Al Lith is a small town about 275 km south of Jeddah. It is the port of departure for diving the Farasan Banks eco system. Travelling south, passing Jebel Al-Lith, to Mulattu, Dohar, Marmar and Jadir islands, which are the islands most important to the Hawksbill and Green Turtles for nesting. These turtles are spotted on nearly every dive, south from this group of islands is Shiib Ammar providing a safe anchorage lagoon. Further south are the islands Dannak, Jabbara and Eagle, you can beach at these islands and see turtle tracks from the previous evening, resting or just coming into the shallows to laze around, the islands are littered with discarded egg shells and old nest craters.
Diving at Farasan Banks is wall diving. Both on the East and West sides of the islands the wall can reach depths 500 m while on the Northern and Southern ends there are depths of 10 to 30 meter being flat sandy bottoms.
On the East side the wall drops down to 200 m, there are many caverns and small caves, small reef shark can be seen, on the southern tip a sand bottom extends westwards to a lovely blue lagoon thick full of many varieties of fish. On the northern end is a dive site called the washing machine, named so because of the extreme current 2 to 3 meter per second flowing north to south west. Manta, white tip shark have been seen. Dive the washing machine and rewrite you “drift dive” experience in your log book.
Recognized as an important turtle nesting island in this eco system, there is a large populations of turtle. Also seen are various groupers, purple tang, many coral fish, great varieties of different coloured soft corals. Sharks spotted are: reef shark, white and black tip shark, sometimes even tiger shark.
Lying far to the south to the main islands in this eco system you will usually see dolphin, sometimes a big school. At this reef / island you can safely anchor the boat inside the lagoon.
A reef at 30 odd meters has on the East part, massive Gorgonian Fans, hence the reefs name. Again,shark, manta and the lovely - giant bump head parrot fish (Napoleon fish) are seen, at the Southern part the depth is 25 meters. At breeding season on the southern part, masses of baby cuttle fish are attached to almost every piece of corral.
This dive has a channel on the eastern part of the island. Stone or scorpion fish, blue spotted sting ray, red snapper, barracuda, reef shark, moray eel, bump head parrot fish, turtle, brain coral and varieties of coral can bee seen.
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