Maldives September 2011 – Photo workshop.

This year we decided to stay the Indian Ocean side, on the north part of the Maldives. As usual we were aboard the Maldives Siren, one of the famous sailing boat of the worldwide dive and sail fleet.

Starting from Male, we sailed up to Hanimaadhoo, through Baa Atoll and Lhaviyani Atoll and many other stunning islands, surrounded by white sandy beaches. No time for suntanning but only for diving and taking pictures.

On the first dive i was pretty impressed with the amount of fishes hovering on top of our heads, feeding in the current. The viz wasn’t great as  the water was full of plankton and nutrients. On the sea bed i noticed a large amount of grouper and a white tip shark that swam in a frenzy as soon as he saw Kitty and i with our big cameras. To me that was a clear sign that the reef was pretty much protected in theses areas.

When we arrived at Baa Atoll we dived the famous Hanifaroo bay, renowned for the mantas , but unfortunately they were not present at that time. We had the news that some of them were feeding on plankton, at a nearby Atoll. We lifted the anchor and started heading towards them. After a good 30 min, we could see their fins coming out of the surface. We mange to dive very briefly with them and take a few shots, there was a lot of current, making it difficult to keep up with them. We heard afterward, that on the next trip, the saw 40+ mantas at Hanifaru bay. We surely caught up the wrong week!!

Photography-wise, I found very difficult to compose in the Maldives as the state of the coral was not as good as Indonesia. There was surely lots of fishes, but as well, they were shy and kept their distances. Rare were the occasions where the wildlife would come close enough for you to make a decent shot.

Maybe it was just a matter of wrong tides and moon phases. There are weeks like that, where taking pictures underwater is  harder than usual.

On the other hand, here is what i still manage to shoot:

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