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Ras Za´atar, Ras Mohammed

Ras Za atar is formed where the steep wall, stretching from Ras Mohammed meets the bay of Marsa Bareika. In spite of the nearby crowds, it remains seldom visited and has retained an atmosphere of virgin beauty. Start your dive on the outside wall at point A and head northwards. At 30 m are huge overhangs, caves and dark gullies, swathed in seafans, black corals and gorgonians. This scene becomes increasingly colourful and dramatic towards the corner. At the corner it is worth doubling back to take in the shallow part of this wall. Between 15 m and the surface is a large chimney which should not be missed. It is home to a malabar grouper, which always seems to be idling away its time under the attention of cleaner wrasse. Outside is a school of glassfish which swirl and sweep under the hungry gaze of lionfish. The colours here are Red Sea perfection, coral pinks, and orange clouds of anthias against a backdrop of deep blue. Jacks and barracuda hunt here amongst the schools of blue fusiliers. Eagle rays and turtles occasionally cruise by. After leaving the wall, you can turn the corner into Marsa Bareika. The wall gives way to a sandy slope scattered with coral pillars. Picasso fish and many kinds of triggerfish can be seen along with the more delicate relative, the scrolled filefish. The shape of the headland dictates that currents on the outer wall run northwards if at all. In such a case you will not be able to do both deep and shallow sections on the same dive. Make your choice. Either way you will not be disappointed.

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