Diving in the Maldives - The Victory
Some of the best dives I have ever experienced have been in the Maldives, and the Victory wreck was a fantastic dive. Whilst not quite as famous or grand as the Thistlegorm, the Victory is still a beautiful wreck, lots of marine life, with hard and soft corals now well established on it.
The Victory sank in 1981 and was a cargo ship, now located on the Western side of the Airport Island in the North Male Atoll at around 30 metres.
What makes my experience more memorable however were the diving conditions on the day, I've done my fair share of drift dives, so am quite accustomed to strong currents, but the conditions on this day were something else. It was like a gale force wind, entering the water we had to grab the shot line immediately otherwise we would have been a mile out to sea within a matter of minutes, this prospect is made considerably more daunting when you consider the fact that the dive boat cannot come and rescue you, as they cannot risk leaving the site when other divers in your group have already descended!
Fortunately I managed to secure myself on the shot line and once my buddy was in the water we started our descent, the current was so strong that we were actually horizontal and it genuinely felt like there was a gale blowing us as we pulled ourselves down the shot line against the current. Then came another challenge as we reached the top of the mast, releasing my grip on the shot line and pushing myself across to grab hold of another line about 4 metres away, of course the vision of being carried out to sea for miles flashed through my mind again. Once I had a secure grip on the second line I breathed a sigh of relief as the deck became clearly visible below. We descended to the deck and once there we were shielded from the current a free to explore, visibility was fantastic, but as we were only diving on air and not Nitrox the dive time was limited at 30 metres. We had also used more air than usual due to the increased effort to actually descend.
Back on board the boat we discussed the conditions, and whilst challenging agreed that's what actually made the experience even more rewarding. On the way back past the capital Male we were fortunate enough to see a number of Dolphins swimming along right in front of the boat. All in all a fantastic days diving.
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