’ll not feel lost or afraid as there will always be people to help you!

Now that we’ve shown how to save and find flight deals, find even more check out our safari offers ! learn more

Maldives from the Air is a post from: Maldives Blog

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Maldives Holidays – An alternative to Resorts

September 10, 2012 Posted by admin

Would you rather spend a small fortune on a holiday that consists of seeing the same thing day in day out and experiencing what you can get world over, or go a little easy on the bank and choose a more exciting fun-filled vacation hopping on and off many islands and visiting a major area of the Maldivian islands and atolls? Read on to learn about your options at the Maldives.

Waves sigh upon the beaches of glittering coralline sand that’s dazzlingly white, as you rest on a mat spread on a sandy hummock, eyes closed to the whole universe and mind at the liminal shores of awareness. Life’s good in the Maldives, where the far flung islands are quite disconnected from the world, and one would experience a sensation akin to being inside a time capsule.

So it is no wonder that people want to spend all their time soaking up the inexhaustible supply of serenity here, yet, imagine, coming to a location as secretive and quiet as the Maldives and not delving into the immensely vivacious culture, history and lovely little nooks and crannies of the inhabited islands.

While some resorts do offer a trip to visit a few inhabited islands, you’ll soon find that you’ll have to have a very large bank account for that to work out. There are several cost effective ways to have a better vacation at a cheaper price, and you’ll actually get by without breaking the bank, with a few compromises.

 

Dont you wish you were here  600x400 Maldives Holidays   An alternative to Resorts

So what are alternatives to resorts for a Maldives holiday ?

 

Liveaboards: Skim the Maldivians seas

These beautifully designed wooden safari vessels can accommodate 12 people in 6 cabins, to boats with about 12 cabins and beyond. Spending time with a group of friends, or just yourself and your beloved becomes simple and easy, as every room has got its own amenities like a hot and cold shower.

These boats usually have a preplanned itinerary that you can check on the internet, or by shooting off an email. Trips usually last a week or more, and takes tourists from one dive spot to another, with several stops at island communities and deserted islands.

This gives you a chance to see as much of the Maldives as is possible in a shorter duration, as well as visit some of the world famous dive spots like the Hanifaru Bay in Baa Atoll. Sometimes the vessel may stop right in the middle of the seas, if the crew sees a Whale Shark… then it’s time for everyone to don on a pair of fins and a snorkeling mask and tube and jump in to marvel at the beauty of the majestic marine mega fauna.

Not everyone likes to dive, some may prefer snorkeling, or even surfing. While the itineraries of some of the vessels include some of the more obscure surf points that have great swells and virtually no crowd, some people prefer to do their surfing from a base, which is still okay as there are plenty of Guesthouses scattered in the countryside.

 

 Don’t forget to check out our 50% Off Deals here !

 

Guesthouse Life

Travelling to the Maldives without a plan may sound nerve wracking, but it really isn’t that much of a big deal. There are several guest houses in the capital city itself and in other local islands Guest houses have a lot of features. Some of the good ones boast of air conditioned rooms that keep the heat and mosquitos at bay, hot and cold showers and a selection of activities, in case it rains, or in the unlikely situation where you run out of ideas of staying entertained.

It goes without saying that life on these islands revolves around fishing and everything about the fisheries industry, like fish processing, boat building and so on. On a few islands, you’ll see farmers growing produce that will feed the growing population of the country.

Travelling to the Maldives has only a couple of restrictions, if you’re planning to stay at a guesthouse. Since the official religion of the Maldives is Islam, it is against the law to wear revealing clothes at the beach in the local island  and Alcohol and pork is forbidden as well in these guest houses. However, the guest houses arrange day trips to desert islands and other activities where these restrictions are not applicable.

The cost involved can vary with the seasons. In the high season, when most of the resorts are full of people from every corner of the world seeking warmer climates, the prices tend to increase, so choosing the off season may be an option, though that would mean that you may face a couple of days where rain clouds race over islands drenching them in passing showers.

It still is worth it, as most of these guest houses have plenty of facilities that can entertain you if the weather turns dreary… although I do recommend you try getting wet in the warm rain of the equatorial weather systems. It is, after all, one of the most romantic places on Earth!

 

We have cherry picked the best guest houses in the local islands of the Maldives, offering you exclusive packages including private desert island/beach where the bikini restriction does not apply so you can take advantage of the best the Maldives has to offer. Discover the real Maldives ! Life style, tradition and pure nature by staying on a local island, experience traditional fishing, snorkeling, diving and exploring uninhabited Islands. An alternative budget holiday and an experience of a life time ! Find the best guest houses here 

 

Maldives Holidays – An alternative to Resorts is a post from: Maldives Blog

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Where to find the happiness?!

September 6, 2012 Posted by admin

find_your_sugar_daddyAsk yourself, Why is it you cannot find a man to provide for you? or shower you with gifts? Maybe it’s because the economy is bad or you are looking all in the wrong places. If you want to know where to find a sugar daddy visit howtofindasugardaddy.com, you can find rich and playful men in your area that will do anything to win your heart and please you with no emotional attachment required. What is a Sugar Daddy you may ask? Well a Sugar Daddy or Daddies are eligible bachelors in your area willing to pay a pretty penny for your company for special favors. They will shower you with gifts and good and they are everywhere! Where can you find a Sugar Daddy? There are plenty of ways to find yourself a Sugar Daddy one of the best sites to help find local ones in your area are provided at the link previously provided. It’s free to search and sign up!

The best thing about going about this website is that you can review your playful bachelor at the click of a mouse. See what he’s like, who he is, what he does, and so much more. Why stop there though when you can meet your Sugar Daddy before you decide to be his Sugar Baby! It’s completely free! Just type in the link and click on available bachelors in your area and if you need to be super sneaky for whatever reason a Sugar Daddy with some distance. Maybe even a travel buddy or a short term partner to have a little extra fun on the side. If you are looking for long term things have no fear some Sugar Daddies are too. Some want more than just to be friends and some just that. Go ahead make your choice today with Find a Sugar Daddy, everyone needs a little play time every now again why not one that benefits you without the heartbreak.

Exploring Dive Spots in Northern Maldives

September 4, 2012 Posted by admin

Considering a holiday in the Maldives used to cause a heartache for those with a light budget. A vacation on board MV Nautilus Two is a choice that you should not overlook; with competitive prices and a stunning itinerary, it will be a choice that you will not regret.

The Maldives used to be famed for the fact that it was the choice for the very wealthy, and the best place for famous people to have a private, calm vacation in. All that is rapidly changing, with the large number of mid-market resorts and travel options like guest houses and safari boats complementing the high market resorts.

Of course this means that you will end up with a far more authentic experience at rates fully less than half the cost, and the only thing you will be compromising for that cost is the opulence… which most people with an adventurer’s spirit manage in a pinch.

So how does a holiday aboard a liveaboard such as the Nautilus Two differ from the tons of other options available in the Maldives?

Well for one, you won’t be tied down  to one island and one house reef. This may not sound so bad, since the idyllic Maldivian village life will put you in the relaxed lassitude that most of the country “suffers” from, and the house reef will prove to be worth more than just one visit.

But then, liveaboards ply a route around the atolls of the Maldives, skipping across several islands and dive spots, and also provides you with in-house dive management and instructors who will guide you to the most attractive places under the sea in the country.

 

The Northern Itinerary

The Nautilus has a trip that begins on the 9th of September, till the 17th, that will take you around on a scenic route to Haa Alif, Haa Dhaal and Shaviyani, traditionally known as the Thiladhunmathi atoll and the northern half of Miladhunmadulu Atoll.

Travelers board the domestic flight from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport at Malé and fly northwards on the national flag bearer’s turboprop aircraft, which will take about 45 minutes to reach Hanimaadhoo Island. The boat crew will assist in your transit into the vessel, which will then take off into the blue seascapes that surround you from every direction.

The vessel’s route may change in accordance with the weather and what you’d really want to spot fauna-wise, but generally, you’ll first head off to Thakandhoo, Molidhoo and Maaradhoo islands in Haa Alif, where most of the dive spots include caves that you can drift by.  Crossing into the south towards Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Nautilus will stop by  Nellaidhoo island around which the dive spots, Navaidhoo Meru Thila, Nelaidhoo Thila and the Nautilus Thila are located.

On the way to Shaviyani Atoll further southwards, you’ll stop by the Magandu Thila. All these spots have a profusion of reef fish, in addition to sight s of mega fauna such as reef sharks and manta rays. In Shaviyani Atoll, you’ll most likely be stopping by the Maroshi Island, near which the Maroshi Reefs, the Mari Thila and the Bodufana Thila are located. Before turning back up to the Northern atolls, you’ll also dive in the Ferumbaidhoo outer and inner reefs as well as at Nomara island where the Nomara Cave and the Mawadhoo Thila are located. Back in the far north, you’ll stop by the island city of Kulhudufushi  in Haa Dhaal, where the Kulhudufushi Thila proves to be a testament to preservation of marine life even though the island had undergone development and reclamation, and in the Finey region at the 3 dive spots of Finey island as well as the Hirimaradhoo and  Thifaridhoo reefs. The last dive of your tri[p will be at Hanimaadhoo itself, where the huge house reef as well as four adjacent ones make for an interesting dive.

Nautilus Two near an Unihabited at sunset 600x399 Exploring Dive Spots in Northern Maldives

Nautilus Two near an Unihabited at sunset

 

During the course of your holiday you will get to see how Maldivian lifestyle changes from one island to another. Accents, appearances and vocations all have subtle differences that you will not be able to experience, staying on just one island your whole trip. Besides, the local islands are of the Islamic faith, and you will have to dress modestly on these islands, which means your best bet for a perfect sun tan is on the deck of a cruiser.

Another important fact to note, well… not if you’re a teetotaler, but the fact that the severe ban on alcohol sales and consumption in the islands does not affect liveaboards, and travelers can happily imbibe in a hard drink any time, except of course, before a dive as that is quite dangerous.

In any sense, Maldivian vacations are a way to treat your mind and body to a time of timelessness. The feeling of being in another world is strong here, as there is nothing here that will remind you of the concrete jungle back home. Don’t forget to check out our special offers with Nautilus two !

Exploring Dive Spots in Northern Maldives is a post from: Maldives Blog

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