Cycle 14 – Item 60
6 (Mon) March 2023
on MV Adora
-Gaafu Alifu Atoll, Maldives-
w DV and friends
Living Aboard the MV Adora (Day 9/13)
- Day -1 (14.050 Sea Bass Fillet)
- Day 1 (14.051 Blackened Roast Chicken)
- Day 2 (14.052 Mas Huni)
- Day 3 (14.053 Grilled Tuna)
- Day 4 (14.054 Chicken Rice)
- Day 5 (14.055 Tuna Sashimi)
- Day 6 (14.056 Buldak Hot Chicken Flavor Ramen)
- Day 7 (14.057 Beach BBQ)
- Day 8 (14.058 Roti with Smoked Tuna & Dal Curry)
- Day 9 (14.059 Ceviche Wahoo!)
- Day 10 (14.060 Fruit Sundae)
- Day +1 (14.061 Garudhiya Meal)
- Day +2 (14.062 Sautéed Sword Lettuce (Three Times))
In the Maldives. Here for my 2nd liveaboard. For 10 days, I’ll be on the MV Adora – same boat as my 1st experience (see previously 9.191 Grilled Beef Tenderloin) – sailing through the Deep South Atolls, diving from the boat, while I eat, drink (mostly drink), sleep, i.e., “live aboard” the boat.
Dives 24-25 (this trip) / 179-180 (lifetime)
Highlight: Maa Kandu (Manta Point) – Seenu Atoll
For the final dives of the trip, we went to Maa Kandu, which features a manta ray “cleaning station,” a coral reef where larger sea animals congregate to get a wash down from cleaner fish.
In the top video, taken by a fellow diver, I can be seen coming up under the manta ray.
In the bottom video, taken by me in the exact same moment, I get so close that I could’ve touched the animal – I don’t have an extension pole for my GoPro, so my hand comes within millimeters. Check out the cleaner fish going in and out of the gills, as well as the mouth!
Although I’ve never been a huge fan of underwater sea life – i.e., I never chase them to get a shot – I was utterly captivated here. Manta rays are magnificent in size and majestic in elegance, and I was truly privileged for such intimate proximity. Coincidentally, my first manta encounter was the first dive of the prior trip, though from a distance and entirely passive (see 9.184 Grilled Reef Fish).
What a perfect way to end the trip – totally worth it.
Over the course of 10 days and 25 dives, I saw sting rays, manta rays, marble rays, eagle rays, turtles, moray eels, tiger sharks, black tip sharks, grey reef sharks, spinner sharks, a guitar shark, a whale shark (not diving), and dolphins (not diving). But I didn’t see the hammerhead sharks, which others did. Oh well – always leave something for next time.
Whereas diving guidelines advises for 24 hours of surface time before air travel (any lingering nitrogen in the body could expand at high altitudes, causing the bends), and most of us are flying out tomorrow afternoon, we finished our morning dives and hung up our gear to dry.
Tomorrow, we will first fly north to Malé then on to our final destinations.
We spent an hour – only needed half an hour – roaming the mean streets of Gan, the southern-most city of the Maldives.
THE FINAL SHOT
After 10 days together on the boat, I got know most of my fellow divers, took a genuine liking to many of them, hope to meeting them again someday. I know for sure that I’ll see my dear teacher DV at Casa Escondida in the nearest of futures.
By now, we knew to anticipate ice cream for dessert by the tiny spoon (if fruit, which was typically the case, it was a tiny fork). But for the final dinner, the kitchen made it special: fruit sundae – a perfect ending.
Having shared my many bottles of booze on the trip with the bartender and crew – my tab totaled more than all other guests combined – I was invited to pour myself G&Ts on the house.
See you next time, whenever that may be.
(See also FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also BOOZE)
(See also MDV)
(See also DIVING)