The manta barrel

I was asked to come and help on a liveaboard in the Maldives for a few months because the current cruise directors had to disembark with a medical emergency. The head office in England indicated that I should not only take over their work, but asked me to examine the organization on site and improve it where possible. What a super challenge and all that on a dive ship in the Maldives, well as if I would say no to that, haha. And so I flew at short notice to Male from Egypt on my way to a new adventure and then boarded via domestic flights deep in the south of the Maldives. 


The manta night dive

It is late in the afternoon and we are on our way to Fesdu Lagoon here in the Maldives, where we want to park before dark. The entrance to the lagoon is not wide, so we can only enter during daylight, as we can see the reef. The special thing about this lagoon is that it is not only big enough for a liveaboard, but especially because mantas regularly come into the lagoon in the evening to eat. And that is the perfect opportunity for us divers to take a night dive with these elegant giants. 

Real friends hold hands?

My big sister who doesn't dive gave me the tip to watch the movie 'Octopus my teacher' and I did that a few days ago. What an insane documentary about a biologist who snorkels every day for almost a year in the same large underwater kelp forest. In doing so, he follows the doings of an octopus, from hunting and foraging, to a shark attack, mating and having babies until her last hours. It's unbelievable how much patience this biologist has and the amazing shots he manages to make of all the important moments in the life of this eight-armed lady. Now I regularly see octopus underwater and when watching the documentary I thought back to Chrissie and Mel and their octopus adventure. The ladies had traveled to the Maldives to see mantas and so they came to me on the liveaboard. That week it was Manta heaven underwater and that started on the third dive day, although the ladies had more eyes for something else.

The Maldives will get you hooked

With its beautiful beaches surrounded by an azure sea on one side and a row of palm trees on the other on almost all 1200 islands, in the middle of the Indian Ocean and on the equator, the Maldives is a dream destination for many divers. One chooses a resort on an island where they go with a water plane and the other prefers the liveaboard to visit entire areas while diving. And most of us come for the Manta and the Whale Shark, but did you know that in the Maldives they have 42 registered shark species that show themselves during a dive depending on the current. And in order to fully enjoy the sharks in strong currents you want to stay in one and the same place and so they use reef hooks. A practice that is not applied in every country nor is it allowed everywhere.

The Danger of Decompression illness?

'Umm Anke, can I ask you something? How big is the danger of decompression sickness?' Look, that's a question that we get often as guides on the Safari boats. We've all learned that decompression sickness is lurking and my experience tells me it can always happen. Strangely enough, we don't expect that at all and even if we notice something weird in our bodies, the penny of decompression sickness does not drop quickly. This is also the case with Paul, who boarded with me in the Maldives.

Friendly nurses

Two sisters were on a journey with their husbands, a fantastic tour of the central atolls of the Maldives and I met them when they came on board with me. A wonderful week of diving in the beautiful tropical water with the wish to dive with mantas. Not only many mantas but also a few whale sharks joined us on our dives that week and although the sisters' wish had been granted, their greatest adventure had not yet begun.


Black and white giants, graceful and impressive; mantas capture our imagination with their fairytale appearance and mysterious behavior. But sometimes they just act rude. Especially if we start with that. You have probably heard, read or seen that the Maldives are known for the presence of the mantas. These black and white giants, which … Continue reading THE OFFENDED MANTA


Sooooooo excited... Going back to M/Y Blue Voyager to meet my family in the Maldives, Captain Hassan and the crew. It has been a few months, but its always great to be coming back. Having fun with these gents is like a holiday to me. You might wonder,,, huh but you just went to Bahamas... … Continue reading MEETING OLD FRIENDS AT MY BLUE VOYAGER @ MALDIVES