|Depth||18m to 23m+|
|Conditions||Wall, medium current, excessive depth|
|Level||Advanced to technical|
|Other names used||Ashraf’s Grotto|
After passing by a coral outcropping, we’ll level out over seagrass at 18m. We could turn south to see some impressive red coral growth, turtles, and rays over the seagrass beds, but you’re probably here to head west – to the lip of the wall.
It’s easy to find after we cross a narrow but thriving reef (also dominated by red corals) that extends to and over the edge at 25m. Heading downward we find a sandy bottom and ascend along the wall for the duration of the dive.
Just a little further out, we’d find dropoffs with walls extending well below 100m – but although the diving is spectacular there can be strong currents in this area and we didn’t bring our tec gear on this trip – let’s keep to recreational depths for today.
Looking out to the blue, we see eagle rays, schooling tuna, jack, and some larger solitary pelagics – including sharks, which are uncommon in most of Aqaba. Morays, frogfish, and barracuda hunt between dense, healthy soft corals and sponges while blennies, nudibranchs, seek shelter in its folds.
A huge coral outcropping forms a natural, swimthrough mini-cave around 30m – this is Ashraf’s Grotto, from which the site derives its name.
We’ll keep track of our position as we gradually ascent the wall throughout our dive, taking care to find the mooring line to have a reference as we safety-stop and surface.
Please, choose one of the reefs to see its location on the map, or browse through all the reefs below