The Lighthouse is a very popular dive site in Dahab; it's perfect for teaching all levels, from open water to technical. As the Lighthouse is a site which has one of the easiest entries and exits and it is always sheltered from the wind, diving here is always possible. As you step in the water you will find a shallow sandy area that slowly drops off into a large grassy slope. Look out for seahorses and pegasus seamoths that generally occur in pairs. There is also a good chance to find the rare angler fish.
On the left site the reef begins. The reef wall is similar to many that you will find in Dahab, it is common to see unicorn fish and a small school or two of bar sea bream. The reef wall is scattered over numerous sandy patches with enormous pinnacles rising from all directions, which disappear into the deep. Follow the reef wall and cruise over and between these pinnacles until you reach the saddle. Here you can always find some scorpion and crocodile fish and if you are lucky you might meet a stone fish. Cross the saddle and enter a coral garden that will end with a very large gorgonian fan coral. Swim around the last pinnacle and come back towards the reef wall where you will slowly ascend to the small sandy lagoon at around 5m. At night you will find Spanish dancers, anemone crabs, nudibranchs, octopus and moray eels.
Eel Garden takes its name from the countless garden eels that carpet the sea floor not far from the entry point of the dive. After walking over the reef plate to the entry spot which is a nine metre canyon, it then broadens into a large sandy area that slopes down gradually.
After diving along a jutting reef that lies perpendicular to the main reef the eels slowly come into view, waving to and fro in the current like synchronized swimmers who vanish back into the sand as you approach. Descend to about 20m where you will find a nearly flat section of reef with coral boulders and several table corals. It is quite common to find a thick congregation of barracudas regularly patrolling the area. On your way back at around 5 and 10m you will see healthy, wide range variety of both soft and hard corals and look out here for the rare seagrass ghost pipefish.
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.
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 lion fish, anemone fish, Christmas tree worms, parrot fish, surgeon fish and box fish.
The Canyon is one of the most popular dive sites in Dahab and an essential dive for all fanatics of caves and cavern diving. The Canyon is up to 10 m deep and virtually closed over at the top. It snakes its way up from the depths, to emerge in a large glass fish-filled coral dome, the Fishbowl. After an easy shore entry, you cross a sandy lagoon that opens onto a gently sloping reef marked with coral heads. The amazing and eerie canyon soon comes into view. It has three main openings. At about 12 m is the fishbowl. Below that is another large bowl, opening at about 20 m. Deepest of all is a narrow exit at 52 m. In between these openings the walls have grown together to virtually close over the top of the canyon, forming a tunnel. From the top it has the appearance of the fluted mouth of a clam shell. Descend into the Canyon at 20 m and drop to the bottom which sits at around 30 m. Make sure you stick to a depth well within your ability. Take a minute at bottom and enjoy the magnificent view, the light coming through the crack that forms the entry of the Canyon while you sit in semi-darkness, it is an amazing sight. Finish the dive by swimming through a coral garden at about 8 m where there are very good chances of finding the resident octopus.
The Blue Hole is one of Dahab's most famous dive sites. Located about thirty minutes jeep ride from Dahab, it is accessible from shore with entry into the blue water just a few meters from the rocky shoreline. Bedouin type facilities surround the main entry / exit points, with toilets, seating, food and drinks available. Whilst entry into the Blue Hole pool is one option, quite a nice alternative is to make a short walk to the north, along the rocky coastal path and enter through a gap in the shoreline rocks. This is done one diver at a time. Divers can then drop down an enclosed chimney in the reef exiting at 30 meters or so onto the sheer wall. The reef is near vertical at this point and as you head south (right shoulder to the reef) you'll come around an outcrop which makes for some fantastic silhouette photographs looking up towards the sunlight. The reef wall is home to lots of clown fish anemones and the blue backdrop makes a great viewing point for trevallies, jacks, barracuda and possibly white-tip and gray reef sharks.
As you travel south and ascend you will come to a colorful hard coral slope at around 10 meters, which leads up and over at 6 meters into the blue hole pool. It is best to spend most of the dive on the outside of the reef as the inside pool has little in the way of coral. Use your safety stop to either swim across the pool or around the edge (left shoulder to reef) until you reach the small wooden jetty and exit. Currents can be strong, usually north to south, on the outside of the reef so the northern entry point is often a good option, then drifting down to the pool with the current. Take care not to miss your exit, although if this does happen simply find a safe exit further down the shoreline and be prepared for a walk in full kit.
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