Dive site topography in Lhaviyani Atoll – Part 323 Sep 2018
Those seeking thrilling dives and exciting underwater adventures will be rewarded with just that in the Maldives’ Lhaviyani Atoll. In this, the third, and final part of the series on dive site topography, the corners and channels take center stage – great news for those in search of big fish action.
Corners are the point at which an out reef ends and the channel starts, they are big fish dive sites and can have strong currents. One of Lhaviyani Atoll’s all-time favourite corners is Kuredu Express, this is an ‘everything-in-one-dive’ kind of site. If the current is flowing towards the outside of the atoll divers jump in the channel and drift onto a section of terraces, it is a good idea to face into the current and hang on and then simply watch the show unfold before your eyes. Common sightings here are eagle rays, grey reef sharks, large schools of jackfish, giant sweetlips, napoleons, green sea turtles and stingrays. Venture around the corner to dive the out reef and find large schools of fish, sometimes even a leaf fish hiding in the rocks, false stonefish, and large bays with crevices to dive through and soft corals hanging from the ceilings.
Channels are locally known as Kandus and are the areas between the island’s reefs where strong currents flow in and out of the atoll. They are usually deep with rocky bottoms and the perfect cruising place for big fish. With the currents usually present, the easiest way to dive these sites is with an underwater scooter making the dive effortless and giving divers the feeling of being James Bond, or Harry Potter! The channels can be dived without scooters too, get ready to kick those fins though! Two favorite channel dives of the Hurawalhi Maldives team are:
Kahlifushifaru Kandu – the best channel for sharks. In a single dive here it is possible to see up to 100 grey reef sharks, sometimes lemon sharks, several black tip sharks and in the right season, big silvertip sharks not to mention schooling eagle rays, huge tunas, and stingrays resting on the channel bottom.
Felivaru Kandu the best channel for rays. On a typical dive here divers can see groups of whiptail rays swimming together, friendly black blotched stingrays, small schools of eagle rays, feather tail rays buried under the sand dunes, big schools of small barracudas and lots of turtles, maybe even one sitting inside an anchor which rests in the middle of the channel.
Look back at Part One of the Dive Site Topography series for Lhaviyani Atoll’s underwater islands and Part Two for the differing out reef structures on the East and West sides of the Atoll. Better still, come and dive them and discover what lies below the surface of this fascinating atoll for yourselves.