NEIL DIVE SITES
NEIL DIVE SITES
The following is an alphabetical list of the dive sites that we visit regularly, as of late 2007. The more we explore the waters, the more new sites we find, so this list is expected to keep growing. Do note that access to off-shore sites, which typically have more big-fish action and clearer waters, depend on wind/sea conditions – if the seas are choppy (usually June-July and December), we may be unable to visit some of these sites.
Depth: 22-30m; Category: Intermediate-Advanced
This reef, located between Havelock and Neil, starts out at around 22m and extends out like a finger, dropping down to about 30m. At the tip of the finger, there is a big school of lionfish living around some soft coral. Towards the shallower part of the reef, we regularly see some blue-spotted stingrays, different kinds of sea stars and some very large napoleon wrasses. Divers are reminded to look up and into the blue for pelagics – reef sharks are fairly common on the site, and occasionally, we have even seen marlin. A fairly large school of trevally’s and barracudas too live here. Due to depth and moderate to strong currents, this site is for intermediate to advanced divers.
Depth: 12-19m; Category: All
A large volcanic rock spread out over a sandy bottom with a mix of varying depths make this a great dive site for all levels of divers. Perfect for underwater navigation courses as this site rarely has any current and there are plenty of crevices, small overhangs, small boulder formations to explore. This rock is home to many different types of snappers, sweetlips, soldierfish and butterfly fish, different from what we see in the dive sites of Havelock.
3. Margherita’s Mischief
Depth: 7-16m: Category: All
A large, sandy bottom, covered in a maze of boulders making it easy for one to get lost! Margherita’s Mischief is an ideal dive site for open water divers because of its easy depths and clear waters. Occasionally having some current, this dive site is often frequented by dugongs, so carrying a camera is recommended. Each of the boulder patches is home to hundreds of yellow snappers and soldierfish. Moving along these little rocky formations provides a chance to see pufferfish , angelfish, batfish, and dozens of blue spotted stingrays hidden in the sand. This gem of a divesite is located only 10 mins away from the jetty.
4. Bus Stop
Depth: 14-20m; Category: All
Located on the western side of the island, this dive site is along a gentle sloping bottom, starting from 14m m going up to about 20m. Small reef steps strewn on sandy bottom. Plenty of garden eels to see in the sand between reefs.
5.Jetty Channel Marker
Depth: 7-11m; Category: Beginner-Intermediate
A great little reef around the jetty channel marker, suitable for all diver levels, including Open Water students. The top is 7m and drops down to a sandy bottom about 11m on its sides. There is a concrete pillar fallen on its side underwater here. Schools of trevally swim between the marker pillars, and the site has lots of angelfish, stingrays in the sand, parrotfish, small puffers, triggerfish, juvenile batfish and scorpionfish as well.
As the name implies, the highlight of this site are large gorgonians, some getting up to 4-5m in size. It’s a short dive due to the depth, but very unique! If conditions allow, we continue up to a shallower depth and do a blue-water dive, looking out for pelagics.
A relaxing, shallow dive, suitable for all experience levels, this dive site has patches of rock and corals amidst sand and, further out, beds of sea grass where a family of dugongs can be spotted regularly.
A very popular site with advanced divers, and with good reason – on a typical day, you get to see sharks, schools of barracuda, a turtle or two, groupers, large schools of fusiliers, trevally, groupers and maybe even tuna. Absolutely stunning. Strong currents and a deep bottom make this site suitable for advanced divers only.
A large ledge studded with various hard and soft corals, good fish life as well as a chance to see dugongs make this relaxing drift dive an excellent follow up to either Sea Fan City or Junction.