running from northwest t to southeast that constitutes the impressive Sha’ab Mahmud and separates a broad sandy lagoon from the open sea, is breached by two channels known as Small Crack (or Small Passage) and Big Crack (or Big Passage). Small Crack, called Fossma Saghir by local fishermen, is the more southerly channel. Its central body is divided by a large coral formation into two secondary channels from 5 to 8 meters deep with tidal currents that
can become extremely strong. When the tide is flooding and the current it generates moves northwards, you are pushed from the lagoon out towards the open sea. If on the other hand, the tide is ebbing, the current runs south towards the lagoon: it is, therefore, preferable to dive then so that you can drift back to your boat moored inside the lagoon. Obviously a zodiac would be ideal for dives in Small Crack. On the outer reef wall, which descends to a sandy floor between 18–22 meter deep, you will see gorgonians,
Alcyonarians and large table corals. Often there are turtles and also Leopard sharks (Stegostoma fasciatum) and Whitetip reef sharks (Triaenodon obesus). In the summer there are schools of barracuda and jackfish and, near the mouth of the channel, a school of breams (genus Acanthopagrus). Inside the northern channel, there is an abundance of fire corals (Millepora dichotoma), typical in areas with strong currents.
Look out for
Comments. Be sure to check the direction of the current before your dive. • If the current is strong and running northwards, do not dive, especially if you do not have a zodiac.
Features • A varied underwater environment rich in different fauna. • A quiet site with few divers. • The chance to see Leopard sharks (Stegostoma fasciatum).