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never dived before

Glasgow, United...
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never dived before

I've never dived before but I'm looking forward to learn (we're going to the hilton)

Whats the dive training like there?

Toronto
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1. Re: never dived before

Out of all the diving info on the net, this info from poster named lucy kublikowsky reported this wonderfull info about diving:

"Also on the main island is the water sports and dive centre. The dive centre is quite large with a multi-cultural mix of instructors from Europe and Japan, all equipment is available to hire including cameras and is dispensed in an orderly and coherent manner. You are allocated a peg and a box, numbered and in a specific spot. If you return all your equipment to your spot at the end of the dive, it will miraculously appear on the dive boat for the next dive.

On arrival at the Dive Centre all qualifications were checked and in our case, as we hadn't dived for a few months, we were required to do a check dive which was charged at a reduced rate. I got the impression almost everyone was required to this. Once you have passed this you are able to join the twice-daily dive expeditions or opt to dive the house reef off the beach.

To join a dive you simply add your name to the list posted at 5pm each afternoon outside the dive centre. There is a brief description and diagram and dives are colour coded to match ability so harder dives are only open to more advanced divers etc. The harder dives tended to be the morning dive and were deeper or areas with stronger currents.

The Dive centre had a thriving teaching business and every day seemed to bring a host of new recruits learning to dive in the lagoon, the only courses available were PADI.

The dive boats (2) are large traditional Dhonis with a toilet, fresh water shower, sundeck on the roof and most importantly, plenty of space for kitting up. The boats take a maximum of 16 divers to dive with Divemasters plus extras who are diving unguided.

I only ever saw Divemasters with a maximum of 4 divers in their group, so you can have quite a few staff on board as well. A nice touch is the fresh fruit and bottled water which is passed around after each dive.

Dive briefings are made at the jetty with clear instructions and well drawn diagrams. The staff are friendly and well organised, all multi-lingual. All your kit is loaded and unloaded onto the boat for you and tanks are also there, on arrival at the boat and whilst moored, you dress your tank and it is then stashed in a logical order to where you are sitting. Your kit (in its numbered box) is stored under the seating, and again is positioned in groups according to your Instructor/Divemaster and whether you are diving guided or unguided. And it works, it is a system I wish other dive operators would adopt. No one was reaching across each other for their gear or tank and everyone was able to exit the boat without getting in each other's way.

As we had done a number of dives in the previous year ( I think the magic number is 30 dives in the last 18 months) and were BSAC Sports Divers, we were given the option of diving 'unguided' which is slightly cheaper. After one dive 'guided' we felt confident enough to 'do our own thing' albeit without losing sight of the other groups. Visibility was about 30 metres so it wasn't hard to keep track of the others but at the same time keeping far enough away that we dived in peace!

All the guided divers exited the boat via a giant step off the bow, (once the Divemaster had checked the current). As unguided divers we were able to exit through side openings

at our leisure and away from the throngs fumbling around on the surface.

The diving is justifiably famous in the Maldives, even post-El Niño, the reefs are spectacular and so far unrivalled in my diving career. The Madivaru reef just off the Hilton resort has a spot called 'Manta reef' which is a cleaning station for Mantas. We were lucky enough to see some on two dives even though in July we were out of season.

During the peak season Feb-April, the dive centre sends one boat to this spot every day, it is so teeming with the big guys! Most dives are conducted on the reef surrounding the resort, about 15 minutes away but every few days dives are offered further afield, anything up to 2 hours away. We did a couple including one to a wreck and found them enjoyable despite the distance on the boat.

Night dive The majority of dives were drift dives over reefs, along walls and even a wreck, all accompanied by fabulous tropical fish, turtles, morays, reef sharks, nudibranchs, invertebrates and even dolphins. I even fulfilled my long held ambition to see a mantis shrimp. Basically if it lives in tropical waters you will probably see it in the Maldives!

Night dives are available if 4 people can be mustered, we dived over the nearby Madivaru reef, familiar territory at about 12 metres. Torches were provided.

All diving is non-deco but precautionary stops are rigorously observed. The nearest decompression chamber is 15 minutes sea-plane ride away. There is a resident doctor on the island and the nearest hospital is located about 20 minutes away by speedboat. The dive boats carry first aid and oxygen on board.

The Hilton also has a resident Marine Biologist who lives on the island and is studying the coral growth. She will take individuals or groups out on snorkelling trips around the islands and can do courses in Marine Biology for anyone interested. It was a real education and we both felt we appreciated our diving a lot more after a session with her.

On her day off, she was also able to dive with us and we spent most of the time with our noses in the coral, where she was able to point out many features and creatures I would previously have missed. There is a small charge for her services snorkelling but it was well worth it.

Costs at the dive centre were on a par with most resorts in the Maldives, as we had our own gear and dive unguided this reduced it, but a course of dives was approx £35 per dive, plus an additional $10 per dive for the boat. It can all be charged to your room so you can put off the final figure until the last day and not to spoil your holiday!"

The entire report can be found at:

bsactravelclub.co.uk/reports/maldives1.htm

Hope this helps

Have a great trip

FaronB

Toronto
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2. Re: never dived before

Found at a google forum:

"For what it's worth. My wife and I, both just completed PADI open water,

stayed at the Rangali Hilton this March (water temperature seems not to change

much through the year). The accommodation was very good although the air

conditioner was not quite up to the job. Food was excellent with lots of

choice and varity. The dive centre was probably the best part of he holiday,

all dive crew were very very helpful, the dives were never over crowded (max 4

people per instructor) and the whole atmosphere was very relaxed and

enjoyable. As beginners we were well looked after and allowed to dive at our

own pace, this might be a little restricting for experienced divers unless you

have a lot of recent experience, in which case you are allowed to dive without

an instructor. "

Hope this helps

FaronB

Glasgow, United...
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44 posts
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3. Re: never dived before

Faron B thanks for all your help I cant wait to go next year. We have both been snorekelling in Tobago & barbadoes but have never tried to dive, which is something we are both looking forward to try.

Thanks again

Eve

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