General Information Umm Chararim lies 24 km north of St. John’s reefs and 22 km south of Sernaka Island, halfway between the two dive sites. It is a good place to make a stop during the long journey to the north. However, this is not the only good reason to come here: in the south of the large main reef lie a number of magnificent, deep caverns and caves A A at a depth of 6 to 10 m, where sunlight penetrates the openings above and illuminates the sea fans on the walls A providing an almost fairytale dive. The inside of the reef also hosts a beautiful coral garden A, which extends up to the surface and makes diving here unforgettable. Umm Chararim is therefore well frequented with several ships occasionally mooring here at the same time, while their divers explore the caves.
To the east near the moorings, I lie spacious, bright caverns A (entrances A, B, C and D), whose passages are short allowing you to explore this part of the reef even if you generally feel uncomfortable in closed underwater environments. Some of the passages to the west A are narrower, branch out more, and occasionally lead far into the reef making it advisable only to remain in the big main passages or to dive with an experienced guide. Some of them are even so labyrinthine and deep that you could get hopelessly lost within A.
Since some ships moor overnight at the reef, night dives are possible at the site. However, we advise divers to remain in the east A, and strongly advise against venturing in the dark into the winding passages to the west A