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Shark Observatory, Ras Mohammed

In spite of its name Shark Observatory is not noted for sharks. Nevertheless it is still a marvellous dive. Beneath the surface the towering cliffs continue at much the same angle to eventually fade into the deep blue beneath. This place defines the term blue water. The wall is smothered, especially at its northern end, in all colours of soft corals. In the shallow water are numerous small caves, gullies and canyons. These host colonies of glassfish and hatchetfish which constantly sweep and turn, herded by groups of lionfish. Beneath them scorpionfish sometimes lie in wait. On the corner at 10 m a large overhang is fringed with gorgonians. Here you can hide and watch groups of bluefin and giant trevallies cruising through. Even sailfish have been seen here. At the south end, close to Anemone City turtles are often seen. The colours are brighter in the morning with the sun on the wall. Many people prefer an afternoon dive. At this time of day the reef is dark, moody and mysterious. To dive Shark Observatory from a boat jump in at the north end beneath the more northerly of the two sets of clifftop railings. Put your right shoulder to the reef and head south. In the afternoon a strong current will often help you along. Once you have rounded the corner this will abate. A counter current often develops in this bay. It may slow your progress but is rarely a problem. Alternatively jump in at Anemone City and ride this counter current northwards towards the Observatory. Shark Observatory can be shore dived. Park at the Shark Observatory carpark and snorkel across the lagoon to the dive site. Alternatively take a left just before the carpark and park in the small cove beneath the Observatory cliffs.

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