Trip Report Carpe Vita Real Time Review: March 7-18, 2021 Trip to Maldives Deep South

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Dan

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Day 1
I arrived in Gan, Maldives yesterday. Carpe Vita offered $20 for wifi access during the trip. So, I thought, why not use it to do real time review of the trip, so it’ll be much easier for me to write the trip report afterwards, as some of the important notes would have already been posted here.

I tried to post my cabin pictures, unfortunately the wifi doesn’t like them. So it’ll be text only.

There are 17 guests with 20 spots available, so a female diver got a cabin on her own and one empty cabin that my roommate got to move out to. So I have my cabin #3 all to myself. It’s a good start, so far.

Other nice things were the Nitrox & big tank are included at no additional charge. So, guess what I get?
 

drrich2

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You dive enough destinations that it may not always be the case that one you hit is your favorite in a region. That said, the Maldives is a real long haul from the U.S., not unlike Raja Ampat, Komodo, Palau, etc...

Compared to those and other offerings you deem competitors, what do you see as the Maldives’ competitive edges? What drives the choice to pick it over alternatives?
 
OP
Dan

Dan

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Day 2
Today is 1st day of diving (3 dives / day) with the following schedule:
06:15 wake up
06:40 dive briefing
08:30 breakfast
10:30 dive briefing
12:15 lunch
15:00 dive briefing
16:30 snacks
19:00 dinner

Dive 1 at Addu Rock
It’s supposed to be a manta cleaning station. Saw lots cleaner fish, but no manta. Kodak moment was a Day Octopus coming out of its den. Visibility was about 40-foot due to no current. Water was warm (85F). Bottom depth was 88 ft with 58 minutes of dive time.

Dive 2 at Addu Rock.
SOC (Same Old Crap). Kodak moment was a cute juvenile peacock mantis shrimp coming out of its den. Bottom depth was 98 ft with 58 minutes of dive time.

Dive 3 at Kandu Hura, Beyru
SOC. Lots of dead corals. Sad. Kodak moment was a 2-foot diameter Giant Clam. Bottom depth was 71 ft with 65 minutes of dive time.

Overall diving was disappointing.

Food was OK.

The 17 guests are composed of:
5 from United States
4 from Denmark
2 from Switzerland
2 from Germany
2 from Singapore
1 from Russia
1 from Pakistant
 

drrich2

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Being so far from the U.S., with such a diversity of nationalities in the customer base, what language (if any) dominates onboard, particularly when crew speak to the guests? I'm guessing English, but that's so far away from anywhere I've been I'd rather know than guess.

Only 3 dives/day? Is the diving via tender boat? Even then, some operators in other destinations do 4 dives/day. Wonder why only 3? Is that common for Maldives live-aboards?
 
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Dan

Dan

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English is the language used. The crews speak clearly, at least I understand them.

Typical Maldivian liveaboard operation, there are 2 boats going on this diving trip. The main boat & dhoni. The main boat is where all the guests stays (cabins, restaurant, launge, entertainment center, etc.). Dhoni is like an oversized tender, where the “dive deck”, gas compressor. We enter each dive by a giant stride off the rear platform of dhoni.

Looking back to my earlier liveaboard trip report on Maldives Aggressor II (see the link in earlier post), they also do 3 dives / day, except for 2 days, where we have night dives with mantas and nurse sharks. Those are fun dives. I hope Carpe Vita would do the same. II’ll be on Emperor Leo after this trip and their itinerary is similar, i.e., 3 dives / day, except for the night dives. So, I think 3 dives / day in liveaboard is typical, here in Maldives.
 
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Dan

Dan

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Day 3
Started with a rumble of the engine at 3 am. We are heading north. That’s why I was able to reply to @drrich2, the engine noise woke me up. I am on the main deck and still hear it. I can’t imagine those guests in the lower deck cabins, they probably sprung out of bed by the rumble. It’s pretty loud compare to Nautilus Belle Amie.
 

chillyinCanada

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Day 2
Today is 1st day of diving (3 dives / day) with the following schedule:
06:15 wake up
06:40 dive briefing
08:30 breakfast
10:30 dive briefing
12:15 lunch
15:00 dive briefing
16:30 snacks
19:00 dinner

Dive 1 at Addu Rock
It’s supposed to be a manta cleaning station. Saw lots cleaner fish, but no manta. Kodak moment was a Day Octopus coming out of its den. Visibility was about 40-foot due to no current. Water was warm (85F). Bottom depth was 88 ft with 58 minutes of dive time.

Dive 2 at Addu Rock.
SOC (Same Old Crap). Kodak moment was a cute juvenile peacock mantis shrimp coming out of its den. Bottom depth was 98 ft with 58 minutes of dive time.

Dive 3 at Kandu Hura, Beyru
SOC. Lots of dead corals. Sad. Kodak moment was a 2-foot diameter Giant Clam. Bottom depth was 71 ft with 65 minutes of dive time.

Overall diving was disappointing.

Food was OK.

The 17 guests are composed of:
5 from United States
4 from Denmark
2 from Switzerland
2 from Germany
2 from Singapore
1 from Russia
1 from Pakistant

Wow, Singapore? They will have a long quarantine upon return home.
 

chillyinCanada

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English is the language used. The crews speak clearly, at least I understand them.

Typical Maldivian liveaboard operation, there are 2 boats going on this diving trip. The main boat & dhoni. The main boat is where all the guests stays (cabins, restaurant, launge, entertainment center, etc.). Dhoni is like an oversized tender, where the “dive deck”, gas compressor. We enter each dive by a giant stride off the rear platform of dhoni.

Looking back to my earlier liveaboard trip report on Maldives Aggressor II (see the link in earlier post), they also do 3 dives / day, except for 2 days, where we have night dives with mantas and nurse sharks. Those are fun dives. I hope Carpe Vita would do the same. II’ll be on Emperor Leo after this trip and their itinerary is similar, i.e., 3 dives / day, except for the night dives. So, I think 3 dives / day in liveaboard is typical, here in Maldives.

There have been night dives on every Carpe Vita trip that I have been aboard, just not every night.

I have done the south itinerary, however, in the opposite direction to that which you are doing.

I found some incredible coral formations near the end of a dive, once we were out of the current.

You must be near there now. Leopard sharks too on that dive, iirc.
 

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