Archive for: ‘October 2012’

Run away into Uninhabited Maldives

October 29, 2012 Posted by admin

Ever felt your mind too heavy with work and life in a big cosmopolitan rat race? Have you thought about taking a break from the grindstone and finding your inner peace? The Maldives is the perfect place to take a fortnight off, and let your mind wander in the hundreds of tiny coral islands that make up this equatorial nation.

The 1192 tropical islands of the Maldives has a magical serenity about it that begins to make itself felt the moment the doors of the plane open and you step into the brilliant equatorial sunlight. As you step down into the crazy country where there is more sea than land, where the cities and towns are separated not by highways but seaways, you can’t help but realize that life in this country will be completely different from what you’re used to.

The topsy turvy country has exquisite secrets hidden below the surface of the turquoise colored waters that hug every coralline island, and like groups go on safaris to look for lions and elephants in Africa, in the Maldives, the natural beauty is seen by diving and snorkeling groups that go around the pinnacles and reefs that pepper the atolls.

The pure magical feeling is best felt when you’re in complete solitude on an uninhabited island. These islands, usually leased to a villager by the government, are mostly used for farming coconuts from the naturally occurring coconut trees, but there are a few used for agriculture.

 

Getting on an uninhabited island

Find out a local who’ll tell you about trips to uninhabited islands, if you’re staying in a guesthouse. Once the necessary permits are obtained, you’ll have to engage a Dhoni, a traditional Maldivian wooden boat that will take you to the island sometime in the morning or early afternoon. If you’re on a safari boat, well, all that will be arranged for you, but safaris very rarely do overnights on the deserted island. On a safari boat though, visiting islands is much more convenient as the boat will take you through a range of different islands.

If you’re planning an overnight trip, you can take a tent, if you think it’ll rain, but usually a sleep sack or a hammock with some pillows is all you need as bedding. Of course, you’ll have to take food, drinks and clean water as you can’t solely depend on luck in fishing for food, and climb up coconut trees for coconut water, even though the natives used to live that way when the country was being settled thousands of years ago.

Once there, you’ll immediately feel the difference. There’s absolutely no noise except for the sighing of waves that wash up the beach, breakers on the housereef and the chirping of birds, if any. The beaches are untouched with footprints, and there you’ll find that some islands have distinctly different sand on different sides. Usually the beaches that face a distant housereef will have sand of very fine quality that is creamy white in color, but on the other side, there’s the newer sand that hasn’t had time to break down, and has larger grains, and is a darker shade.

If you look closely, you’ll see bits of shell and coral that make up the sand. It’s amazing how these basic ingredients break down over the span of decades, being bleached by the sun and weathered by wave action until they become almost like talcum powder. Feeling them under your foot is amazing. The rough side feels refreshingly firm and easy to walk on, while on the other side the sand is softer and gives more easily, and flies up in the air easily.

 

Sand Island 600x399 Run away into Uninhabited Maldives

An experience of true abandonment on a deserted island:

 

What do you do, when you see the Dhoni leave without you?

A few people panic when they realize that they’re truly alone, but then that fear turns into a form of exhilaration as you realize that you can be as selfish as you like! Snorkeling is the single greatest activity on an uninhabited island. There is absolutely no damage to the corals, and the marine life thrives in the absence of human disturbances.

Turtles come out to lay eggs, there’s tons of squid and varicolored reef fish that swim in shoals close to the beach. Speaking of the beach, this is one place where you can get a tan without any bikini lines as there’s only you and your friends there.

Cook your own meal, or barbeque your catch of fish and enjoy spending time with your loved ones and simply revel in the magical feeling of being in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, where romance colors the skies in reds and pinks with nearly every sunset.

Read more about the Maldives and the great offers on safari boats in the Maldives Dive Travel website and blog!

Run away into Uninhabited Maldives is a post from: Maldives Blog

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The wonders of Maldives aboard Theia

October 21, 2012 Posted by admin

Cruising around the romantic seas of the Maldives aboard a safari boat jam packed with amenities and entertainment options sounds good? Then you’ll love going on a dive tour in the Maldives on Theia, a luxury cruiser that takes you to the best dive spots in the Maldives.

Painting a word picture of the Maldives is always very easy. White sandy beaches, turquoise lagoons and so on… repeated all over magazines and the internet, not without reason. Very few people actually are able to talk about the almost indescribable experience of being in the Maldives.  There’s nothing in the Maldives that can be bottled up, packaged and taken away. Nothing that is tangible in any sense.

At first view, there’s an astounding view of the islands that dot the surface of the sea, like cheese omelets garnished with fresh parsley floating in the blue curacao of the sea. A few days on the tiny little islands of the Maldivian archipelago would seem to be a modern romanticized adaptation of the Robinson Crusoe story.

So is that all there is to see about the Maldives? Visiting a resort, or an island and whiling away a couple of weeks, basking on the fabled white sands and turquoise seas? Well, no, not if you’re the adventurous type, who’d rather see a lot of places and experience all there is to see and feel about the Maldives.

 

 

Dive Safaris

Dive safaris are the way to go, cruising around the beautiful Maldivian atolls, while basking on the sun deck of a luxury yacht. If you think that a trip on a safari would be expensive, well, you’re in luck, because the liveaboard, “Theia” slashed the prices of two trips in November and December!

The trip between the 3rd and 10th December 2012 is for only USD 1,449.00 per person on the four star cruiser, which includes full board accommodation and all dives,while the trip that starts on the 26th of November and ends on the 3rd has even lower rates at 50% off, that is, USD 966.00 per person!

These packages include fuel charge, use of local fishing gear, tea and coffee served throughout the day, a complimentary bottle of mineral water per a person per day, reception at the airport, visiting a local island and to the capital city along with a tour guide, transfers to and fro the airport, and if available, a barbeque dinner at a deserted island, along with the dives as scheduled.

You will have to pay for the extras, including the tourist taxes levied by the Maldivian government at USD 8.00 per person per night, the flight tickets in Maldives, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, gear rentals, Travel and Health Insurance, personal laundry, internet and telephone calls. Extra dives are for USD 56.00 per dive and all extras are to be paid direct with 6.00% VAT.
DAN Insurance can also be bought on board, and will be valid for 21 days.

 

About the vessel

A majestic yacht has 8 rooms that can accommodate 16 passengers, all air-conditioned with bathrooms with hot and cold water where you can relax after a day’s diving expeditions. The spacious lounge on the main deck has a lovely place to relax while enjoying a drink, with the seascape of the Maldives unfolding right before your eyes. It also has a flat screen TV, video, DVD, PlayStation 3 and a Nintendo Wii in case you ever feel bored. The galley serves great cuisine thrice a day; enjoy your meals at the outdoor dining area.

Routes

The Theia often tours the islands in a particular pattern. While it doe take trips to the Meemu Atoll and beyond, to Thaa and Laamu down south of the capital island, it usually begins its journey from the central part of the Maldives, from the capital city.

One particular trip schedule goes from North Malé Atoll, beginning with a check dive, and then going to Northern Ari Atoll for a night dive, a total of 3 dives on the first dive day. The trip follows through with Fish Head dive point and whale shark spotting, more night dives in Ari Atoll and returning to South Malé to look for Grey Sharks and for a varveque on an uninhabited island before coming back to North Malé atoll to the Manta Point and a farewell party by the youthful crew.

That’s what a typical cruise is like… with about 3 dives a day, each at a fantastic new location, what more could you want for? See the Maldives in all its glory, and don’t fret about weather, because November and December are really warm in this part of the world. Don’t spend another winter wishing you had made plans! Check out our selection of tours on liveaboards here at Maldives Dive Travel.


The wonders of Maldives aboard Theia is a post from: Maldives Blog

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Maldives Weather : Sunny throughout the year

October 15, 2012 Posted by admin

Always wondered which time of the year to visit the Maldives? This island nation sits in the middle of the Indian Ocean, roughly 700 miles off the Indian peninsula, and is part of a weather system called the monsoon. Yet, Maldives has perfect weather all year round… why?

There are many theories to why the Maldives, although being an equatorial country isn’t scorched like other places in the equatorial areas, but it seems to be that it is a combination of all these schools of thought.

The island nation is situated in the middle of the warmest ocean on Earth, the Indian Ocean. While this looks like it could add to the temperature, it actually is the opposite. The temperature at night could drop too low if the ocean was any cooler, but the Indian Ocean absorbs and releases the heat to the islands.

Humidity is always very high, as other coastal areas. Maldives being 99% coastal, the relative air pressure is quite high, a change from most continental cities. However, it doesn’t get stifling and sticky as in most places with high humidity as there is an oceanic breeze that wafts through the islands all the time, in either season.

 

October to March

The North Eastern winds bring fair weather, with very rare passing showers cleaning the air every now and then. The months have become labeled as the high season, as most tourists visit the Maldives during this period due to the great weather in the Maldives and winter in the northern parts of the world. It is not only the skies that are clear, ocean currents bring in clear brine into the archipelago, making diving a great activity, apart from sunbathing and dips in the sea, one of the first things that come to mind when thinking about the pristine white beaches of the Maldives.

There’s also the breeze that kicks up great oceanic swells that surfers seek. Surf season lasts from the end of August till the breeze dies down late in December. Surfers flock to the hundreds of dive points that spot the nation, some of them famous, and the others just waiting to be discovered by you.

April to September

The breeze shift to blowing in gently from the south west, but mostly from the west, and the land slowly heats up for a while from April, till the rains start coming in. While there are a few times that it rained for a couple of days, the weather is usually good. Squalls and passing showers are common, and are over within minutes of the first drop. While unpredictable, the weather can be quite romantic; walking along a beach in a fine drizzle that barely makes you wet is something you should not miss, especially if you’re with your special person. Of course, this is the season of the most beautiful sunsets in the Maldives, thanks to the cotton white clouds that gets colored by the lights of the setting sun in oranges, reds and pinks.

While this period, also known locally in the tourism industry as the low season, has more chances of rainfall, the benefit is that the low season also has reduced prices in every resort, hotel, guesthouses and safaris. Budget travellers often visit the Maldives during the off season, which also coincides with some of the festivals celebrated by the Maldivian people.

Lately though, the high season has been getting warmer, with unpredictable consequences on weather; there have been rare instances where rain showers were experienced in this period in the recent years.

 

Maldivian Vacations

Maldives has plenty of activities for every budget. From sunbathing and simple walks on the gleaming white beaches, to swimming, snorkeling, surfing and kayak rides that are quite affordable, to fishing trips, visits to uninhabited islands and trips to other islands that you can get by if you have friends in the Maldives, to diving and island hopping, that can be a bit more expensive, Maldives offers entertainment like no other place on Earth.

After all, an island nation with land masses so small and dispersed will have to have other activities than drives and hikes. But then, diving is something that you really shouldn’t miss as most of the immense beauty of the Maldives is right below the surface of the sea. Any search about the Maldives will automatically bring up the topic diving along with it, it’s just that ubiquitous.

After Dives, usually people enjoy the placid life above sea level. The Maldives, the smallest Asian country, is very pleasant, mainly because of the idyllic country life that the Maldivians lead. Most of the island communities have nothing much going on except perhaps a football match or a big haul of fish every now and then, making one almost forget the passage of time. Don’t forget to check out our latest deals and special offers

Maldives Weather : Sunny throughout the year is a post from: Maldives Blog

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Love at First Carriage Ride: Dating a Millionaire

October 13, 2012 Posted by admin

I’m not too good at this sort of thing, and neither was I at dating I guess. Fortunately, I took my sister’s advice and tried my odds with Millionaires Dating. I have to say that I am glad that I did, because it really paid off in the end. I feel like my Charles really is the one person in the world that was formed for me specifically. I do not know what I would do without him! Not only was this site’s enrollment totally worth it, but it actually was pretty fun getting to sort through all of the men that were listed as matches for me based off of my demographics. Registration wasn’t too difficult, and I set up my very first date with Charles that same week. I did play hard to get at first, so I guess I could have met up with him even sooner. He was a real gentle soul and has stayed the same ever since. It is almost like a dream when I sit back and think of where I was before meeting him. I may be going a bit out of bounds here in saying this, but I do admit that every once in a while I go back and look to see which new men have been added, because they are all so cute! Who would think that rich men would also have the looks as well? I sure didn’t. Well, I just do that for kicks, for I have truly found love in all aspects of the word. I am so happy to finally find a legitimate site that aims at matching millionaires with women like myself, for it was desperately needed. I was so sick of talking to men that still stayed with their parents in the spare bedroom!

Easy on the Wallet – Diving Holidays in the Maldives

October 8, 2012 Posted by admin

Worried about breaking the bank with your vacation? Here’s some insight into how you can while away your vacation in one of the most romantic places on Earth, without worry of a big expenditure.

Always wanted to visit the sunny islands of Maldives but worried that the trip would force you to take out a mortgage on your house? Well, thanks to the recent boom in midmarket tourism, you won’t find it hard to stay in the guesthouses and affordable safari trips on cruisers in the Maldives.

While you won’t find any guesthouses and bistros worthy of mention in the prestigious Michelin guide, you can still wander around these tiny inhabited islands where there is bound to be a café around every other corner.

 

Best for short stays

Nature’s own Jacuzzi, in the form of the glittering aqua blue seas and the white sands that impart several health benefits upon massage with virgin coconut oil… all these make a visit to the beach worthy of any high level spa.

Snorkeling is a great way to introduce yourself to the beautiful world of the Maldivian marine topology and life. Afterward, if you have a PADI license, you can go diving straightaway to world famous dive spots like the banana reef or several manta points around the atolls of the Maldives; or invest in a license that will be an asset, wherever else you decide to go vacationing.

The Maldivian dive spots are varied, some have wrecks, while the others are preliminarily shark points. Then there are the spectacular geographic formations like caves full of nudibranch or gorgonians.

If you’re planning to spend about a couple of weeks in the popular Indian Ocean tourist destination, you might want to try out safari cruises.

 

Cruises at Maldives Dive Travel

We have vessels of varying sizes and levels of luxury, that will cater to the needs and requirements of everyone. At the basic, we have the Stingray with rates as low as USD 1302.00 for seven nights per person. The Stingray crew usually decides on their route based on the feedback of their clients as well as the weather. In every trip, they make sure that their clients are happy with the diving, usually 3 dives a day, and also several stops at inhabited islands for shopping as well as stops at uninhabited islands for barbeques and exploring.

On the other hand, the prices for a week onboard the MV Orion starts at USD 2016.00 per person, and can take you around the northern atolls of Maldives or around the middle of the country. This luxury boat has a spa on board as well as a library, bar and Jacuzzi, as well as a wealth of multicultural dive crew.

What does this mean for you? Well, the all inclusive package will help you in spending less time worrying about things to do and what to eat or drink, and more time on actually enjoying the ever changing scenery outside, perhaps while you soak up the sun on the sun deck or work out those kinks after an invigorating dive, in the Jacuzzi.

Hanifaru Bay1 Easy on the Wallet   Diving Holidays in the Maldives

 

Maldivian diving in a nutshell

Most of the diving in the Maldives are drift dives, which allow you to gently sail across the façade of the reef or pinnacle without much effort. For inexperienced divers, drift dives can be a refreshing challenge that can be undertaken with the guidance of the instructor and dive buddy.

Usually the dive dhoani drops the divers off on one side of the reef and collects them on the other end after the dive. Most dive safaris allow three dives per day, with perhaps a day of snorkeling alongside the gentle giants, Whale Sharks.

 

Not interested in diving?

Not to worry. There are plenty of above water stuff that you can do, like parasailing, surfing and even windsurfing. Exploring a series of isles on a reef on a jetski can give you hours of fun. Kayak rentals can lend nearly the same experience for travellers on a tighter budget.

Aside from all this, there still is the option of going game fishing, which is an adventure in itself where you try to catch the larger tuna and reef fishes, while night fishing trips can be one of the most relaxing activities in the Maldives. Most guest houses on islands offer these services, but make sure you check with them first before booking. Usually, after a week of safari cruising, tourists choose to spend a few more days in a guesthouse, getting back to speed with a community before rejoining their home metro. It’s a way to explore the tiny little bits of history secreted away in these islands, as well as reducing the culture shock of going back home from one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

Easy on the Wallet – Diving Holidays in the Maldives is a post from: Maldives Blog

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Marine life in the Maldives

October 1, 2012 Posted by admin

The diversity of the Maldivian marine fauna and flora is amazing. Yet, apart from a few exceptions, you can find almost all species of marine life native to Maldives regardless of the area you are vacationing in.

Migrating species, such as the leatherback turtle, used to linger close to all islands in years gone past, but recently they have been attracted to more isolated areas of the rapidly developing archipelago.

One of the most famous area-specific creatures that divers are most keen on spotting are the whale sharks, the biggest species of fish on record in the world, that placidly go on with their lives mainly in Baa Atoll.

But all other sea creatures aren’t so picky; the abundant coral reefs that deck the fringes of all islands in the country support a large part of the oceanic life in the region. There are creatures that limit to certain depths of the coral reef that slopes downwards as the lagoon gives way into the sea, but most fish seem to have no qualms as to which depth they populate.

Where the coral reef tapers off toward the sea is probably where a diver can enjoy the most of the dense growth of corals and wide variety of fishes the Maldivian waters have to offer. Here the visibility is clear, lit by the sun to an extent as to emulate a cerulean glow.

 

Megafauna

If you want to watch the rays feeding, you should be aware that these birds of the sea are most active in the afternoon. They should be left at a distance, though, as rays take their lunch time very seriously and may get annoyed if you venture too close. The same rule applies to turtles, though in a different way. Turtles are uncannily like rabbits in their tendency to panic and suffer from traumatizing fear. If you jolt towards them, or suddenly grab them, they’d be so scared they may never return to that spot, or that reef, for a long time.

Gray reefsharks and white tip sharks frequent the drop-offs of coral reefs as well, and contrary to their ferocious appearance and notorious reputation, are quite friendly with a healthy dose of curiosity. Their annoyance does not result in sudden burst of aggressiveness that rays display, but rather, they give obvious hints that they’ve had enough attention. Gray sharks are well known for this useful gesture; you will notice that their pectoral fins droops a bit, and they take on a sort of hunched posture, also exaggerating their side to side swimming movements. The moment they do this, you should leave them alone, because after all, the situation is akin to someone barging into your house with no invitation. On a general note, the coral reef is a very welcoming place to most intrusion such as random divers.

You will find moray eels at a deeper level in abundance. They would sit still, head sticking out of a cozy hole in the corals and their enormous mouth gaping. The razor sharp teeth that are revealed seem to send a warning message, but in truth the eel is intending no such thing; eels need to keep their mouth open in order to breath. However, do not get too close to their hidey hole, because they are aggressively territorial and will get hostile I fits privacy is invaded.

Trevallies and barracudas, cornetfish, fusiliers, triggerfish and large groupers will begin to be more common below twenty meters. The fish you may see in one dive alone will be too many to list down here. Moorish idols, emperor fish, parrot fish and surgeon fish are a granted sight, being the most common.

 

Marine “flora”

The corals, shells and niches in the coral overhang and natural terraces are themselves equally interesting, and to some doubly so, and hold in them wonders that nature reserves for those who visit these depths.

In caves, coral still grows, and climbs up the wall and clings from the ceiling. Small fish that swim in groups, like the squirrel fish, tirelessly explore the nooks and crannies, darting this way and that, as if beckoning you to join in. The harmless sharks of the reef often find these caves excellent for relaxing.

It is easy to get lost in the glory of the reef, but one thing a diver must always keep in mind is the pull of currents. If there are strong outgoing current, it is best not to swim down the exterior of the reef to witness the sights described here, but either remain in shallower waters or refrain from going deeper, exploring instead the shallower part of the exterior reef. It is best that you always keep an eye on your diving instructor, never darting away on a quest of your own.

Diving is best experienced with all the best sights seen when everyone sticks together, and keep swimming around to a minimum. Keeping still and calm would produce wonderful results; the fish may decide you are just an oddly shaped bunch of corals and go about its normal jobs, like cleaning mantas and shark skin. Turtles will sleepily nibble on the coral and peer at you. Lobsters begin marching and octopuses barge into a fight with the moray eel over the tasty morsel of an unfortunate crab. The longer you take care to keep your movements slow and smooth, the more such scenes unfold before your goggled eyes.

Join us for our next diving trip ! Dream Catcher II, a very comfortable liveaboard possessing only seven cabins, is offering an unbelievable last minute price – Stay seven and pay six nights only – Find out more here

Marine life in the Maldives is a post from: Maldives Blog

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