Header image
Adventurous live aboards in the Maldives
  

 

 

 
 
News

On this page we post the latest news, experiences with gadgets and equipment and informaton about our safaris.

 

Sep 5 2012: Preperations in Full Swing

As facebook has been the main way of communicating what is happening during our safaris we decided to incorperate it here on our newspage.

Feb 2 2012: Tec Hype

Last couple of years we see a trend in the use of technical dive equipment. For the Maldives a tec wing without pockets is not ideal. Because you don't have any pockets you have to clip everything you bring down to the outside of you jacket what will ruin your streamline and makes you get stuck on rocks or coral when you want to stay close to the bottem to avoid the current.

Jan 1 2012: Update Hanifaru Bay

Human activities in Hanifaru Bay is strongly restricted because Hanifaru Bay became UNESCO site. See our special Hanifaru Bay page for the latest news Hanifaru Bay >

May 4 2011: SMB(surface marker buoy)

Most buoys people bring with them to the Maldives are the cheap plastic ones with a strip of lead at the bottom to keep them upright and they are not selfsealing. Most of the time they come with a superfluous bag and about 10 meter red rope which is way too thin and will certainly get tangled. A good buoy is self sealing and doesn't deflate right away when it surfaces. You can even wave with it to attract attention, the SMB will hold the air. A thicker line (a guy rope) makes sure it doesn't get entangled too quickly, 7 meter is the ideal length for the Maldives. If you attach a piece of fishing lead or a snap hook at the end of the rope, it will not float when you unroll it. One buddy keeps an eye on the depth, the other unrolls the rope and sends the buoy up. A good buoy is the original AP Valves SMBC. The one we have been using has done more then 2000 dives and is at most a bit discolered. Not expensive and it will last a lifetime. Self sealing SMB>

May 4 2011: Safaris Spring closed

Despite the stressfull preparations because of a sunken boat we had a great safari. We have had a lot of help from the owners of the Tombilli in organizing a dhoni, compressor and tanks. The replacement boat was a little bit on the small side but fine for the sunny spring. We have done 58 dives where we've seen everything there is to be seen in the Maldives and more. The purpose of these safaris was to find the hammerheads and we succeeded in both safaris. We also saw whalesharks, manta rays, gray reef sharks, eaglerays, napoleons, turtles and dolphins. The increase in shark by introducing a ban on shark fishing continues and we see more and more every time and we even see sharks we haven't seen in more than 8 years (gitar ray & silver tips). See our videoreport about these trips on the videopage.

March 2 2011: MS Pretty Tombilli replaced by the Bolero

In the night of Februari 21 to Februari 22 it has come to our attention that the boat with which we were planning to sail during our spring safaris sank. We have found a replacement boat for upcoming safaris: The Bolero. If and with what boat we are going to sail in spring 2012 is unknown at this moment.

Februari 17 2011: Seen and tested during our safaris: a very handy spray bottle

Ideal to rinse your ears with fresh water after the dive and reduce the risk of an ear infection: this handy laboratory bottle. Last year we have had guests on the boat who used one, last safaris we have tried one ourselves and we rate it 10 out of 10 points! This works so well that everybody wants to use it after the dive and the chance exists it is empty when you are a little bit later on the boat. Spraybottle >

Februari 17 2011: Contract with Dugong Dive Center Malaisia

We have closed a contract with Dugong Dive Center in Malaisia. They will join us on our safaris with the MS Pretty Tombilli for 2 weeks a year for the next 2 years. Dugong Dive Centre >

Januari 2 2011: New boat for our spring safaris: The MS Pretty Tombilli

We were looking for some time for another boat for the months March & April and found one: The MS Pretty Tombilli. The Tombilli offers room for 12 guests (6 cabines) + diveguide. More info about the Tombilli on our boat page.

December 2, 2010: Safaris autumn closed

We organized 8 safaris in which we did 228 dives. We started the first couple of trips with some very rough weather which later turned out to be the monsoon change (6 weeks earlier and 3 weeks longer then normal) but the weather became better and better and with that also the trips.
We have seen almost everything the Maldives have to offer, several species of sharks (hammerheads, nurse sharks, leopard sharks, grey reef sharks, whitetips and a whaleshark) which all seem to make a remarkeble recovery due to the ban on shark fishing since last year, dives with 50 or more grey reef sharks were no exception. We have seen dozens of mantarays at Lankan and Hanifaru Bay and had private mantaray ballets at night behind the boat at Maayafushi. There were turtles, tunas, mobulas, eaglerays and napoleons but also small stuff like ghost pipe fish and nudibranches. Dolphins and pilotwhales sometimes accompanied us on the way to the divesites or during crossings to other atols. We hit the jackpot at Hanifaru Bay once with more then 100 mantarays feeding which is a once in a lifetime experience and had divers from all over the world joining our trips. We had divers from the USA, South Africa, India, Austria, Belgium, Danemark, Turkey, Malaysia and the Netherlands. All divers who went with us upped their game and got more confident and better with negative entries, navigation, depths and currents and became experts in sending up SMB's along the way. We flooded a couple of camaras, strobes and torches, blew up 1 compressor, lost 5 weightbelts and had 1 mild case of DCS but we can conclude that 95% of our guests had a great time with great diving.
For now we pack our stuff, take our equipment home for servicing and start preparing for our March and April trips.

August 17, 2010: Expansion of flights

This can be interesting for our Belgium guests: from November 2010 Thomas Cook Airlines is flying directly from Brussels to the Maldives. Saturday outbound, Sunday inbound. Thomas Cook >

July 16, 2010: Expansion of our team

Because of our success we have been looking for expansion of our team and found this in 2 very experienced dive professionals who we met during our previous travels in Asia and who are very enthusiastic about diving in the most beautiful place in the world. On our proposal page more information about Cedric and Fevzi. About us >

Februari 26, 2010: Guesthouses on local islands

Since September 2009 the law in the Maldives changed which now makes it possible to affordably stay at a local island. This is a totaly new tourist group to target for the Maldives and the Maldives now come within reach of people with a totally different budget. More information you find about this new concept on our newly established sister site. The Real Maldives >

Dec 12, 2009: Sea Shepard Jolly Roger Beanie.

A cotton beanie , ideal for use after diving to stop wind blowing in your ears when we get back on the Dhoni after a dive (earinfections !). With this beanie you make a statement! You symphatise with Sea Shepard and you support the fight against the plunder of our seas. The beanie itself is by the way excellent, we rate it 9 out of 10 points. Sea Shepard Store >

Dec 12, 2009: Handpresso

Used during our latest safaris by some hardcore coffeejunks: the handpresso. Thanks to an ingenious pumpingsystem (bicycle pump), ESE-coffeepads or ground coffee and hot water it is now possible to enjoy a ‘premium quality espresso’ all over the world.

From boat to caravan, from office to the ‘middle of nowhere’.

Ofcourse we wanted to check this statement out but we have to agree that it serves a more then descent esspresso. We rate this product, which has a high gadget level but functions none the less, 9 out of 10 points. Thanks to Arthur. Handpresso >

Dec 11, 2009: Safaris autumn closed

We have been in the Netherlands since a week and are working hard to update the website where we will post new photos and videos. We will also scan all information on this site so it will be current and updated.

An interesting development is that the present Maldivian government is going to allow guesthouses on local islands. This is a totally new concept for the Maldives from which we have a high expectiation. The Maldives will become affordable for a totally different public. More information will follow soon.

Dec 10, 2009: Facebook

Since a couple of months you can find us on facebook, at the moment as Blue Dolphin safaris but we are exploring the market and this will posibly change in the near future. Facebook >

Sep 3, 2009: Manatees in Crystal River Springs

Last month Nienke and I had a family reunion in Florida USA. Not a location we would choose ourselves as a holiday destination. We came across a very nice divingschool where we booked a snorkel trip with Manatees. A weblink to this divingschool is posted on our link page. A small movie about our snorkel experience you can find here. Manatees in Crystal River Florida >

Aug 22, 2009: Sharks protected in the Maldives

The ministry of fisheries and agriculture has extended the moratorium on reef shark fishing to cover the territorial waters of the Maldives, as part of a historic move towards a total ban on both reef and oceanic shark hunting. Original article on Minivan News >

Aug 14, 2009: Sharkwater

We are so impressed with the documentary Sharkwater that we strongly feel every one should see it before we ruin our ecosystem and we've put a banner on our website. Sharkwater >

May 17, 2009: Youtube channel

Since a year we have our own channel on youtube where we host our videos. Besides our safari reports we also uploaded a lot of clips shot during our safaris.

Divesafaris on Youtube >

May 13, 2009: Spring safaris closed

Since a week we have been back in the Netherlands and we work hard on the website where we upload new photos and videos. We also review and update all information and we have added a topic about ear infections. In the meantime we receive a lot of positive reactions in our guestbook with which we are very pleased.

April 2009: Bynolyt Searanger III binocular

You pray people will never drift out of sight of the Dohni but in practice it does happen. In such a case it is vital to have a good set of binoculars. The binocular we have tested is the Bynolyt Searanger III 7x50. The Searanger is a watertight binocular, filled with nitrogengas. The unique thing about this binocular is that it is delivers a sharp image from 10 meters to infinite so you don't have to adjust anything during use. It also has an internal compas for making a bearing. We keep this binocular on the Dhoni during our dives but we also use it to track whalesharks. The dureability of this binocular is yet to be proven but sofar we give this binocular 9 out of 10 points. Bynolyt Optics >

March 7, 2009: English translation of the site added

Last couple of days we were busy translating our website in English. This to provide all our information for those people who do not understand any Dutch.

Februari 24, 2009: Guestbook added

A guestbook in wich we expect to see many positive reactions about our safaris. Guestbook >

Februari 23, 2009: Tips for guests added

A very useful page for (future) guests with information about visas, entry, paying, phones, internet, diving equipment and other practical information for people who are packing their suitcases. Tips for guests >

Februari 22, 2009: Photo page added

It took a while before we were satisfied about the pictures but the page is back. Photos >

Februari 18, 2009: Bas became a scout for IQ-Company

On Boat in Dusseldorf saw we a flyer with the next description: Does "Dive be Now – Work Later" your slogan? How nice; It's ours pivot springs! Maybe we should work together... Since we are rather enthusiastic about diving we filled out a application form and were selected together with 8 others to test products in real life. We are obviously extremely proud of this!

A new product we really look forward to is the brand new Ray-Board. This is perhaps the new way to find whale sharks! IQ-Company Ray-Board >

Februari 17, 2009: Our new website is up and running

After much distraction we finally succeeded to get the new website up and running. The upcoming days a lot of pages will be changed and added.

December 2008: Gloves

We have been experimenting woth new gloves. Because currents can be extreme in the Maldives and sometimes we even have to climb from rock to rock it is recommended to wear gloves. Since diving gloves are quite expensive and usually only last 2 weeks, we tried something else, namely these:Nitril coated gloves >

They remain intact for a vouple of weeks but rip in the end on top at the edge between cotton and the latex coating. They are an ideal replacement of the expensive diving gloves. We give these gloves 9 out of 10 points!

December 2008: Pro-Ear 2000 mask

A new gadget is the Pro Ear 2000 mask. A mask in wich your ears are supposed to stay dry which minimizes the risk on an ear infection.

Nienke has in the past suffered from rather persistent ear infections which at one time kept her out of the water for a week to get the infection under control.

At first instance she did not like the mask one bit because it is quite an apparatus to put on and there was still water comming in her ears. But after she bought a jar of Vasaline at a drugstore in Male to improve the sealing of the ear caps it was a great solution. Another advantage is the better equalising (you equilise against air) and you can hear a lot beter under water (!) Upcoming safaris Bas will also try the mask. We give the mask 8 out of 10 points. Pro Ear 2000 >

 

 

 

 

 

SHARKWATER

 

 
 

Nienke

 

 
  Clam