Small Gota Sataya lies in the eastern part of the Fury Shoals, 6 km northwest of the major Sataya reef and 14 km off the Egyptian coast. The 330 m wide reef is surrounded on all sides by the seabed at 20 m and offers easy diving conditions, and though many liveaboards include this reef in their programme, overcrowding is rarely an issue.
Small Gota Sataya is also known as “Fury Shoal Garden”, which refers to the large coral garden A A on its northern side, which extends along the entire northern flank of the reef and hosts not only boulder corals but also colonies of a flowerpot, table, leather and staghorn corals. Here on the northern side, the current splits along both the western and eastern sides of the reef, and the entry point should, therefore, be chosen according to the planned direction of your dive.
On the northeastern tip, near the moorings, two large solitary coral rocks A grow from the seabed to just below the surface with overhangs and small niches at their base, in which shy marine creatures, such as groupers, sometimes hide. The eastern side below the moorings I A is partially covered with beautiful corals, but also has some barren areas, and moray eels, Red Sea anemonefish and parrotfish inhabit the coral rocks on the sandy seabed around it. There are less corals to the southwest, however, where the landscape is dominated by moderately covered reef walls. If possible, you should, therefore, plan the dive starting from the north and passing to the eastern side. To reach the small secluded erg in the south, you would have to dive a long time over the sand, so we advise against diving there.
Small Gota Sataya offers enough shelter to anchor at overnight, and thus enables night dives.
Small Gota Sataya
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