Day 4 – Maldives Diving Holiday 2014
Another early start had us meeting in the saloon at 6.30am with a full on monsoon going on outside the windows. With spirits not dampened we had a cup of tea and headed for the Dhoni (the dive boat that follows us like a young child with its mother). We headed through the storm back to Cocoa Thila to repeat the dive we did yesterday. This time though there was hardly any current. As soon as we reached 25m a whole world of marine life came to welcome us. Eagle rays galore, sharks patrolling up and down the reef, mummy and baby sharks, turtles, more eagle rays and more sharks. Towards the end of the dive was a large school of barracudas before we made our way up to the safety stop. On entering the boat all could hear was the loud natter of people’s excitement with at least half of the group saying that it was the best dive they’d ever done. High praise indeed as many of the divers have many dives under their weight belts.
After breakfast the captain told us that the weather wasn’t allowing us to move to another Atoll. Put to the vote we decided to head back to Cocoa Thila. Wow, this really is the dive site that keeps on giving. With a change of direction in the current we did the dive site in reverse and started off in the deep channel. On reaching 35m we had a wall of grey reef sharks that were closely followed by a squadron of about a dozen eagle rays. The sharks and rays kept coming for about 20 minutes until our deco time meant we had to meander back up ghetto reef. On reaching the top of the reef plate at around 15m we were welcomed by a couple of huge green turtles with their baitfish mates. On the start of our safety stop trey decided to let go of his smb which meant that myself and Tiddles benefited from the beer fine rule.
After a lunch of fish & chips Maldives style, Tiddles went to top up his 18 hours of sleep in a day. Despite the poor weather the banter kept the ladies that leisure in good spirits as the rest us discussed which dive site to go to next – cocoa thila for a 4th time, or somewhere else. Tiddles lost the protest vote and we decided to head back to Cocoa Thila again. Cookie sat next to Lee and I think in an attempt to bond. However I think this passed Lee by and John took the lead on the conversation front, despite wearing a flowery t-shirt that looked like he bought it from Top Shop. Possibly his penalty for losing his SMB on the first dive of the day.
3rd dive on cocoa thila was an interesting one. A fast flowing current soon had us all spread out along the reef wall at various depths. Despite being slightly challenging it bought in BIG sharks, and lots of them. Circling above our heads at one point were around a dozen or so grey reefs. A few people ran into deco and others (trey) ran a little low on air – I’ve been told not to tell Jess (in exchange for a cold beer). Unfortunately there has still be no sightings of a Manta and Lee reminded me that I agreed to eat the hair from a certain region if he didn’t see one by then end of the week. This is a sales technique that I shall refrain from using on future diving holidays. Still we have 2 full days of diving left yet, so no pressure.
Congratulations to Natalie for completing her 100th, not bad for someone who once vowed never to try scuba.