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A quick report on last week's trip to the Maldives - quick because I'm still getting over 6 hours of jet lag.

The first day (or two) of the holiday was pretty much spent travelling. After departing Gatwick at 7 on the Sunday evening we finally arrived in Male at 10 in the morning after a 10 hour flight (somewhere in there you lose about 6 hours of sleep!). At Male we had to sit around a bit longer (would have caught up on some sleep except for the screaming child!) waiting for the seaplane.

We finally made it to Male for about 3 in the afternoon only to find there were only two beds in the rooms (for three people, so we couldn't catch up on sleep if we wanted to anyway). After the few teething problems were fixed and we caught up on some sleep - we got down to the more serious issue - diving!

The dive centre on Kuredu is brilliant - very professional and very well organised. The dive centre is big enough to have room for everyone's kit to hang up out of the sun, video lab, servicing centre, etc. etc.. And the best bit is FREE NITROX! Makes a change from 10 dollars a fill in the Red Sea.

We did a couple of dives on the house reef on the first day - the house reef is fairly good and you can pretty much do your own thing. The first thing I noticed is how badly damaged the coral is - the coral is a lot better in the Red Sea, but it is coming back. However, we still saw a couple of turtles, and got some nice photos, so no complaints.

The next four days we did boat dives from the 'dhoni's - these are pretty good as diving platforms, and have all the safety equipment. The only negative is they don't have a toilet!

The fish life on all the dives we did was spectacular - better than the Red Sea. The coral is coming back - there are a few nice table and fan corals now. The highlight of the week was the 'Kuredu Express' - a rather energetic drift dive which involved hanging on to lumps of rock on the bottom while trying to get a good photo of a shark!
This current was almost as bad as an hour and a half after slack in the Farnes - you could just about stay in the same place by finning hard. Anyway, we were rewarded with some good shark pictures and at the end of the dive, a friendly turtle.

Another good dive was the night dive at the back of the island, where a lot of turtles sleep - we must have seen about 10 turtles on the one dive!

Anyway, Sunday was taken up with snorkelling round the island - the snorkelling is pretty good if you are into your fish, but the coral is damaged. A lot of rays sleep in the sand - so some more good photos.

On Monday we came back - the jet lag worked slightly better coming home. I would definitely recommend going to Kuredu - the diving setup they have got is very good, but it's worth going for two weeks rather than one - we missed out on dives like the manta cleaning station.

Piccies will hopefully be in the gallery soon...
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