Kuredu - November 2006

After two weeks on MV Sea Spirit it was back to dry land and to the island of Kuredu. 3rd visit to the island and 2nd as a diver. The object this time was to do my PADI Rescue Diver course. Yes I know, sort of silly when you have such great diving around you and I want to do a course I can do in England. Fact is, I'd loose two weekends of diving in the UK anyway plus it would be a lot more expensive, more rushed and generally cold!

Transfer from Sea Spirit to Kuredu was painless. We left the boat early morning, Nick the cruise director took us to the Maldivian Air Taxi stand at the airport and we were transferred to the sea plane terminal and then onto Kuredu. Sea plane is the best way to get to Kuredu. 4 hour boat ride or 40 minutes flight with amazing views?

Kuredu is one of the biggest resort islands in the Maldives. However it is still only 1400m long maximum and 350m wide at it's fattest point. There are 4 room types from top to bottom - Water Villas, Jacuzzi Beach Villas, Beach Villas and Beach Bungalows. We stayed in the bungalows as they are cheapest and we were going to be spending plenty on diving! The shallows of the island are teaming with life. Baby sharks, rays and even morays at night can be seen from the beach.

The dive centre is Prodivers and is a 5 star PADI IDC centre. They have morning and afternoon boats and as it was so busy a number of 2 tank boats and all day boats. As the dive sites are so close most boat trips are single tank which gives you time to get back to the island, have lunch, relax and still have time before the afternoon boat.

The dive centre has air conditioned classrooms with LCD projectors and laptops and the courses are well run. The Rescue Diver course even covered automatic defibrillator machines (they have one for you to try) and a visit to look around the local recompression chamber. The nearest pot to the diver centre... is 10m across the path at the medical centre!

ProDivers is well run and organised. It's fairly straight forward to arrange anything from a two tanks boats to the rescue diver course.

The house reef is great and I've dived it many times and never got board. There are more details on the house reef, plus photos on my 1st trip report here.

To dive the house reef, just pop your tank requirements down on the sheet outside the dive centre and say whether you want them AM or PM. The tanks will be waiting for you with your name on in the hut on the end of the pier, so just kit up, jump in, dive and climb out leaving your tank at the hut for collection.

With Nitrox you need to analyse your own tank at the dive centre and tag it up (normal info plus house reef and AM or PM) then leave it in the 'to go' pile.

As I was doing the Rescue Diver course I didn't do a huge amount of leisure diving. All in all I did 5 sites, some of them a couple of times:-

Furiharu Corner

First dive was on this outer reef wall. Plenty of big stuff lurking in the blue including some massive tuna and a few eagle rays. We also saw 2 napoleon wrasse, an octopus, a lot of bright yellow goat fish and very friendly surgeonfish.

Depth - 22.4m
Temperature - 28 Degrees
Visibility - 25m+
Notable Sea Life - Eagle ray, octopus

Kuredu House Reef

First dive on the house reef. Just a walk to the end of the pier, grab the tank, kit up and jump in.

The house reef is a really nice dive its top is around 5m and the slopes down to around 22m. Deepest I've been is around 23m which is at the bottom of the wreck. Yup, the house reef has a wreck which is a great touch. Usually quite a few batfish around the bow and some BIG napoleons sleep in the wreck at night.

Further on after the wreck you can find some giant groupers. Been there all the time since my last visit. They are shallow at only 2-3m.

Plenty of the usual reef fish - parrot fish, jacks, puffers, porcupine fish etc.

The photos below were taken in daylight, I was just playing around with the shutter speeds and aperture sizes.

Depth - 14.9m
Temperature - 28 Degrees
Visibility - 25m+
Notable Sea Life - Giant Grouper, Oriental Sweetlips, Lion fish, Pipefish.


Kuredu Caves

This was a night dive at the back of Kuredu. You still have to access it by boat.

There are no real caves, just big overhangs where turtles like to sleep. There were plenty of turtles on this dive and some bigger buggers to boot. As a night dive the morays were out hunting and the banded cleaner shrimp were out of their holes.

Top tip, if you see a BIG turtle coming towards you, check your not between it and a hole in the reef. You will get bashed out of the way by it.

Depth - 16.3m
Temperature - 28 Degrees
Visibility - By torch
Notable Sea Life - Lots of turtles, giant and saddleback groupers.


Bodu Giri

This is a very nice reef not far from Kuredu. The dive itself was some of the rescue diver scenarios but we got 20 mins of diving in before the instructor dropped both his mask and weight belt at the same time!

Small stuff included pipe fish, banded cleaner shrimps, bigger included aggressive bandit morays and a napoleon wrasse.

The corals here are nice with a few a sandy patches.

Depth - 13.4m
Temperature - 28 Degrees
Visibility - 25m
Notable Sea Life - Pipefish, napoleon wrasse

Tinga Giri

Again this is a reef close to Kuredu. It's fairly long and a gentle slope. There are lots of coral and anemones about with hundreds of Maldives Anemonefish.  There is a proper cave in the reef which is interesting to look into.

Generally its a very fish reef and as well as the Nemos there were blue fin jack, spiny lobster, glass fish and even a cuttlefish

Depth - 18.0m
Temperature - 28 Degrees
Visibility - 25m
Notable Sea Life - Cuttlefish, lots of Nemos