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Scuba Diving at St John's, Marsa Alam, the Red Sea
Dive Site: Habili Jaffar
Location: St John's Reef
Depth: 3 - 30 metres + (10 - 100 feet)
Visibility: 30 metres (100 feet)
Habili Jaffar is a small oval shaped reef which makes up part of the reef system known as St. Johns. Habili is the Arabic word for a reef which never breaks the surface. In fact Habili Jaffar's top is permanently 3 to 4 metres from the water surface. With deep walls dropping away on all sides this is an ideal spot for some big pelagic action. Schools of barracuda, jacks and trevallie tend to form on the northern side, where the current can be strong (sweeping from north to south). White-tip sharks and even grey reef sharks are a distinct possibility.
The upper 15m of this reef is quite literally covered in pink and purple soft coral and both the hard and soft coral formations are home to thousands of gold and purple antheas. Lionfish and grouper reside amongst the coral growth and in the many nooks and crannies. There is a large overhang / cave at 20 metres which often has several lionfish and pairs of masked butterflyfish in it. Several large napoleon wrasse have made their home here and it is easily possible to do one, two or even three circuits of the reef in a single dive if the current allows.
Rik Vercoe, BSAC Advanced Instructor
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