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Liveaboard Diving in Thaa Atoll
What To Expect On A Thaa Atoll Liveaboard
Liveaboards in Thaa Atoll often have pristine Maldivian waters all to themselves. With 66 islands but only one resort, Thaa offers top-notch Maldives diving without the crowds. What's more, diving in Thaa Atoll is still in a stage of active and fruitful exploration, with new diving sites being discovered regularly. Within the Southern Atolls area, Thaa's liveaboard diving potential is considered significant because its size and mystery promise a profusion of yet-unseen diving wonders which will add to its offerings in the future. A variety of Maldives liveaboards conduct cruises that visit Laamu Atoll as part of their trips.
Thaa Atoll Underwater
Liveaboard diving in Thaa Atoll ticks many boxes on the list of Maldives must-sees, such as plentiful sharks, manta rays, eagle rays, and turtles. In addition, the atoll offers a variety of underwater topographies and impressive, colorful areas of healthy coral, which hugely enhance the overall experience of diving in Thaa. Your dive cruise can choose between walls, channels, huge coral blocks, thilas, giris, slopes, and plateaus. Currents can be strong in some areas, making them unsuitable for entry-level divers. However, it's these same currents that draw in the tuna and barracuda regularly seen while liveaboard diving in Thaa Atoll.
Dive Sites of Thaa Atoll
7-Up is a common destination on many Thaa Atoll liveaboard diving trips. With healthy coral decorating the reef's shallows and walls, 7-Up offers a package deal of color, topography, and marine life. Explore-able overhangs pocket the wall, housing tiny nudibranchs with kaleidoscopic patterns, and schools of reef fish enliven the surroundings, while trevally, tuna, eagle rays, and sometimes mantas patrol the blue water off to the side.
Diving Gorgonian Garden requires navigating a fairly constant flow of current, which ensures a lively, high-biomass fish scene all over this site's slopes, walls, and caves. The name Gorgonian Garden derives from the large, colorful gorgonians (an animal family which includes sea fans, sea whips, and black corals) which grace the wall with vibrant color. Gorgonian Garden is a great place to see turtles while diving in Thaa Atoll. It is also known to offer a good chance of seeing manta rays.
At Brand's Hatch the current can be so intense that the site is only dived during certain tides. However, if you can get there, you'll be rewarded with the stunning topography of enormous coral blocks standing alone in the entrance to the channel, with overhangs and swim-throughs protecting small fish as they're hunted by visiting sharks, eagle rays, tuna, and barracuda.
To find channel-action when liveaboard diving in Thaa Atoll, boats often visit Olhugiri Kandu, where scores of white-tip sharks congregate to hunt schools of smaller fish. Diving this kandu, you may see tuna, eagle rays, and even Napoleon wrasse.
Top Tips for Divers
With newly-emerging dive areas like Thaa Atoll, it's worth checking recent reviews by visitors or blogs by local dive shops; this way, you'll be able to ask your potential liveaboards if they visit the newest, most interesting sites. If you like exploration dives, try to find out beforehand which boat is most likely to do this experimental sort of dive tourism.
You should always bring your own mask, booties, fins, and dive computer when liveaboard diving. An ill-fitting mask or pair of fins can make diving virtually impossible, and a dive computer is your most important piece of personal safety equipment.
Getting to Thaa Atoll
Like anywhere in the Maldives, Thaa Atoll is best dived by liveaboard. The length of liveaboard itineraries which visit Thaa Atoll usually ranges from 7 to 10 nights, with a budget from 200 to over 300 euros per night. Liveaboard boats in Thaa Atoll sometimes include the Central Atolls, and a few even add the Deep South Atolls in a north-south traverse that crosses a whole half of the archipelago.
The Maldives capital Male is one liveaboard departure location for Thaa Atoll liveaboards, accessible by direct flights from Dubai, Singapore, and Colombo. However, there are many other Southern Atolls departure ports, including Kadhoo, Koodoo, Laamu, Medhufushi, and Gan. To get to these locations from Male, visitors should take a domestic seaplane; trips are usually around an hour.
Scuba diving in Thaa Atoll is possible all year round on a Maldives liveaboard, though the alternating monsoons can shift the exact location of marine wildlife within the atoll. For the least rain (and best visibility) the northeast monsoon from December to May is a great time to visit. The water temperature usually stays between 26 and 29 C, and visibility tends to be excellent, between 20 and 30 meters.
Thaa Atoll Diving Reviews
- 8.9 Fabulous
- 6 Verified Reviews
Mediocre coral reef condition, guide mentioned it's still recovering from 2016's El Nino event. Plenty of fish, sharks, Jacks, Trevally, Tuna and occasional rays. Water visibility ranged approx. 10-15m.
Diving Thaa Atoll in February on the Emperor Leo