With the kind permission of iDive Maldives
X-MAS ROCK is an exceptional dive site, which is located 3km northeast of Vavathi Island in Maldives and made of a small thila positioned southwest of a lagoon.
This site is highly exposed to the current despite the natural protection of the lagoon. That is why the thila presents so many overhangs and such a specific architecture. The pinnacle stands on a sandy bottom at 25m and its small top reef is around 15m deep.
The thila, which is covered with soft corals, hosts many schools of fish. At the top of the thila, divers can often spot tunas and trevallies hunting in the area.
The water entry should be done upstream in the current at a sufficient distance in order to allow divers to reach 15-20m where they will be able to stay protected from the current. A prior current check will be necessary to determine the boat placement. Divers will need to enter with no air in the BCD and spending minimal time at the surface.
The dive usually starts at the bottom where divers can explore the overhangs while staying protected from the current. Divers can then swim along the sides to finish on the top reef where giant trevallies and dogtooth tunas can be seen hunting for food.
The ascent can be performed at any point of the site with the use of an SMB. The safety stop can be done in open water and the divers will be recovered by the dhoni at their exit point.
This site requires a fast descent, and the current can be very strong sometimes. Divers will need to have experience in strong currents and deep dives in order to explore this site. X-Mas Rock is accessible throughout the year.
300 Dive locations with illustrated information and GPS coordinates