Local captains and fishermen know this reef as “Shaab Malkout”, though it is marked as “Farewell Reef” on almost all maps. For the sake of clarity, we will also refer to it as the latter. Farewell Reef lies in the western part of the Fury Shoals 10 km off the mainland. The dive site comprises two bank reefs, each about 200 m wide, and the entire site measures 690 m from north to south. Liveaboards rarely moor here, because their tour schedule only allows them to visit the most known reefs in the Fury Shoals. It is, however, a popular site for daily boats because of its proximity to the mainland.
The northern reef consists of rugged walls A that drop to 16 m before meeting the steeply sloping seabed. Along with the southern reef, it forms a 100 m wide channel A, in the north of which lies a large coral garden A. The seabed in the channel is no deeper than 16 m. Between the coral rocks here the attentive can find interesting little things, such as red anemones. The walls of the southern reef reach the seabed at a depth of 12 m and feature a few small cave entrances A, which, however, never reach more than a few metres into the reef. Another coral garden A, smaller than the one at the north reef, lies below the anchor points to the south.
The diving conditions around Farewell Reef are consistently easy. Currents can be found along the outer sides of the reef and in the channel. However, when they do flow, they do so in the direction of the dive making them nothing to worry about. The sandy seabed, however, can sometimes give rise to a slightly reduced visibility, but it does not make a big difference. Unfortunately, the reef is too small to provide sufficient shelter to moor at overnight, so no night dives are done here.
GPS: N 24° 11,933′ E 35° 39,167′. V/Dive Routes
Route A: coral garden -mooring
Duration: about 60min. Difficulty: * Go by RIB to the northern side and check if a current is flowing to the east. If you enter the water too far to the west, you either have to dive against the current at the beginning, or you have to dive along the less interesting western side. Because of its orientation, the northern side of the reef lies in the shade all day, and the best light falls around noontime when the sun is high.
Descend at the entry point to a depth of 15 to 20 m and follow the coral garden A A to the east, keeping the reef on your right shoulder. At the eastern tip, you will come across two arouks A in front of the reef, which has small overhangs at their base, under which blue-spotted stingrays, groupers and lionfish hide. Their walls are lush and lead to the reef flat with its splendid corals at a depth of 4 m below the surface. On the way back to the ship, either dive between the reef and the arouks A or go around them as shown on the map, where you cross the sandy seabed A to the main reef and continue back to the mooring 1. This area is sheltered from the current and is ideal for the safety stop.
A Tips / Hazards
• Easy diving conditions
Beautiful coral garden on the northern side • Check the current before diving • Night dives possible below the moorings • The caverns seen on the reef top from the boat