To enhance the enjoyment and safety of a dive, consideration of the
direction and strength of currents is extremely important, wherever
you are diving; whether it is in the ‘kandu’, a pass between the atoll
reefs or ‘thila’ a shoal, inside the atolls. The success of a dive
almost always depends on these variables. The Maldivian archipelago is
swept by ceaseless currents caused by the monsoons; generally east to
west during the northeast monsoon, from December to April and west to
east during the southwest monsoon, from May to November.
However this is not a hard and fast rule, as changes in wind
directions and tides can offset the influence of the oceanic currents
- especially so during the transitional period between the two
seasons.Further, the location of islands reefs and ‘thilas’ cause
great irregularity in the flow of current streams inside atoll passes.
Many local boat captains show great skill in telling the direction of
the current by observing tiny ripples or wave patterns on the surface.
However, the dive guide often jumps into the water to determine the
exact strength and direction. Strong currents often make a dive site
livelier, and that makes the additional effort worthwhile.