Maldive Islands 2008

 

The Maldive Islands are a group of Coral Atolls located South / South-West of India.

Back in 1975/1976 I (Pete) was here with the Royal Air Force at RAF Gan. Gan is the most southerly island in the Maldives and is at the southern tip of Addu Atoll. It is just south of the equator. MAP HERE

What really interested me is that the former Sergeants Mess in now a hotel called Equator Village. It's not a luxury place, rated at three stars. However, it is clean, friendly and down-to-earth. Nothing pretentious, but basic accommodation, fine food and the best staff and guests you could ever meet anywhere. The rooms have no TV or phone. There is only one tap, so the sink has cool water only. There is an electric heater to provide hot showers. The rooms do have air conditioning though. 

Power is 240V through a UK style outlet


I was not planning on going to the Maldive Islands for a couple more years, but there were some compelling reasons for going sooner rather than later. The main reason is that some new hotel resorts are being built in Addu Atoll, which I think will impact the scuba diving and also the feel of the Atoll. So, I wanted to go to see how things have changed in over 30 years, but go before the major developments come online. One of the new resorts is Shangri-La.

The final part of the puzzle of how to get there is that the British travel company Cosmos started doing package tours to the Equator Village hotel. We used air miles to get to London, then the Cosmos package for the flights to Gan and the Hotel arrangements.

I know you are bored reading this already so here are a few pictures.

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This is how we got from Male to Gan

 

Equator Village Lobby Hotel Pool
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Hotel Rooms

 

I remember the fruit bats Fruit bat flying
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Lizard

 

Terns Frog
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Memorial on Gan Sunset Dining Room

 

 

Equator village has one massive advantage over every other resort in the Maldives. Because the British, when they were here, built bridges (Causeways) between the islands on the west side of the Atoll - You are allowed to travel up the roads into the local villages. The all-inclusive package at the hotel includes the use of bicycles, so we were able to explore at our leisure. This was great for us. The old airfield at Gan is now an international airport so we are not allowed on the airfield or to the southern side of the island.

 

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Boat

 

Local Fisherman Girls going to School
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House House Mosque

 

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Village Street Fisherman Main Street

 

 

Okay, I know you came to this page to look at scuba diving stuff. We dived with Diverland Gan. Now, we are used to doing four dives a day, so I was initially disappointed to find we would only be doing two dives a day here. The daily routine was this:- After breakfast we would meet at the diveshop at 08:30, get our gear ready and have the briefing and depart about 09:00. Most dive sites were about an hour away by boat. So, we would dive one dive and be back at equator village around mid-day. In the afternoon we would meet at 14:00 and repeat the same timetable. The sunset was about 18:00 so I also did a couple of night dives starting at 18:30. Most dives were an hour so slightly more.

So here we go.....

 

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Dive Briefing

 

Bleekers Pufferfish Pete on the British Loyalty
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Circular Batfish

 

Clownfish Clownfish
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Clownfish

 

Clownfish Crown of Thorns Starfish
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Cube Trunkfish

 

On the diveboat Eel
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Partners

 

Emperor Angelfish Feather Star
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Bignose Unicornfish

 

Fish Fish
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Lauri over Staghorn Coral Leaf Scorpionfish

 

Leaf Scorpionfish
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Lionfish

 

Maldivian Sponge Sea Slug Manta Ray
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Manta Ray

 

Manta Ray Manta Ray
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Manta Ray

 

Moray Eel Napoleon
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Nudibranch

 

Nudibranch Nudibranch
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Nurse Shark Oriental Sweetlips Parrotfish

 

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Peacock Rock Cod Pincushion Starfish Pipefish

 

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Puffer

 

Royal angelfish Scorpionfish
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Spotted Eagle Ray

 

Spotted Eagle Rays Spotted Eagle Rays
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Tangs

 

Clown Triggerfish Turtle
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Whitespotted Puffer Worm Seacucumber Freckled Hawkfish

 

 

Of course, the BEST thing about any dive trip is making new friends, like these.....

 

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Pete & Stefan

 

Ade & Ali

 

Pete, Lenka & Radek

 

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Mausoom, Stefan & Pete

 

Axel & Hassan Hassan - our lifesaver

I hope you enjoyed visiting this page