marine poisons are lowtemperature acting and by using warm water on the wound, the pain will subside as the heat breaks down the protein of the poison. However, poison from a stonefish (Synanceiasp) can be fatal and will require ananti-venom. There are also a few Lionfish (Pteroisvolitans) hanging around, and when disturbed, they will spread their fins out and go in a head-down position ready to defend
themselves also with poisoned spines â€“ be careful! Predating on the scorpionfish are the moray eels, and you will find various species lurking in the Dendronephthya corals, which are also home to many smaller fish including the small boxfish (Ostracionmeleagris) that dart around, their obscure non-streamlined shape belying their ability to swim off very quickly. On the sandy surrounds of the rock, you will find plenty of gobies living in holes along with their live-in shrimp housecleaners (Alpheus sp). Sea Pens wafting in the current,
and perhaps a ray or two half buried in the sand. After about 20 minutes in the deeper side, move slowly back towards the mooring line shifting to a shallower depth for your multi-level dive, and by monitoring your dive computer, you will be rewarded with a longer time as air consumption will decrease when you ascend. Explore the small canyons, observe the Sergeant Majors (Abudefdufvaigiensis) laying their eggs (purple patches) and protecting them against other fish looking for a quick meal. The Redtooth Triggerfish (Odonusniger), swimming awkwardly or hiding in crevices, perhaps sleeping. You may also be approached by one of several larger fish, the Broomtail Wrasse (Cheilinuslunulatus) with their distinct yellow marking above their pectoral fins. Take your time to dive this site, swim slowly, touch nothing and take only photographs. Even in poor visibility, this site has a lot to offer.
Gordon T. Smith
OutdoorUAE September 2012