Parlatuvier Bay
Diving
Pier
London Arch
Dutchman's Reef
Dutchman's Reef

This reef is easily accessed from either the shore at Mount Irvine beach or from a boat.

The dive starts shallow and heads in a westerly direction. Along the reef's edge look for two very old cannons that were once part of the Dutch East India Company fleet that ran aground in the 17th century. They can be difficult to recognise because of heavy coral encrustation.

Once past the cannons, the dive heads north and here the reef takes on a different appearance. The hard corals form huge holes that are home to spiny lobsters, the occasional nurse sharks, blackbar soldierfish, cardinalfish and numerous arrowhead crabs.

There are numerous cleaning stations along the reef consisting of corkscrew anemones with its associated red snapping shrimp and tiny Pederson cleaning shrimp.

This part of the reef is covered by brown tube sponges, small brain corals, fire corals, black ball sponges. The mountainous star corals are heavily inhabited with Christmas tree worms and split-crown feather dusters. Black long-spined urchins dot the reef and contrast against the white hard corals.

On the second half of this dive, the reef slopes steeply to the sandy sea floor and here there is a profusion of soft corals consisting of sea rods, sea plumes, Venus sea fans, common sea fans, C spray and various sponges. The reef is home to a large shell of Creole wrasse and blue and brown chromis.

Large spiny lobsters and giant green morays are often found hiding and alleges at the reef's edge. On the sandy seabed, look for southern stingrays, lesser electric race, spotted snake eels and large yellowhead jawfish while hawksbill turtles normally feed on the smaller barrel sponges.

 

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