Friday, 18 December 2009

Snow blankets the south east

As forecast we woke to a blanket of snow and snowmen are already appearing. Everyone's travel plans are being amended, its no time to be on country roads while the white stuff hangs around.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Geminids meteor shower & sunrise

Last night we looked south over the sea for the Gemenid meteor shower. From 10 to 10:20 we saw 8 meteors in direction of Orion which was quite high, the last being a splendid long streak. Most came from near a vertical direction. This morning we enjnoyed a beautiful sunrise and the morning has turned into a cold but clear day.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Raging seas

The sea has been roaring today, a contrast to the roughest seas we experienced in the Maldives.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Final dives, massage & sunset

The first dive at The Aquarium gave us fantastic visibility and the corner named The Aquarium did not disappoint, with large shoals of fish feeding in the current.


We completed our dive trip with a housereef dive and visited the Wreck which Keith had not seen before.

Keith & Abdulla, Bandos in the distance


This afternoon we each had a full body oil massage at the Angerrik Spa and floated back to the room. The dive gear was brought indoors to dry in the air conditioned room. We received our departure instructions, 10:15am tomorrow the boat leaves the island. Dive stamps and tips were dealt with and I’m typing this while a beautiful Maldivean sunset slowly dies, but no camera to record the event!

It has been an excellent tour, everyone enjoyed themselves whether diving or not. Deidre excelled by completing a certification course in wind surfing and will be looking to take Half Moon Bay by storm…

The tour members this year were: Keith, Mike & Kim, Paul & Deidre, Abdulla, Adel, Bill, Andy & Janet, Gordon & Sandra, Beverley, Gary, Anthony & Pong, Marika, Michelle, Maria, Jane, David,.Liberty & Yasmeen, Denis and Bob. Most people have joined me multiple times, Bill being the longest running supporter of the tour, travelling variously from Angola, Kuwait, Indonesia and Perth to join us. I heard that many will be returning next year.

Bandos Resort looked after us again, the food was deemed very good, and the dive operation excelled by looking after us very well and meeting special requests for dive sites. The only request I would make is that the resort extend the Wifi service to all rooms as todays travellers like to keep in touch from their room.

This is my final Maldivean post for 2009.

Last diving day in Paradise

Its our last diving day at Bandos, two dives this morning, our last until next year. Sheryl gave me the Aramco calendar for 2010 so the main tour dates next year will be:
Arrive Thursday November 11, depart Friday 19th (or Sat 20th if you don't want a rest day when you return). As usual people can choose their own dates to arrive and depart for a shorter or longer stay. I will fly BA again and if they keep the same schedule will arrive Wed 10th and depart Sat 20th.
I am looking forward to a relaxing massage at the Spa this afternoon.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Lankan, Maagiri and Faru Outer

The heron was fishing by the sunset bar on the last night of the main group. They left by the early morning Qatar and Emirates flights. That leaves Adel, Abdulla, Keith and myself.

Abdulla in photo mode with Bluestripe Snappers

Lankan Reef had little current so we were lucky to glimpse one Manta in the distance. Shots included a shoal of Bluestripe Snappers, a yellow Cornetfish, Empress Angel Fish, a red jeuvenile Blackside Hawkfish and a shoal of Collared Butterfly Fish.

Maagiri provided jeuveniles of an Imperial Angelfish and a Flouder, a Grouper and a Fanworm.

The afternoon dive at Faru Outer was an eel dive, including some Honeycomb Morays with their blue Cleaner wrasse and Turtles.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Lions Head, Coral Gardens and Maagiri Caves

The bar entertainment last night included a delicious young lady, Salha who has a fantastic voice and delighted us all when she sang a number every so often.

Our first dive this morning at Lions Head, an old favourite, gave us many types of fan and horny corals filtering plankton from the current. A Lionfish (Pterois volitans) was hunting off the reef and gave a rare opportunity for interesting photography.

The second dive at Coral Gardens was notable for fish photos including Bluestripe snappers, two species of Puffer fish, Soldier fish, a Butterfly fish and Moorish Idol duet and Clownefish on an unusual red Anemone.

This afternoon’s dive at Maagiri Caves was notable for large Honeycomb and Giant morays. The giant moray had two Cleaner wrasse and a Cleaner shrimp in attendance. An Emperor Angelfish and a Lizard Fish posed and two large Scorpion fish merged well into the background with their camouflage. A Mantis Shrimp was caught in an overhang and fortunately allowed me some rare photo opportunities.