My brother Chris had known the Dutch Marteyne personally for years and he had been to Laamu in the Maldives before. And even though we had this trip on our bucketlist for over a year, it still took us more than 18 months to organize and plan it. But on the 1st of November 2018 we finally boarded our airplane towards the Maldives.
Laamu is the stuff dreams are made of. An Eco Resort located on an atoll in the far south of the Maldives archipelago surrounded by mesmerizing small coral islands. All divespots here are almost virgin as no other resort is located in this part of Maldives. And most liveaboards do not venture this far south. From Europe it still takes at least two flights to reach the Maldives. But to get to Laamu one needs to take another 1 hour flight down south and last but not least a boat for 30 minutes. Then and only then will you arrive at the Six Senses Resort in Laamu. And only then will you feel the warmth of the Six Senses team of Dutch GM Marteyne van Well.
But before trying to put on paper what emotions we felt underwater, let me start by saying that this place should be on any divers’ wish list. Even though this area of Maldives is less known than the more visited and popular atolls like Ari, Male and Baa. But what me and my brother experienced here was absolutely #outofthisworld.
Only twice in more than 20 years of scuba diving islands and atolls all over the world, did a dive leave me all emotional. The first time was whilst scuba diving the Tiputa Pass of Rangiroa Atoll in French Polynesia back in October 2010. The sheer amount of aquatic action in front of me at 30 meters down in the pass of Tiputa was absolutely overwhelming. And the second time was once again scuba diving a pass but now here in Maldives. This pass is called Fushi Kandoo and is located to the North East Laamu Atoll.
I seriously don’t even know where to start with telling you what we experienced. But in a nutshell I can honestly say that I actually felt I was in the middle of an episode of the BBC's “The Blue Planet”. The amount of fish and manta action was so impressive that I was literally stunned for a moment when getting back in the Dhoni after the dive. It was the only early morning dive that my brother Chris decided to skip, fearing he would maybe get his ears infected again as he did in Mexico a year before. So once we got out of the water and back on the boat, he asked me all ignorant of my amazing experience about my dive…so? …. how was it this morning?
What a dilemma. What should I do? Should I lie and tell him it was okay. Or should I be honest and tell him I just had the best dive of my life. Should I tell him that? I couldn’t hide my emotions anyway. He could see it in my eyes. I was still all emotional and excited from this dive. This under water experience had been absolutely mind blowing. But somehow he said he already knew as all the underwater activity was even visible from the boat.
We should have known our time here on Laamu would be a great one. Already on our very first morning walking on the jetty towards breakfast, we were stopped by a super excited Marteyne.
Marteyne: Hey….you guys…how are you?
Me and Chris: Well we are doing great Marteyne. We are on our way to breakfast.
Marteyne: You’ll get breakfast later.
Me and Chris: huh?
Marteyne: You guys are in luck. Manta’s are breaching just behind the resort right now.
Me and Chris: Manta’s right now? On our very first morning?
Marteyne: Yes. Get on the boat right now and we leave in 1 minute.
Me and Chris: hmmm we are very hungry, but ….. NO problem!
And within 5 minutes we were head to head with breaching manta’s right in front of the resort. This was the start of our time on Laamu. Being surrounded by manta’s when being in the middle of the ocean.
During the course of our 2 week stay we dived many many times. And at some point Chris opted to take the scooters with us to be more efficient with the currents. From that moment we used scooters on every dive and on occasion we some times found ourselves right next to the many manta’s and sharks that call Laamu their home. The dive guides shot video footage of me and Chris almost every dive and shared these right away. Just to give you an idea of how sweet they were.
So is there anything bad about the diving? The answer for us is no. Just imagine being in a virtually virgin dive environment with only your brother, local dive guides and a very passionate and enthusiastic General Manager. Just imagine all that!
And finishing the diving we always met up at the Sip Sip Bar/Restaurant for something to eat, to drink and just to talk about all the stuff we encountered that day.
On one occasion our dive guide Hassan asked if I wanted to do some exploration dives with him as he was still mapping the area. So off course I said yes and before I knew it we were descending on a practically virgin reef system in Laamu Atoll. Yes it was only the two of us scuba diving. I couldn’t have made me happier regarding this dive. It was just the two of us gliding through the current and witnessing encounters with all sorts of sharks, eagle rays and lots and lots of fish action. Once again I cannot put into words the emotions I felt while scuba diving here.
After two weeks it was time to say goodbye. Goodbye to Marteyne and off course goodbye to the entire crew at Deep Blue Divers: Sascha, Lauren, Danny, Hassan, Haisham, Manta Trust Maldives and anyone who I forgot to mention.
Yes I know that all you dive fanatics reading about a mind blowing dive destination immediately will think of the obvious places like Palau, Raja Ampat, Galapagos, Cocos Island, Wakatobi or Revillagigedo Mexico. But trust me as I tell you that Laamu Maldives is really up there with the best!