General Information With its length of 840 m and width of 400 m, Gota Kebira is the largest of St. John’s reefs. It lies 7.1 km southeast of Umm Arouk and 5.7 km west of Habili Ali. Because of its size, it provides sufficiently sheltered moorings and is therefore often moored at overnight. Nevertheless, night diving is too dangerous here and therefore not possible. During strong winds, this remarkable reef represents a welcome and more sheltered alternative to Habili Ali. Nevertheless, the divers spread out well across the site making it rarely crowded.
Gota Kebira is surrounded on all sides by steep, rugged walls full of corals A A, which fall vertically to an average depth of 20 m and then form a flat ledge at 40 m before sinking into the ocean. Shoals of snappers swim along the walls while jacks hunt for prey. At the northern tip, the current split providing a good chance to encounter big fish. To the south, below the moorings, the drop-off gives way to a ledge covered with corals at a depth of 25 to 30 m. Although the ledge is often referred to as a plateau, it does not deserve this label. The edge of reef flat above has cracks that only reach a few metres into the reef and is in one place also home to a colony of anemones A at a depth of 6 m.
At the eastern side, at a depth of 6 to 10 m, small cave entrances A is found hidden behind some corals, which, once found, permit short excursions through the reef flat. Just before the point where the reef begins to turn to the west, there is a slightly bigger cave A. It is easy to find because it is marked by a small but clearly recognizable sandy plateau at 10 m beneath the massive overhang where its entrances are found. Altogether, the diving conditions at the site are mostly moderate, but not suitable for beginners because of its depth.