About 4.5 nautical miles east of Jazirat Bayer is the Abington Reef. It is part of a small chain of reefs that are far off the mainland coast and rise like needles from the sea floor, which is over 500 meters deep.
The Abington reef has a triangular shape and slopes almost vertically on the sides. Plateaus of different sizes are connected to the corners. The largest and most lush vegetation is the western one. Here the entire biodiversity of underwater fauna and flora of the Sudanese waters unfolds. Thanks to its unmanned, 30 meter high lighthouse, the reef is easy to spot from afar. It consists of a metal frame that stands on a rectangular concrete foundation. The tower serves as a resting and feeding place for seabirds. The chopped conch snail shells at the foot of the tower testify to this. At night, the beacon can still be seen at a distance of 20 nautical miles. Due to the exposed location, strong currents must be expected. It forms the food basis for a large number of stone and soft corals. Depending on the season, different types of sharks lead to this reef.
South wall with west plateau
When the current is from the north, the south side is in the shadow of the current, and a wonderful dive can be carried out. The reef wall drops vertically on this side at depths of 20 to 25 meters and merges into an inclined slope below. In shallow water up to 4 meters, it is crisscrossed by small canyons, overhangs and tunnels. This section also invites you to snorkel.
In the lower part of the reef wall there are big groupers in columns. Shoals of jewel groupers stick close to the reef. There is little else to see in the columns, but the sun's rays often create a bizarre sight. Soldier fish seek shelter in the sometimes quite large grottos.
A drop-off begins below the sloping slope, on the vertical wall of which huge gorgonians hold their fans in the current. The west plateau stretches from 25 to about 30 meters. The end drops steeply into the deep blue. At its base is a large table coral, under which there is usually a large grouper. The bottom is covered with smaller coral blocks, between which one or two white tip reef sharks rest from time to time. The numerous whip corals are striking. A large flock of barracudas often circles above the plateau.
North plateau with west side
The plateau consists of two stages. The upper one is 5 meters, the lower one is 15 meters and quickly drops to a depth of 25 meters. It is beautifully overgrown and has larger coral heads. Patrolling whitetip reef sharks or gray reef sharks can be found on the outer edge.
Strong currents can often be expected on the plateau, which makes it difficult or even impossible to stay. In this case, the dive can be continued relaxed on the west side, which is not as flowy. The reef wall drops vertically to 35 to 40 meters. It ends in a small sloping slope below which a drop-off begins. It extends beyond the scuba diving limit. The wall is covered with numerous leather corals, and at the southern end a small group of Napoleons circles. At a greater distance, shoals of barbed mackerel pass by and offer underwater photographers a beautiful motif.
East side with southeast plateau
Due to the current occurring, a drift dive is recommended on this side. If it comes from the south, it starts at the small southeast plateau. This falls quickly to 35 meters and then merges into a vertical wall with many sea fans.
The east side of the reef is very rugged and offers its residents numerous opportunities to seek shelter. Shoals of blue-striped snappers and mackerel are in the current. However, the diver should not fail to peek out into the deep blue. Large pelagic fish such as hammerhead sharks or gray sharks pass by here.
- Depending on the season different types of sharks such as hammerhead sharks, white tip reef sharks or gray sharks can be found on this reef.