Category Archives: Maldives Underwater Photography

Kuramathi Diving Dec 2014

We love the Maldives and snorkeling and this year decided to do some scuba diving. We only managed to do 6 dives as kuramathi dive prices are extortionate. It was $100+ per dive on average with kit and boat fees. Most places around the world do discounts if you do 3 dives in a day, but not at Kuramathi! So for 2 of us to do 3 dives in a day was approx. $600!

The dive centre weren’t particular friendly either. The Maldivian dive leader was the most helpful and the tall blonde hair lad was OK, as was the UK girl, but the rest were pretty rude.

Even diving the local housereef was $100 – crazy! So we mainly stuck to snorkeling which was equally as good and you can find my snorkeling pictures on my previous post here:
https://maldiviandreamer.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/kuramathi-maldives-snorkeling/

So we did the following dives:

1. Fan Reef
2. Veligandu East
3. Hammerhead Point – didn’t see any
4. HafzaThila
5. Mayaa Thila
6. North Channel (Manta point) – saw 1 on deco stop for a few seconds

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Triggerfish of the Maldives

I have previously wrote about Triggerfish and their undeserved reputation for being overly aggressive which you can read here:
https://maldiviandreamer.wordpress.com/2014/07/06/triggerfish-undeserved-bad-press/

After seeing 10 different species in the Maldives I conclude that they are not aggressive unless you accidentally swim into their nesting ground at certain times of the year.

I have seen 4 species of triggerfish at all the Maldivian islands I have been to plus others, however this year at Kuramathi I saw 2 new species! I photographed the following new species whilst snorkeling the house reef:

1. Wedge-tail Triggerfish

2. Boomerang Triggerfish

This brings the total number of triggerfish I have seen in the Maldives to 10!

 

Kuramathi, Maldives Snorkeling

I have just returned from a 2 week holiday to Kuramathi, Maldives (Nov/Dec 2014)  where I snorkeled the house reef every day. The snorkeling was better than I’d remembered, as Kuramathi was the first island we ever visited in 2010. We don’t normally return to the same island, but we saw a good offer and as we only stayed for a week last time, thought it would be good to return. The house reef is good, although it is only on one side and the visibility can be quite poor which is an underwater photographers nightmare! To be honest no island has perfect visibility and I’ve had problems with sediment and back scatter on all the islands I’ve visited. So here is a snap shot of the photos I took – enjoy 🙂

Maldivian Marine Angelfish

Marine Angelfish are one of my favourite fish due to their vivid colour. The Marine Angelfish family contains seven genera and approximately 86 species. My personal favourites are the Emperor, Blue-faced and Regal Angelfish.

Here are some pics from my last 4 trips to the Maldives (Kuramathi, Vilamendhoo, Biyadhoo and Athuruga).

Blue-faced Angelfish

Emperor Angelfish (& 1 Juvenille Emperor)

Regal Angelfish

 

Triggerfish – Undeserved bad press?

I am constantly reading forum posts about the dangers of triggerfish and people claiming they’re aggressive – but I think their reputation is over-hyped. Yes it is true that when triggerfish are nesting, they guard over their nests and will charge at any divers or fish that cross into its territory (the zone in a full circle directly above its nest). The Titan Triggerfish is much larger than other species and can inflict serious injuries to divers.

However, as long as divers and snorkelers respect their territory and remain alert there shouldn’t be any problem. I have seen Triggerfish on every trip to the Maldives I’ve been on and never had a problem. Sure I’ve come across some territorial fish and been followed by one Titan Triggerfish, but I have never been attacked.

Here are some of my photos of titan triggerfish – the largest and most dangerous. As you can see, I have got up close to many 🙂

Perhaps my favourite are the clown triggerfish due to their pattern (though I haven’t seen many of these) and the black triggerfish, I love the way the sunbeam has lit up the delicate pattern on the Black triggerfish.

The Orange Stripped triggerfish are fairly common on the reef and make good photographic subjects 🙂

Picasso triggerfish are quite common in the sandy shallow lagoon.

Red Toothed Triggerfish are found in shoals near the surface, but as they’re constantly moving in the current and they are the smallest of this species and always swim away, I struggle to get decent photos of these fish.

Lastly we have the Yellow Margin Triggerfish, which I always think are juvenile Titan Triggerfish. Even now I’m not sure which they are, but either way – they’re cute 🙂

So that is the majority of my triggerfish pictures from 3 Maldivian islands I have visited, hope you enjoyed.

Whaleshark trip – Vilamendhoo 2011

We were fortunate enough to see 4x Whalesharks during our trip in 2011. It was an amazing experience to begin with as we were the only boat on the scene. We swam with one large whaleshark for a longtime, until an additional 11 boats turned up and hounded it. A group of Chinese tourists who couldn’t swim, jumped in the water with life jackets, but as they couldn’t swim they kept their heads above the water and just kept flailing around in the water violently kicking their fins. Eventually one of them kicked the whaleshark and it swam off. It was a sad end to the trip seeing so many boats hound one creature.

Moray Eels

Moray eels (Muraenidae) tend to instill fear in people due to their sharp needle-like teeth and snake-like appearance, however I have always found them to be shy creatures that always retreat into the reef to hide. I have read some scary stories in scuba-diving magazines about divers who have been attacked by them, but I have never experienced any problems with this fascinating creatures. I have always found that if you respect them and don’t touch, they too will reciprocate and leave you alone.

Biyadhoo had a vast array of moray eels and giant eels that were constantly swimming in the open, which I loved as I was able to take lots of photos. Vilamendhoo had the largest range of moray eel species, including a pale white moray eel, however due to the stunning plate coral at Vilamendhoo, it probably also created more places for them to hide 🙂