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Jim & Cary Yanny’s Guide to Diving in the Maldives

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Part 1: Komandoo Island Resort & Spa

Jim and Cary report on their trip to visit various resorts and liveaboards in the Maldives. In Part 1, they visit Komandoo Island Resort & Spa…

We flew from Male to Komandoo by Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) seaplane. Komandoo staff met us at arrivals in Male Airport and transferred us the very short distance to Terminal A, the seaplane terminal, where they have an air-conditioned guest comfort lounge. There was WiFi and they got us a sandwich and French fries to snack on while we waited to board our seaplane.

Once our flight was called the boarding process was very fast – just a short walk to one of the several seaplanes. Our hold baggage was already on-board and we were asked to identify it and our carry-on baggage was stored at the back of the plane. The hold baggage allowance is 20kg/person and the carry-on allowance 5kg/person. Airlines in the Maldives enforce the allowances strictly and charge about US$6/kilo for any excess weight.

The plane was a ‘Twin Otter’ twin propeller-engine seaplane. They’re not big, taking just fifteen passengers plus three crew, but they’re perfectly suited to the job. This was our first ever seaplane flight and it was a great experience – taking off from water on floats to start with then the incredible view of the atolls, islands, reefs and boats as we flew over them at relatively low level. I’m not sure, but I believe we only reached an altitude of around four thousand feet, so everything was easily in full view except when we went into a cloud, of course. Flying to your resort brings home what it truly means to be an island nation, as you see a vast expanse of ocean and just these tiny white-sand islands to break up the endless blue.

The flight to Komandoo Island, on Lhaviyani Atoll, took about forty-five minutes. Again, landing by seaplane at an island resort is an experience not to be missed as the pilot aims the nose down as if about to nose-dive into the sea then eases it up and glides the aircraft onto the calm water below, touching it down so gently that you almost can’t believe it’s basically a boat with wings at that point. Once landed, the plane is quickly steered to the disembarkation pontoon just like a boat. The door is quickly opened, you walk down the steps to meet the resort staff waiting to greet you and you’ve arrived! And at this point you do also feel as if you’ve ‘arrived’ in the other sense of the word – stepping off a seaplane onto one tropical island resort you simply can’t help but feel a bit glamorous and celebrity-status-like. We highly recommend that everyone tries it at least once in your life!

Komandoo Island Resort & Spa is a top-end, adults-only resort (18 and over) with just sixty-five rooms so has been built on a tiny island that perfectly provides a sense of exclusivity. One of the great things the Maldives does (which they absolutely must keep doing) is the ‘one island, one resort’ concept. This means that each resort is able to acquire its own unique character, given to it by the shape and features of the particular island it’s built on. It also means that there’s absolutely no chance of two (or more) resorts fighting over available space.

Komandoo is exactly as you would hope a resort that touts itself as upscale and adults-only would be; a sanctuary of absolute peace and tranquillity without a child to be seen (or heard).* A perfect white-sand beach, magnificent lagoon, fresh water infinity pool and ‘Duniye Spa’ lend themselves to kicking back and rediscovering each other in a little bit of paradise.

*Don’t worry, we do also work with several other excellent resorts catering to families as well as couples. However, that’s for another day…

Although our site inspection at Komandoo was a short one we did manage to sample the fabulous buffet lunch at the main restaurant before jumping aboard the speedboat for the short crossing to the next island and Komandoo’s big-sister-resort, ‘Kuredu’.

Accommodation at Komandoo comprises 65 air-conditioned Villas, including 15 Jacuzzi Water Villas, 36 Jacuzzi Beach Villas and 14 Beach Villas.

Diving at Komandoo is with Pro Divers (PADI 5 Star), a highly professional but welcoming outfit. Although we didn’t dive whilst at Komandoo, we did dive with them during our two nights at Kuredu Resort next door and were extremely impressed by their service. (Please look out for more on Pro Divers’ operation in our next report, which will be all about our stay at Kuredu.)

Jim and Cary own and run UK-based tour operator Diverse Travel. To find out more about the Maldivian itineraries that Diverse Travel offer, visit www.diversetravel.co.uk/maldives.

A few moons ago, Jim was General Manager of Emperor Divers Red Sea, where Cary was Senior Instructor. Later they moved to Indonesia to establish and run award-winning dive centre and resort, Eco Divers, before returning to the UK to launch Diverse Travel. Cary also runs a photographic business and is the Photo Pro, often leading photographic trips to exotic destinations, most recently to South Africa and Mozambique. Jim and Cary’s driving passion is to deliver the best personalised travel service available. That same philosophy shines through Diverse Travel and sees clients return again and again to book their next holiday.

Marine Life & Conservation

BLUE EARTH – Future Frogmen Podcast Series – Deep-Sea Stories From a Shadow Diver: a conversation with Richie Kohler

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A series of conservation educational podcasts from Future Frogmen, introduced by Jeff Goodman.


Deep Sea Stories From a Shadow Diver: a conversation with Richie Kohler. 

This episode of the Blue Earth Podcast is a conversation with Richie Kohler. He’s an explorer, technical wreck diver, shipwreck historian, filmmaker, and author.

Richie was featured in Robert Kurson’s incredible book “Shadow Divers ”. It’s a thrilling true story about Richie and John Chatterton’s quest to identify the wreck of an unknown WWII German U-boat (submarine), 65 miles off the coast of New Jersey. They dedicated six years of their lives attempting to identify the wreck.

Richie has travelled the world and explored many deep wrecks, including the Andrea Doria, Titanic, and Britannic. He’s the author of “Mystery of The Last Olympian” about the Britannic.


Richard E Hyman Bio

Richard is the Chairman and President of Future Frogmen.

Born from mentoring and love of the ocean, Richard is developing an impactful non-profit organization. His memoir, FROGMEN, details expeditions aboard Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s famed ship Calypso.

Future Frogmen, Inc. is a nonprofit organization and public charity that works to improve ocean health by deepening the connection between people and nature. They foster ocean ambassadors and future leaders to protect the ocean by accomplishing five objectives.


You can find more episodes and information at www.futurefrogmen.org and on most social platforms @futurefrogmen.

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Marine Life & Conservation

New Fisheries Act misses the mark on sustainability, but what now?

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A better future for our seas is still beyond the horizon, says Marine Conservation Society

The UK’s landmark post-Brexit fisheries legislation has now become law. The Fisheries Act, the first legislation of its kind in nearly 40 years, will shape how the UK’s seas are fished for years to come.

The Marine Conservation Society, which campaigned for amendments to the legislation throughout its development, is disappointed by the removal of key sustainability amendments and by the removal of a commitment to rolling out Remote Electronic Monitoring.

The charity has committed to pushing the UK Government to go further than the framework which the Fisheries Act sets out, with greater ambition for the state of UK seas.

Sandy Luk, Chief Executive of the Marine Conservation Society said: “UK Government and devolved administrations must act urgently to deliver climate and nature smart fisheries under the new Fisheries Act. This is a key condition if our seas are to recover to good health. The UK Government removed key amendments from the legislation while making promises on sustainability and the introduction of remote electronic monitoring. We will continue to hold the government to account over these promises.”

“I’m pleased to see the recognition of the important role fisheries play in our fight against the climate emergency.  However, even with a climate change objective in the Act, actions speak louder than words. We must get to work delivering sustainable fisheries management, which will have a huge benefit to our seas, wildlife and the communities which depend upon them.”

The Fisheries Act has become law against a backdrop of the ocean’s declining health. UK waters are currently failing to meet 11 out of 15 indicators of good ocean health and over a third of fish in UK waters are being caught at levels which cannot continue into the future. Whilst the legislation failed to address some of the more pressing issues facing UK seas, including overfishing, there is still an opportunity to affect change in the years which follow.

Sam Stone, Head of Fisheries at the Marine Conservation Society said: “The Fisheries Act marks the start of a new era of fisheries management in the UK, but the next two years will be critical in defining what this looks like. The new Act has some good objectives, but we now need to come together to make sure it really delivers the on-water change that is desperately needed for ocean recovery.

“There is genuine opportunity to create fisheries that deliver for coastal communities and for the environment, but it means moving away from ‘business-as-usual’. The UK and devolved governments now have the powers to move forward with progressive new management in their waters. That means proper incentives for low impact fishing, proper monitoring of catches and proper commitments to sustainable fishing.

“In the short term, the four nations must work together to make impactful changes, starting by addressing the UK’s most at risk fish stocks. Recovery plans are needed for our depleted stocks, including new catch limits, selectivity and avoidance measures, protection of vital habitats and fully documented catches. Rolling out Remote Electronic Monitoring with cameras on larger vessels throughout the UK should be top of the agenda if future policy is to be as well informed as possible.”

For more information about the Fisheries Bill and the Marine Conservation Society’s work, visit the charity’s website.

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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