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Scuba Diving Ils de Pins, New Caledonia
Dive Site: Le Sand Bank
Location: Ils de Pins, New Caledonia
Description: Reef / drift
Depth: 21 metres to drop off (69 feet)
Visibility: 30 metres + (100 feet)
The reef system surrounding New Caledonia is the second largest barrier reef in the world, with only the Great Barrier Reef covering more area. In my opinion the coral is far superior in New Caledonia where diving is much more remote and the diving traffic only slight. The Sand Bank is a stunning example of a pristine site where a large reef section lies on a sand bank. Beautiful coral and great viz on this dive are almost a certainty. As we drifted lazily with the current at a depth of 20 metres the coral plateau below us was cluttered with undamaged acropora, stony corals and huge gorgonian fan corals swayed on the outer reef. On both sides of the coral bank an inviting drop-off is patrolled by grey reef sharks and white-tip sharks. There was a reasonable swell even at 10 metres and the current makes this an excellent site for a drift dive.
Rik Vercoe, BSAC Advanced Instructor
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