27 March – 12 April 2015

Barbara capturing some 4K GoPro footage of two Reef Manta Rays.

Barbara capturing some 4K GoPro footage of two Reef Manta Rays.

This trip was organised through Pro Dive. Russ and Barbara's first week was on a liveaboard the MV Virgo. Do read the following trip reports: Their report and Barbara's review.

Stunning Maldives sunset.

Stunning Maldives sunset.

The rest of our time in Maldives was spent at a boutique hotel called Casa Mia.

Do read Barbara's tripadvisor review.

The diving was good and three dives in particular were exceptional. The one was Dinoluga Manta cleaning station where they spent their entire one hour dive at 12 m depth with Mantas circling the cleaning station that was packed with schools of fish. What MAGIC!

The other two exceptional dives, were sunset/night dives at Maaya Thila . This was a one hour boat trip away but was well worth the ride to see the Sharks, Jacks, Rays and Eels frantically searching for their “dinner.”

Check out this amazing Blog Post at Jen Reviews, for ideas on another 100 things to do while in the Maldives.

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The Red Sea, North and Sinai.

12 - 21- July 2013

This was Russ and Barbara's first ever Liveaboard experience. This is the best way to experience Egypt. Despite arriving in Egypt during an unrest period, all the arrangements made by Pro dive ran like clockwork. They were on the boat, Lighthouse Miracle 1 for a dive trip which included the normal Northern Red Sea high lights, including, the Thistlegorm, Shaad Abu Nuhas and Gubal wrecks, Ras Mohammed National Park and then onto the special itinerary included the famous Dahab dive sites like the Blue Hole, Canyon and the remote Gabr el Bint.

If plan A did not work, due to unforeseen circumstances (either poor weather or unrest situation), there was always a plan B and sometimes C. “Thank you to Pro Dive and Lighthouse miracle 1 for all their very competent organizing."

 Barbara and Russ had a great liveaboard experience. Whilst many divers complained about the unseasonal weather experienced, with strong wind and large sea swells, our Cape Town based couple loved it, as it kept the day boats at bay and made it possible to dive many of the popular dive sites without any other divers.

On Their very first dive they were welcomed by a pod of friendly Bottlenose Dolphins. Diving the Thistlegorm was fabulous and Russ was able to shoot some great footage with only the 20 Lighthouse Miracle 1 divers on the site. This dive site can apparently see up to 200 divers a day. Diving at Ras Mohammed National Park was the highlight of the trip, with stunning coral and fish life and a 700m deep dropoff.

Wow, with tactical organizing, the dive operator got their clients to all the dive sites first, before the day boats arrived.