Blue O Two M/Y Blue Voyager
Arriving into the Maldives is like arriving into “Fanta-sea” land. Peering out of the plane window to a myriad of blues, our imaginations run wild as to what could be beneath the teal carpet below.
Taking the short internal flight from Male to Kooddoo Airport and boarding the aptly named dhoni, Blue Shadow, we darted across the blue hues towards what would be our home for the next ten nights, winding our way through the 26 ring shaped atolls from the deep South to our port of disembarkation in Male.
As Kooddoo faded into the distance, M/Y Blue Voyager perched proudly ahead against the backdrop of tiny islets as the sun danced off the fresh whites of the boat exterior. Climbing aboard the beautifully crafted 37m yacht, we were welcomed with warm smiles as we exchanged pleasantries with our new boat family who kept us on course throughout the duration of our trip. From the charismatic cruise directors, dive guides with a six sense for anticipating marine life observations and boat crew who articulately run the operation like clockwork, it was a pleasure to be surrounded by such a charming crew.
Being led to our homes for the next ten nights, our cabin (one of 13 onboard) housed all the modern amenities you would expect of a world class safari yacht. Slick furnishings, en-suite bathroom, hot showers and individual AC control.
Rising to the resplendent morn, infinite pinks illuminated the dawn as we were awoken with a light knock of the door and a freshly brewed coffee to hand, a morning ritual aboard Blue Voyager ahead of our first of three dives each day.
The Maldives is like a series of tiny blue planets that seemingly exist entirely on their own. Varying ring shaped crags of coral make for some of the most undisturbed and vibrant reefs in the world, alive with an abundance of diverse marine life making it one of the most desirable dive destinations across the globe. From challenging channels and sunken shipwrecks to the calming waters of the manta cleaning stations, there is a whole new world waiting below.
As we gear up ready to drop deep, we’re a cauldron of anticipation as excitement and ambiguity ensues as we prepare to enter the underwater utopia. Home to over 2000 species of fish, each time we dropped deep we were left feeling mesmerised by the magnificent Maldivian marine life. Perfectly pristine reefs. dazzling caves and exquisite overhangs veiled with stunning sponges, sensational soft corals and gorgeous gorgonian fans, the Maldives is truly a natural aquarium teeming with life and a flash flood of colour that would leave even the most experienced of divers in awe.
Consisting of mainly channel dives, this particular route journeyed through the Laamu, Thaa and Meemu atoll, giving us the opportunity to dive amidst the prodigious paleagics that penetrate the glassy blues below. As our reef hooks gripped the edge of the thilas, we gazed in awe as tuna schooled overhead, curious oriental sweetlips assembled amongst the corals and trevally danced on reef points as layers upon layers of reef sharks emerged from the depths. With a keen eye, we pierced the blues hoping to catch a rare glimpse of the sensational Silky Sharks and Hammerheads of Huvadhoo that roam the reef.
Post dive moments are always the most precious. A confusing battle between fathoming if you’ve just left reality or reentered it. A battle that is even more difficult to comprehend when you resurface to palm lined pieces of paradise and sensational slices of white sand. As the dingy danced across the marble glazed seas, we made our way inland before sinking our toes into the soft white powder underfoot. Deserted. Fresh coconuts settled on the shores of the intriguing islet hugged by the milky azures.
Dawn draws upon the horizon like moths to a flame. Orange and pink hues fill the air and salt dances on the surface… and thats just the salt that layers our sunset margaritas! Indi serves up many a concoction of cocktails in the ambient and open space of the 2nd floor deck lounge area equipped with entertainment system, spacious sofas and a 24 hour tea, coffee and biscuit station for those crucial in-between dive fixes. Guests can also choose to wine on the top deck sky lounge and if you haven’t already had enough H2O for one day, a whirlpool awaits.
There may only be room for one night dive on this itinerary, but if there was one night dive that was worth the wait and worthy of a one time wonder, then this was it. As the sun sank beneath the fading horizon we pulled into Alimatha, home of the nurse sharks. Listening to every word of the dive briefing, we knew we were in for something a little bit special. Dropping deep as the day turns into night, what awaits is a spectacle of light, colour and the gentle giant nurse sharks weaving in and out of the diving circle created beneath. An amphitheatre of dreams.
The dazzling Maldivian nights don’t stop there either, for the Southern Atoll itinerary allows for several night anchors at the whale shark wonder sites of the Ari Atoll, where seeing, truly is believing.
Our journey through the Southern Atolls of the Maldives with M/Y Blue Voyager had countless jaw dropping moments both above and below the surface. Our experience has left us feeling constantly in awe of life on this beautiful blue planet.
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