Above & Below Photography 




Kararu Liveaboard
Mergui Archipelago
St.Vincent & Bequia
Walindi Plantation Resort
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Lembeh Resort
Papua Diving


Manthiri Liveaboard


   Imagine over twelve hundred islands arranged north to south like a string of pearls in the Indian Ocean.  Each one surrounded with white sand and swaying palm trees. The water is alive with colorful fishes, manta rays, sharks, turtles and more. This is Maldives - a quintessential tropical paradise. 

    We recently went on a 12-night cruise on the luxury liveaboard, Manthiri.  We dived North and South Mal atolls on our way to Felidhu and Ari atolls. These atolls are known for big fish, manta rays and pristine diving. We're happy to report that the corals are coming back! Especially in Ari atoll the reef tops are almost back to normal and Maldives is known for some of the finest reefs in the world. Our last trip to Maldives was three years ago and damage due to coral bleaching was evident everywhere. We were so pleased to see it coming back so quickly.

    Manthiri is a fully air-conditioned first class liveaboard. She's 85' long with 6 double cabins, en suite facilities, 110V/220V power, desalinators for making fresh water, individually controlled air conditioning, minibar, hot water, hair dryers, large dive deck and complete camera facilities with E-6 processing, light tables, slide projector and video camera viewing facilities. The food and service were excellent and we had a wonderful time. 

  All diving is done from a 54' dhoni, a roomy local boat that also houses the dive gear and compressors so there's no noise on the main boat. Manthiri  also offers Nitrox.

    Maldives is part of an archipelago that lies just south of India and runs to just south of the equator in the Indian Ocean.  It's part of an underwater mountain range that stretches from the Laccadives in the north to Chagos in the south.  The islands are the exposed mountain tips of this underwater ridge surrounded by deep ocean outside the atolls. It is a well known diving destination for Europeans but remains rarely visited by Americans.  In fact, a well-known dive magazine doesnt even show Maldives on their map of dive destinations in the Indian Ocean in their annual world-wide dive survey!  

    Maldives has remarkable photo opportunities because it isn't overrun with tourists and the locals don't dynamite, poison or fish for reef fish. Instead they rely on the abundant supply of tuna just offshore and the fish are "photographer friendly" here. Maldivians have a saying, "Even the sharks are friendly here." Another high note is that Maldives does not have malaria!

    Water temperatures are generally 82 - 86F and visibility is 75' - 100' in November. The reefs teem with large numbers of small and medium fishes and large fishes like manta and eagle rays, reef sharks, Napoleon wrasses and the occasional whale shark.  If you go over a full or a new moon you will have the best opportunity to see the biggies. We had a whale shark, plenty of mantas and Napoleon Wrasses on our last trip.

    Combine this with a stay at a land based resort with white sandy beaches, palm trees, clear water and other watersports and thats just about everything you could want in a dive destination. Daily service from Singapore gets you to Maldives in four hours and there are easy connections through Europe and Malaysia.

  Click Here for Maldives Photo Gallery

  Contact Reef and Rainforest, 1-800-794-9767, for  reservations.

  About Manthiri



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