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Best house reef for fish life?

England
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Best house reef for fish life?

Please help!

Hubby and I are avid snorkellers and like a diversity of fish life on a house reef including rarer sightings. Whilst the coral is pretty, it is the same every day! So we are looking for the best house reef for fish life.

Initially we thought about going back to Biyadhoo or Vilamendhoo and then thought about Reethi Beach for the trip out to the Manta feeding station.

Now we have added Athuruga, Thudufushi and Mirhi to our list but are struggling to decide. If budget was no object, which island would you choose in July? and which board basis on Mirhi?

Looking forward to your replies :)

Thanks

CJ

Divide, Colorado
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1. Re: Best house reef for fish life?

mirihi has the best overall reef of the group .. i go fb but that would be too much for most people . i don't eat breakfast .. so after morning dives i am ready for a lunch.

athuruga has a very nice reef as well .. thudufushi is on the atoll outside and has some bigger fish .

i have been to mirihi a number of times ... 3 times to athuruga, 1 time each to thudu and vilamendhoo .... that shows you what i choose .. mirihi wins hands down

Surrey
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2. Re: Best house reef for fish life?

Hi

Angsans Ihuru has an excellent reef- very close to shore, pretty coral and can snorkle around whole island - saw lots of 4-5 ft sharks, turtles, bat fish etc (been there 3 times.)

Reeth beach - have seen 2 octopuses (octopi?) together on a rock, A family of 5 eagle rays, sting rays, Turtles, Napoleans etc .We went in August and went on the trip to Manta Point - snorklelled with 30+ mantas WOW!!! - repeated the trip the next day and saw the same - also an 18ft whale shark was in area (we did not see him). Manta season in Reethi is about July - September. Been here 5 times.

Went to Athuruga last year - fab reef - similar to Angsana. Saw most fish life.

Mirihi is on our 'to do' list so cant comment on that one yet...

Mal

Hertfordshire...
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3. Re: Best house reef for fish life?

Baros has a great house reef just off the beach which goes almost all around the Island. Lohifushi also has a good reef, a bit further off the beach, but can also be accessed off the end if a shortish jetty. Full Moon, Vivanta Taj Coral reef and Hakuura have disappointing snorkelling.

London, United...
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4. Re: Best house reef for fish life?

Just for info and to avoid confusion - Lohifushi is now Hudhuranfushi.

SL

Brighton, United...
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5. Re: Best house reef for fish life?

Just to add to your confusion:-

I think depending on time of year and location of resort has a lot to do with the amount and type of fish! Biyahdoo is good in the right season due to being close to the channel so big schools of fish have been seen, same as vilamendhoo (been to both) Mirihi does have a better quaility reef albeit far less, but for me fish life is somewhat lacking compared with the resorts you have already been to. I agree that Ihuru is a good other option. IMO Reethi is a good all round resort but the reef did not blow me away, and found myself a little bored with not discovering anything new after a few days in the water, but as I said before it does depend on time of year, season, currents, island location. Hope this helps?

Regards

Emu

Edited: 09 February 2011, 11:38
uk
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6. Re: Best house reef for fish life?

I can recommend Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo has a great reef and drop off only yards from beach retaining wall - Moray eels, stingray, shark and so many varieties of fish.

England
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7. Re: Best house reef for fish life?

Thanks for all the useful comments and information!

Emu and Mal - I quite like the sound of Angsana Ihuru although the close proximity to other islands and Male is a little off putting which is probably why we discounted it. What's your opinion of the location?

Janzbro - our visit to the Maldives last year took us to Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo - a pretty coral reef... and snorkelling with the huge sting rays and tuna that come in for the feeding is fab. However for us, the island itself just didn't have that touch of magic and we wouldn't return.

Emu - A little worried by the fact that you became bored at Reethi (as this is top of the list for snorkelling with the Mantas at Hanifaru and also the cost) - we experienced this when snorkeling at Komandoo and referred to it as "just another normal day at the office" - very samey, apart from one evening as the light began to fade, a family of 6 eagle rays came into the lagoon and we were lucky enough to snorkel with them - awesome!!

We have snorkelled with a few Mantas off Biyadhoo and a whaleshark on a trip from Lily Beach, but would love to experience a number of mantas at Hanifaru. Only thing that concerns us is how many boats of (inexperienced snorkellers) people go there since it has been publicised. I thnk it would be a great shame to scare these beautiful creatures away for the sake of tourism.

Thanks again folks - appreciate your help!

London
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8. Re: Best house reef for fish life?

I am interest in the time of the year theory mentioned by Emu...

As I have also been to both Ihuru (end of last Oct) and Lily Beach(this Jan) and found the color of sea were quite different. Near the shore if I describe ihuru as moderate to light green then lily beach has light blue? When it comes to the drop off they all turn into dark blue. I know during my last visit to Ihuru the plankton were booming... But will this affect the color of sea as well?

Or it was just South Ari Atoll being far out so it is clearer blue?

If I have to pick one from only those two I might choose lily beach as at that time of the year I visited Lily Beach has more fish live and bigger school of fish, more variety. Plus the room in ihuru is quite small and so did the bed... I wish banyan tree next to it has a better reef or shall I say a closer reef then I definatly going to return...

Oops the good thing about Ihuru was that you will not feel bored by running after white /black / lemon/ nurse shark everyday, keep looking then u will see more than one a day!;) although some of the island you visited might has more to run after.

Want to use this thread to ask the question of when to visit where so that I can see more fish? If I return in May this or next year? Am I going to have the luck to see mantas? If I visit south Ari atoll or better go to baa attol? How abt north Ari atoll?

Cheers!!

Edited: 10 February 2011, 09:50
Brighton, United...
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9. Re: Best house reef for fish life?

Hi Guys,

Ihuru - well yes it is close to male so at night the glow of the lights is for all to see, and some will say there are more boats and planes overhead?? well I guess there is, but that never detracts from the beauty!! you could say it depends on which way the wind is blowing as to if you here them! LOL :) but jokes aside other resorts could learn a lot from the conservation going on at Ihuru & its neighbour!! that is worth paying the money for alone imo. oh and no unsightly water bungalows to be seen, which is for another topic of discussion, which I have been known to dabble in, in the past.

In terms of sea colour etc yes plankton does affect the colour, it also has a massive affect on visibility, fish life including species of fish seen on a reef, there is no exact science to any of this but my theory goes that NE monsoon (Dec-Apr) islands near or on the edge of the eastern edge of an atoll have the greatest visibility, and the earlier in the season the stronger the currents, attracting bigger fish (not mantas / whale sharks - these are searching for plankton & blooms which are most likely happening on the opposite side of the atoll) however no exact science here as strong currents also depend on sea conditions, coral formations below the sea and a whole host of other reasons a marine expert will be able to tell you - one most notably is quality of reef!! so this leads to the next part - water bungalows cause long term damage to reefs by changing the flow of currents in the water, as well as in some causes damaging the reef itself (dead or not!). . . I could keep going on but think it best that I stop before the TA police arrest me :)

BTW - Hello spammie :) hope you are well!

Regards

Emu

Edited: 10 February 2011, 13:26
Brighton, United...
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10. Re: Best house reef for fish life?

sorry - Reethi Beach - yes imo a great all round island, in fact one of the few I have written a report on, however I feel the reef was damaged quite badly in the Tsunami, fish life appears in tact but it was a little repetitive, yes I saw the guitar shark, the stingrays -when hand fed :( the nepolean wrasse (he was about 4ft in 98') the cement mixer at about 20m, octopus, trurtles and sharks - but you get all that on any reef if you look hard enough or spend long enough! I was lucky enough to be in the water when 8 dolphins were feeding on the reef but again that is not enough to constitute a good reef! I have never been to Komandoo but a guy I met diving when on Reethi said that the house reef was better there! so that may help? what I will say is that the best island for snorkelling & reef quality in Baa Atoll is called Milladhoo and is owned by Four Seasons, it is uninhabited but can be reached by boat in about 10mins from reethi. and the island opposite the wb's has a great reef with good strong current and is better than Reethi's reef!

Regards

Emu