|Site Type:||Sloping reef wall|
|Depth:||Top: 6M Bottom: 30M|
|Location:||Southern end of Vaavu Atoll|
The pretty Rakeedhoo dive site is inside the lagoon on a sloping reef wall cut with numerous ledges, caves and gutters. We did Rakeedhoo as a drift dive as a very strong current was running, but managed to find a few hiddy-holes to escape the fast-flowing waters. Drifting the wall the standout feature was the magnificent corals, the currents allowing a rich coverage of soft corals, gorgonian fans, sea whips and black coral trees.
As we drifted along the wall we also encountered a great variety of reef fish and bigger species. In the many ledges were schools of squirrelfish, but I also spotted parrotfish, surgeonfish, sweetlips, gropers and a large Maori wrasse. Two-spotted eagle rays swooped by us, but were gone before I had time to lift the camera for a photo.
The Rakeedhoo dive site has some of the best gorgonian fans I saw in the Maldives. The larger fans were protruding proud from the bottom, but many smaller ones were simply wedged into crevasses. With the strong tidal flow all the gorgonians had their polyps extended hoping to grab a meal.
This site also had some interesting invertebrate life; I spotted nudibranchs, sea stars, hermit crabs and a mantis shrimp. While the corals were brilliant below 10m it was a big shock to see mostly dead hard corals in the shallows, a legacy of the coral bleaching that hit this area in 2016.