Kate visiting the fish

Dive sites (Red Sea): The Alternatives

Coral and fans at the Alternatives
Coral and fans at the Alternatives

Despite their unromantic name, the Alternatives are an extremely appealing dive site. So-called because they offer a sheltered alternative to diving SS Thistlegorm when conditions are poor, the Alternatives are a series of about fifteen coral pinnacles just around the corner from the Ras Mohammed National Park. We dived the furthest one along (closest to the Park), doing both a day and a night dive there.

Giant sea fan
Giant sea fan

After giant striding off the back of the boat, we headed towards a series of small pinnacles and coral heads surrounding a large pinnacle that split in two from about half way up. I was amazed by the sea fans – we saw one enormous one completely filling the space between two pinnacles. I took a photo of it, but it was backlit by the sun, so it’s not very good. We made our way around the large pinnacle, and headed slowly back to the boat.

Clearfin lionfish
Clearfin lionfish

The night dive we did here I enjoyed more than any other night dive I’ve ever done. It was warm, still, and clear, and there was so much to see! I found it helpful that we’d done a dive at the same site hours earlier – without that, I might have found the many small pinnacles confusing and disorienting. There were flashing strobes tied to a weighted line and flag under our boat, for navigation purposes, but some people did need fetching when they surfaced away from the liveaboard. That’s what Zodiacs are for!

Dive date: 19 October 2013

Air temperature: 26 degrees

Water temperature: 27 degrees

Maximum depth: 12.1 metres

Visibility: 25 metres

Dive duration: 57 minutes

Moray eel at the Alternatives
Moray eel at the Alternatives

Published by

Clare

Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

3 thoughts on “Dive sites (Red Sea): The Alternatives”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *