My Top 3 EMEA Dives – Part 2: Ari Atoll, Maldives (Guest blog by Alexandra Dimitriou-Engeler)

In this article, guest blogger Alexandra Dimitriou-Engeler continues her run-down of her top 3 dives in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Missed Part 1? Read it here.


Dive Site: Ari Atoll

Location: Maldives
Description: Trench
Depth: 0 – 30 meters

I was lucky enough to celebrate my 30th birthday on a liveaboard in the Maldives. Four dives a day, in a location that is all about diving, was a dream come true. If I had to choose one dive that has stuck with me however, it has to be the whale shark encounter that I had in the Gaafu Atolls.

Strong currents are something that I am not used to (I come from a Mediterranean environment which is notorious for its calm, clear waters) and this trip was my first use of a reef hook. The current was particularly strong on this dive; my brother and I made a quick, negative entry and headed straight down to 20 meters – as we had been briefed to do beforehand. The plankton-rich waters were teeming with life, the cleaning stations were prominent and the dive group was experienced. This meant that the conditions were perfect for a very close encounter indeed.

The maldives are world-renowned for crystal clear waters and stunning marine life

Our dive guide must have been psychic. No sooner than the 10 of us making the dive had tucked ourselves away, a whale shark with an adolescent pup came into view. She was enormous. She was gentle and glorious. She was here for a cleaning and my brother and I were just meters away. I could have reached out and touched her if I had wanted to (I didn’t of course).

After 10 minutes the other divers started getting fidgety, but I didn’t want to move. I looked at my brother and could see that he had no intention of moving either. I signaled to the dive guide that we would stay, and that we would end the dive when either of us became lower on air with the safety of my DSMB, and that they should continue their dive. They signaled “OK”, released their hooks, and were a distant spec within minutes.

We stayed there for almost an hour. The whale shark was cleaned and we watched every second of it.

Whale sharks are regular visitors to the Maldivian atolls

This dive stays with me forever. I felt like I was on a conveyor belt of wonder, that my brother and I were the last two humans on earth and we had front row seats to all the action. I have seen whale sharks before, but this was the dive of a lifetime…. and that’s why it has made my top 3!

If you’ve enjoyed this article, watch this space for Part 3!


Alexandra DimitriouAlexandra Dimitriou-Engeler is a PADI Dive Center owner in Agia Napa, Cyprus. She became a diver in 1992 and received her bachelor’s degree in Oceanography at Plymouth University in 2003. Her love of the ocean has always been her driving force, and this has led to the natural progression of becoming a diving instructor in 2005. She is currently a PADI staff instructor and owner of Scuba Monkey Ltd and is writing a series of guest blogs for PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa.

IE, Maldives 4-5 December 2014

Thomas Sobotta, Regional Manager, Maldives conducted an IE on the beautiful Island Constance Moofushi for Bluetribe Moofushi on the 4-5 December 2014. We wish all the New PADI Instructors lots of success in the future.

IE Moofushi 1

“Moofushi has some of the best logistics around for Instructor training, our lagoon with its various depths, with direct access from the jetty. As a Course Director spending more time in the water this makes all the difference ” says Miles Crookes PADI Course Director and Manager Bluetribe Constance Moofushi”. “I did my IDC and IE at Constance Moofushi with Bluetribe and Thomas Sobotta, during our IDC we had everything at our finger tips.

Of course we were in paradise in the Maldives, the amazing Atoll of Ari. Every evening after each day of training, we we’re able to study all together in the Bluetribe Classroom, everything was so close together, from the restaurant to the dive sites, it was just a few steps away across the sandy beach.  We were able to spend a lot of time in the water practicing our presentations and skills, this made a big difference to our Exam, this was particularly important to me coming from another training organisation.

Thomas also put us straight away at our ease and although we where under the stress of the exam our preparation and the organisation of both IDC & IE where just perfect” says Giuliana Prosdocimo , a newly certified PADI Instructor.

IE Moofushi 2

Congratulations!

7 new PADI Instructors from Four Seasons Resort Maldives, Kuda Huraa

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PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa is delighted to welcome 7 new PADI Instructors to the world’s most sought-after community of diving professionals.

The Instructor Development Course (IDC) and Instructor Examination (IE) were both conducted at the Four Seasons Resort Maldives in Kuda Huraa on 15/16th November 2014.

 “It was the first IDC / IE conducted at Four Seasons at Kuda Huraa and all the 7 participants have passed and all had a very good time” – Ibrahim Nazeer, Dive and Recreation Manager, Four Seasons Resort Maldives.

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Are you ready to join the ranks of the dedicated professionals who teach the world’s most progressive and popular scuba diver education programs? Then Go PRO with the PADI Instructor Development Course.

About the PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) & Instructor Examination (IE) 

The Instructor Development Course (IDC) is made up of two parts – the Assistant Instructor (AI) course and the Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) program, and teaches you to conduct all PADI core courses. You’ll learn how to better organize and present information, conduct skill development sessions and control open water dives. You’ll become a more confident public speaker and will perfect your demonstration of skills whilst watching out for student diver safety.

Most dive professionals complete the full IDC and go on to attend an Instructor Examination (IE), which is the final step to earn a PADI Instructor certification. The IE is a two-day evaluative program that tests an instructor candidate’s teaching ability, dive theory knowledge, skill level, understanding of the PADI System, and attitude and professionalism.

Teaching scuba diving allows you to share your love of the aquatic world with others while doing what you enjoy – being in, around and underwater. PADI Instructors are the most sought-after dive professionals around the world because they’ve completed the program that sets the standard for training dive professionals. You earn a PADI Instructor rating through hard work and commitment, but you’re rewarded with a job that lets you share incredible underwater adventures with others – transforming their lives for the better and enriching yours.

For more details on signing up for the IDC, or for more information on prerequisites and course content, please ask your local PADI 5* IDC Center or visit the PADI Course Catalogue.