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Jackfish Alley, Ras Mohammed

Jackfish Alley is the traditional afternoon choice after a morning at Ras Mohammed. It is shallow and fairly well sheltered from current. It lacks a mooring so must be drift dived. The best part of the dive is the glassfish caves, so jump in here. The white patch on the high cliff is a good marker. The small bay beneath has a crack at the back. This is the entrance to the first set of caves. It is easiest to enter shallow, about 5 m. The cave forks immediately. The right hand option is a cul-de-sac. It has a sandy floor and steep walls on either side, shafts of light pierce the roof. At the back is a narrow chamber full of hatchet fish and occasionally large groupers. The left hand fork leads to an exit at 8 m. As you leave the cave, put your right shoulder to the reef and follow the reef wall. As you turn the prominent shoulder at 15 m into the sandy bay, you will come across another set of caves. The entrance is opposite a large isolated coral outcrop. The caves are home to one of the most photographed schools of glassfish in the Red Sea. Work your way upwards through the chambers. The furthest back is at about 3 m. You can waste a happy ten minutes here, watching the glass fish sweep back and forth and the rays of light breaking through the roof and dancing across the sand beneath. Outside the cave is the prominent coral outcrop. Use this to line yourself up with the glassfish bommie at the other side of the bay. Most photographers can spend the rest of the dive and their remaining film here. Glassfish crowd the holes of the coral. Bluefin and bigeye trevallies occasionally dart in to snatch one away. About 100 m south of here is a sandy road at about 17 m. This is the alley. Sometimes stingrays or white-tips are seen basking here. In the late summer months titan triggerfish fiercely guard their eggs. In winter it is also good for manta rays.

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