Maldives, a diver’s paradise, has lately been a very popular dive destination and on every divers bucketlist. Clear blue waters and hundreds of deserted islands, has become a large playground for divers to explore. The best way to get to these islands and enjoy what Maldives has to offer, is through a liveaboard.
On a breezy Saturday morning, 20 desperate-to-dive souls boarded M/Y Sachika. Being on board M/Y Sachika just made everything worthwhile. The spacious rooms, classy decks, perfect bars and the Jacuzzi. The feeling of sitting in the Jacuzzi on the top deck of the yacht in the middle of the Indian Ocean is surreal. The four deck yacht had everything to offer. Quite corners for some alone time, breezy sun decks, areas to mingle with the passengers and the crew and a cozy restaurant. The dive dhoni gave each and everyone of us ample space to gear up and adjust our cameras for all the 20 dives which was nothing less than exciting.
The diving started with a bang. Received a warm welcome from the manta rays and black tip reef sharks during the checkout dive. Yes, Manta Point was our check out dive! Watching mantas going through their daily routine of getting cleaned up at the cleaning stations and swirling around each other in a graceful dance, was simply breathtaking to watch. Everyone was in awe and probably conserved a lot of air due to extremely slow breathing and mostly being in awe. It felt like watching a slow motioned dance. Made me realize that life is indeed a gift and we should enjoy every moment of it, slowly, carefully and to the fullest. Felt grateful to be present at that moment and would rather be there, 25 meters under, than anywhere else in the world.
Following our check out dive, where we spent a good 45 minutes with the mantas, the other major sightings included whalesharks (not one but three!), black tip sharks, white tip sharks, grey reef sharks, eagle rays, stingrays, moray eels and many more amongst the plethora of marine and coral life.
For me, the highlight of the trip were the night dives. Nurseshark observation at Alimatha, feeding manta ray at Fisadhoo Lagoon and Maaya Thila, at night, was a real treat! During the day, Maaya Thila is gorgeous with numerous white tip sharks circling around the reefs and at night, it’s a hunting ground with a full cast change. Sharks, eels, stingrays, tunas hunting at one side and the cutest turtles sleeping calmly or slowly passing by the hunting mess. I personally was never a fan of night dives. Not because of the fear of the dark or the unknown, but because of not being able to enjoy a few G&Ts with the setting sun before a good night’s rest. Maldives has changed my perspective for night dives.
All in all, with great crew, magnificent and spacious liveaboard M/Y Sachika, breathtaking marine life, best dive company (onboard and underwater), and amazing food, 7 days will never be enough.
Love from Eko Divers Crew –