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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.

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NEW Video Series… Back2Basics #1: Proper O-Ring Care

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Matthias Lebo’s Back2Basics video series will guide you through the basics of underwater videography, equipment and maintenance. Whether you are just starting out or already taking underwater videos, this 12 part series will provide invaluable tips and improve your skills and knowledge


In this first ever episode of the “Back2Basics” Series we talk about the o-rings that keep the water outside of your camera housing and what’s the best way to care for and maintain them, doing all you can to avoid water leaking into your housing, potentially damaging your camera.


For more about Matthias visit his social media channels:

Visit www.matthiaslebo.com for more!

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Diving below the waves of the Western Cape, South Africa – Windmill Beach (Watch Video)

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Head under the waves of False Bay and explore the incredible diversity that is found along the Western Cape. The bay has popular dive spots from diving amongst the biodiverse underwater kelp forests to jumping in with the playful and friendly cape fur sealions (Arctocephalus pusillus). The bay along with the rest of the South Africa coast is known for the range of shark species that are found from the shallow coastal shores out into the open oceans. The coast is also home to numerous endemic shark species such as puffadder shyshark (Haploblepharus edwardsii) and Pyjama shark.

Situated a short drive out of Simonstown is the shore dive at Windmill beach. A short swim over the sand and through the large boulders you enter the incredibly diverse and colourful kelp forests (Ecklonia maxima), a species that can grow up to 12m tall. Life is found in abundance from the base of the kelp where many sea urchins and species such as abalone can be seen then heading into the canopy many shoaling fish species can be observed.

Diving with the local dive club – Cape Town Dive Centre.


Follow Jake aka JD Scuba on the YouTube channel @Don’t Think Just Blog.

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Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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