With the kind permission of iDive Maldives
Guraidhoo Corner, located south of Guraidhoo Island, is one of the interesting attractions of this wide channel. It hosts many pelagic species during incoming currents and presents several 'washing machines' downstream in the current.
Divers usually enter southeast of the channel entrance and then drift to the entrance, where the show is the most spectacular. Divers can end the dive vertically or drifting with the current towards the interior of the atoll. The latter option can cross strong 'washing machines' - there are at least 3 famous of these - where only experienced divers should swim. This site is a great spot to watch eagle rays, whitetip sharks and grey reef sharks.
The water entry is usually done on the outer reef several meters southeast of the channel entrance, where spending minimal time at the surface is recommended during strong currents. Please note that some diving centers perform the entry facing the channel instead of along the reef. This requires a fast descent, which presents low chances of success if not preformed perfectly.
The dive starts left shoulder to the reef, where divers go slowly down to 20-30 meters. Don't descend too fast to avoid being saturated quickly, but not too slowly to avoid being carried by the current inside the channel. Divers can make a stop at the corner between the channel and the ocean to enjoy the show.
You can end your dive either with a vertical ascent to avoid 'washing machines', or drifting along the wall of the channel. The first 'washing machine' is easy to recognize thanks to a coral excrescence at 18m where whitetip sharks can often be seen.
The ascent is done either along the reef or in open water, in which case divers should be aware of their bubbles: make sure not to ascend or descend too quickly. You may be drawn from 5m to 25m in a few seconds with an almost empty tank and a saturated body.
At Guraidhoo Corner, it is recommended to finish the dive with 70 bar remaining in the tank rather than 50. If you get ejected to the surface by a 'washing machine' with decompression ceiling displayed on the computer, you might be in health hazard and will not be able to descend again to complete the decompression. This dive site is only recommended for divers with a good experience in the current, and should be avoided by beginners. It is especially interesting during the northeast monsoon.
Guraidhoo Corner is a protected site and requires a respectful behavior with the reef in order to preserve it.
300 Dive locations with illustrated information and GPS coordinates