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The Alternatives, Nordtour

Thirty minutes to the north - west of Ras Mohammed a broad expanse of shallow water extends seawards. At the outer edge of this area, a chain of flat topped reefs or ergs, touch the surface. They are known by local fishermen as the saba erg or seven pinnacles. More commonly they are known as the Alternatives. The best dive is around the third or fourth pinnacle, counting from the east, direction Ras Mohammed. The diving here is varied. In calm conditions with the current from the north, clear water sweeps through the Alternatives. The colours are bright and vivid and the corals pristine. In rough conditions or with current from the south, sand-laden lagoon water can reduce the visibility to nil. The area is known for its fish life. Potato groupers live here, alongside numerous malabar and coral groupers. The deeper water outside is home to a number of leopard sharks. The reefs themselves are particularly stunning in the very shallow water and make superb night diving.

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