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SCUBA Diving Sites To Remember

 

Layang-Layang Island

Layang-Layang

The Isle of Layang-Layang is situated in the South China Sea, approximately 300 km north off the coast of Sabah. The surrounding seabeds offer excellent dive sites, characterized by shallow depths with extraordinary coral gardens teeming with reef microfauna, full of steep dropoffs into the abyss and the presence of open sea species.

Dive Sites
a) ‘Gorgonian Forest’;
b) ‘Wreck Point’;
c) ‘The Tunnel’;
d) ‘“D” Wall’;
e) ‘The Valley’;
f) ‘Shark’s Cave’;
g) ‘Wrasse Strip’;
h) ‘Crack Reef’;

Map of Layang-Layang

Layang-Layang

a) ‘Gorgonian Forest’
This site is characterized by a strong current along the wall, thus creating a visibility of more than 50 metres. The dive begins on a shallow seabed about 5 metres deep, from the drop-off, which then plunges steeply to about 40 metres. The seabed is covered with bommie and coral towers, and a forest of gorgonians.

Marine life here includes the scarlet whip corals, barrel sponges, surgeonfish, barracudas, batfish, bumphead parrotfish, butterflyfish, dogtooth tuna, grey reef
sharks, fox sharks, large stingrays, nurse shark, bigeye trevallies, whale sharks, and leopard sharks.

b) ‘Wreck Point’
This site takes its name from an old freighter, of which only a few scrap of iron remains. Instead, of doing a wreck dive, this site offers a relaxing and medium depth tour of a coral garden.

Marine life here includes the dogtooth tuna, bigeye trevallies, nurse shark, lettuce corals, parrotfish, butterfly fish, Moorish idols, batfish, ocean pikes, enormous giant clams, peacock flaunders, hawkfish, and barracudas.

c) ‘The Tunnel’
The dive here will allow sights of mostly of smaller creatures in great numbers. This dive makes up of an in and out swim along the wall of the reef. This wall consists of vertical cracks until the last one transforms into a canyon. It is not worth going deeper than 15 metres as it plunges deep into the abyss.

Marine life here includes the longfin banner fish, hermit crabs, spotted lionfish, starfish, crinoid, blackspotted pufferfish, fusiliers, urchins, and crabs.

d) ‘“D” Wall’
This vertical wall plunges into the sea for more than 2,000 metres. After a quick descent to about 40 metres, divers will reach a sandy balcony of about 30 metres long and 6 metres wide. This balcony allows photographers to take great shots of the marine life here.

Marine life here includes the enormous barrel sponges, fluorescent violet anthias, enormous gorgonians, crinoids, giant mantas, anemones, leopard sharks, whitetip reefsharks, and scalloped hammerhead sharks.

e) ‘The Valley’
This site starts with a gentle slope from a depth of about 2 to 15 metres, and comes to a seabed of stony and other corals. Further off, the slope becomes steeper then plunges deep into the abyss.

Marine life here includes the bommies flicker fish, sweetlips, squirrel fish, butterfly fish, peep garden eels, crayfish, starfish, panther flounder, shrimp, crinoids, pincushion starfish, redtooth triggerfish, hammerhead sharks, and fox sharks.

f) ‘Shark’s Cave’
This dive is similar to the “D” Wall dive – an intact top reef with luxuriant growth and an amazing variety of resident species, a vertical drop and a sandy balcony down to about 30 metres.

Marine life here includes the whitetip reef sharks, gigantic gorgonians, black corals, barrel sponges, bubble corals, giant manta ray, and leopard sharks.

g) ‘Wrasse Strip’
The dive here, at about 30 metres, will allow the diver to see one of the richest and most untouched reefs in the world. The most exciting would be from the surface to 20 metres deep, where large coral formations exist.

Marine life here includes the turtles, manta rays, reef sharks, batfish, redtooth triggerfish, angelfish, butterfly fish, soldierfish, lobsters, starfish, nudibranchs, sea snails, miniscule blennies and crustaceans.

h) ‘Crack Reef’
Located along the northern side of the atoll, this dive site is characterised by a luxuriant coral garden at the shallow depths of 5 to 15 metres. It gradually descends to a steep slope into the abyss. It is also possible to have a tranquil exploration at shallower depths where carpets of soft and hard corals grow.

Marine life here includes the coral groupers, peacock groupers, squirrel fish, soldier fish, trigger fish, boxfish, nudibranchs, sea snails, flounders, fire fish, anemones, porcelain crabs, crayfish, angelfish, and pyramid butterfly fish.

 

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