Maavaru Kandu: Diving through a Soft Corals Paradise

Diving is certainly one of the best ways to enjoy a holiday in Maldives and at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu the Dive Ocean team (www.dive-ocean.com) is willing to escort you on unique underwater experiences. During the last weeks, our Marine Biologist had the chance to join the diving boat on dedicated trips to explore one of the best places in Baa Atoll for admiring beautiful soft corals: Maavaru Kandu. Adventures at sea often include an “ad-hoc program” and this is what our guests experienced on April 21st and 28th :

While cruising north to reach the diving site some manta rays feeding at surface were spotted from the boat. Not even a minute later the Marine Biologist and the diving instructors jumped into the water followed by the excited guests: everybody enjoyed a 15 minutes long unexpected snorkeling session, swimming close by these incredibly elegant and harmless animals. Of course some good pictures for the Manta Ray Identification Programme were also collected!

After this thrilling start the boat reached the dive site where another amazing experience took place. At Maavaru Kandu the coral reef drops vertically into the blue from minus 6 to minus 30 meters: big overhangs are located starting at -9 meters, with the majority lying between minus 18 to minus 25 meters. All the overhangs are beautifully covered with colorful soft corals, mainly the yellow and purple cauliflower corals. Diving slowly under these natural cathedrals is an out of this world experience.

Soft corals, as their name suggests, have no hard skeleton but soft-tissue like bodies. They thrive in deep water and under overhangs since their polyps do not host symbiotic algae like the stony corals do, hence they do not need to be exposed to sunlight to survive. All the soft corals polyps have exactly eight tentacles, typically fringed or pinnate. A torch is always recommended while observing these stunning underwater animals: lighting a soft coral colony reveals a unique tiny wonderful world.

It is a fact that divers usually seek out “big” underwater encounters, however, we suggest not to forget the “small” ones. It would have been easy to get lost in this Avatar-like world but time flows fast and at a certain point an ascent to the surface was unfortunately required! Join us at your next visit to Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu for an eerily beautiful dive adventure!

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