The Historical Background

In 1957/58 Hans Hass performed in a three-months investigation his famous "Xarifa"-expedition (total duration: one year), crossing on its way the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean (total: 8620 nautic miles), with the Maldives being one of their main destinations.

"Xarifa" is the Arabic word for "beautiful woman". The former luxury sailing yacht, built in 1927 in England, having passed a sensational and changeable history, was in a poor condition when Hass acquired it for his first expedition to the Galapagos Islands (1953/54). At this time it was the biggest European sailing yacht which Hass adapted according to the practical needs of a modern exploration ship.

The main reason to acquire the ship Xarifa was to introduce the new techniques of swim-diving to the scientific community. This should become a permanent and valuable instrument for the marine biological research.
With his pioneer work Hans Hass has launched a new era for divers and apart from a large number of scientific publications numerous spectacular documentations in TV and radio have seized considerable attention in the public.

A series of well known scientists and other people joined this expedition, among them Heinrich Becker (captain), Scheer (diver), Eibl-Eibesfeldt (biologist), Hirschel (technical repairs and camera, diver), Wissel (one of the best German sport divers, died of heart attack in the Red Sea during diving on this trip), Luther, and others.

© Reef Expedition 2007 to the Maldives I Impressum