Dhigali Haa – a Marine Protected Area
After an enjoyable 40 minute boat ride, sitting on the sun roof of our dhoni we arrive at Dhigali Haa – a Marine Protected Area. On the way we pass 2 beautiful idyllic blue lagoons, Dhigufaru and Angafaru – we almost want to stop and go for a swim. Angafaru Lagoon as well as our dive site Dhigali Haa have been declared MPA’s – Marine Protected Areas within the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of the Baa Atoll. Altogether the Baa Atoll has 9 MPA’s.
Dhigali Haa is definitely worth to be declared a protected dive site as it is teeming with fish. After judging the direction we start upwards of the current and drift through a curtain of fusiliers towards the reef where a second curtain of bannerfish is ‘blocking’ our view. We stay on the current side of the reef to watch jack fish, tunas, groupers and barracudas go about their daily business of hunting for their dinner. For good measure a napoleon wrasse or two might join the commotion and not seldom an eagle ray is passing by. Stingrays roam the reef looking for crabs and crustaceans and it is one of the few reefs in the Atoll were we encounter whitetip reef sharks.
With all this jaw dropping action we almost need to hold on to our regulators. To explore the rest of the reef with plenty of overhangs to look into and canyons to swim through we just go with the flow of the current. As it is a circular reef we eventually will encounter the current against us which will slow us down and give us time to look for the little stuff like mantis shrimp with the most powerful strength in their legs, colorful nudibranchs and scorpion fish with their brilliant camouflage, morays and octopus sitting in their holes waiting for their opportunity to grab a bite, clown fish hiding in their anemones … there is just no end to the weird and wonderful world below the surface. At its shallowest point the reef comes up to 10m, the overhangs are on different levels and the canyons are around 20m, making it a dive site for all experience levels.