Place: Manta Point
Mantas 1 metre away
On the 10th October 1986, at 08.30, I dived Manta Point with Yusuff. We went down to 10 metres and spent 50 glorious minutes behind a large coral hiding from a load of Mantas that whirled back and forth just above our heads!
We were so so close to them, the other divers with us were rushing up behind trying to catch them up and getting no where!
Yusufff was a young lad at the time, being trained by Herbert Ungar on Villingilli Resort.
His diving ability was brilliant but to become a fully fledged Dive Master he had to be able to pass the written side of the exam.
In those days, those like Yusuff had to go to a Resort in South Male Atoll where Dive masters some came from the UK would check everything. Their diving ability and written paper. Yusuff was the very best Diver, but sadly he did not pass the written exam.
Villingilli then closed down and became part of Male. Herbert and Yusuff moved to Laguna beach in South Male Atoll, now called by its Maldivian name Velassaru. Herbert was determined that his protégé would pass this exam. For a whole year he taught Yusuff.
The following year, he passed with flying colours. Herbert told me that he was the very FIRST Maldivian to have done this!