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Scuba Diving in the Red Sea
Dive Site: The Islands / Seven Pinnacles
Location: Dahab, 28°28.632N; 34°30.692E
Description: Coral garden / shore dive
Depth: 9 - 20 metres (30 - 66 feet)
Visibility: 30 - 40 metres (100 - 130 feet)
A very Dahab dive, in that the whole pace was slow and relaxing. This was pretty much diving a good snorkelling spot. Entry was from the beach near the Hilton the pinnacles section of the dive was spent at about 8m. No large life as would be expected but very warm, light and vibrant colours due to the minimal depth! A meandering swim around all the pinnacles teeming with glassfish, goldfish, angelfish, lionfish etc.
The Islands had very interesting rock formations, with natural rifts. There are some huge brain corals here, and fish included puffers and napoleon wrasse.
Jenny Pickles, BSAC Dive Leader
Entry to this dive site is just to the north of the Hilton Beach and is made by walking across the reef top lagoon and then either dropping in over the top of the reef, or entering through one of the holes in the reef and swimming through. There are some lovely coral formations in and amongst the pinnacles. Look for blue spotted rays hiding under the coral whilst you are weaving through the pinnacles. It is also common to see shoals of blackfin barracuda and even the odd lone great barracuda. This is a very scenic site and ideal for a long second or third dive of the day - perfect for photographs. Diving this site can be confusing as there are so many different routes to take, however due to the relatively shallow depths if you become disoriented it is best simply to surface and locate the main exit point, then drop back down to safety stop level and continue the dive back to shore.
Rik Vercoe, BSAC Advanced Instructor
We dived this site twice in October 2005. When we entered through the hole in this dive we immediately saw a crocodile fish on the sand.
The coral is fantastic and you can dive through the formations which are fat pillars of hard corals. At the other side of the Islands was a huge shoal of barracuda in a tunnel shape, glistening in the sun, with a couple of trevallies swimming round them. We saw lionfish, anemonefish, Christmas tree worms, parrotfish, surgeonfish and boxfish.
Anna Wright, PADI Advanced Open Water
About 9 years ago an earthquake made the first coral fall down from the islands and created an area called the 'Maze'. The Islands offer a wide range of hard and soft coral, combined with outstanding topography. You can explore a maze of coral boulders, alleyways, amphitheatres, valleys and gullies all in less than 18 metres. After the entry follow a wide sandy valley before entering the intricate reef system. You can see plenty of big groupers, glittering anthias, jewel-like schools of glassfish, napoleons, lionfish and a dense shoal of barracudas usually roams the northern section of the reef. The Islands is an all time favourite dive site for everyone who dives there.
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