Ari Atoll Scuba Diving Sites
Situated within an atoll lagoon where you would normally expect shelter, this pinnacle sits directly in line with a channel opening to the ocean, and is therefore swept by incoming currents. Kudarah Thila is another marine protected area where the numbers of fish are testimony to the effectiveness of these programmes in the Maldives.
This is in fact a relatively small reef but offers plenty of variety both in terms of fish and topography. Starting at about 12 metres and dropping to 40 metres, the pinnacle features 4 coral heads that enjoy fabulous coral growth, particularly in the shallower sections. You can see large gorgonians and black coral bushes in cavern walls and ceilings. There are soft corals of pink and orange, and yellow daisy corals and gorgonians proliferate in the overhangs.
Your dive guide may wish to dive around the entire perimeter of the pinnacle which is around 100 metres in diameter . However it is more likely that you will cover less than the full pinnacle, particularly if there is current present. Then you will likely spend more time on the lee-side.
In the gaps between the 4 thrusting heads you can check out the enormous numbers of blue-lined snappers that tend to linger here and you can expect to see large numbers of sweetlips, batfish and groupers as well as much smaller specimens in and around the wall like longnose dartfish and decorated gobies. Off the walls, you will often encounter whitetips, grey reef sharks, turtles and Maori wrasse, joining in the lengthy role call at one of the Maldives more spectacular sites.
Kudarah Thila Reef Basics: Pinnacles
Depth: 12 - 40m
Visibility: 15 - 25m
Currents: Can be strong
Surface conditions: Normally calm, can be choppy
Water temperature: 27 - 30°C
Experience level: Beginner to intermediate
Number of dive sites: 1
Diving season: All year round
Distance: 1 km southeast of Kudarah
Access: Maldivian liveaboards
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