Exploring Walls and Overhangs31 Mar 2022
The Maldives is home to a wide variety of stunning dive sites, but the most dramatic are the drop-offs that plunge into the depths. Diving along a vertical wall is a thrilling experience and will often be a highlight of a dive trip.
Diving on walls may seem daunting for divers with limited experience due to the bottomless nature of the site and good buoyancy control is really important. Divers need to be aware of their depth at all times as it’s easy to stray deeper than intended without realising when you have no bottom as a reference. Reef walls can have strong upward or downward currents running along the wall as the current from the deep hits the vertical rock face and rises – this can make wall diving challenging for novice divers but moving a little further away from the reef often alleviates this issue. The currents can add to the thrill of the dive too with confident divers able to simply relax and go with it, whizzing along the reef and enjoying the scenery as they go! Here in the Maldives, the currents are very changeable and our team will assess conditions as part of the dive plan, sometimes the current is barely noticeable and allows for critter searching, other times it’s ‘buckle up and enjoy the ride’! Don’t be tempted to steady yourself against the wall, not only will you risk damaging fragile corals, there are often creatures hidden in the cracks and crevices along a reef wall, such as black-cheek morays who will be only too pleased to give you a quick nip to get you to let go!
Underwater walls are home to many critters, corals and sponges, and are sometimes dotted with overhangs – some large enough to swim into and others perfect for creatures to take shelter in. An underwater torch is essential to get the best diving experience on these types of dive sites – they bring back the true colour and transform the reef to a glorious kaleidoscopic wonderland.
Walls are great for underwater photographers, offering unique perspectives of the underwater world and tremendous opportunities to capture the beauty of soft corals often found dripping from the ceilings of overhangs – always remember to look up as the view is breathtaking. These sites also provide the chance to dive at the depth you are comfortable with and if you consume your air faster than you’d like, stick to a shallower profile along the wall to get a longer dive time.
If you enjoy spectacular vistas, abundant marine life of all types – from beautifully delicate nudibranchs to large pelagics, as well as colourful corals, you’ll love the wall dives with Prodivers, especially those on the western side of Lhaviyani Atoll including Latheef, Felivaru and Vavvaru outreefs, and of course The Wall which is an inner reef close to Hurawalhi.
To build confidence and experience Open Water Divers should consider the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course where you’ll work on perfecting buoyancy, get qualified to dive to 30 metres plus experience other dive techniques. Online study is available to complete before you arrive so once here, it’s just the fun part – DIVING!