Crystal Lagoon

This shallow, sheltered dive site is very busy with boat traffic during the summer – weekends and holidays especially – so ensure that you surface close to the coastline.

It is also a popular dive, as it is suitable for all levels of diver, and features a long, well-lit tunnel as well as a mixture of sea grass, boulders and dazzling sandy patches. Maximum depth here is 16m so it is perfect for a second or third dive, and great for photography.

The lagoon itself is mostly 5m deep or less, and is a nursery for young fish. There is a boat landing on the left hand side, and just before it a tunnel visible above the water. This tunnel is large enough for small boats to pass through, so once again, please be careful where you ascend. The dive usually starts with the tunnel, the entrance of which has 5m of water so you will be well below any boats. The tunnel is wide, with vertical walls, and a mixture of rocks and gravel on the bottom. A torch is not necessary, but can be useful to search for any critters. Here I have found some fabulous large nudibranchs, quite different to the usual white or blue small ones, and in various beautiful colours. The exit of the tunnel is at 8m and quickly descends to 13m – bear this in mind if searching for the tunnel from the other side. You can turn left and quickly return to the lagoon, or turn right and explore another false tunnel, where there is a large crack in the rock that doesn’t quite come to anything. Continuing to your right you will see an underwater rocky overhang, with an outcrop on top that gives it the appearance of a rhino’s head. Here is an excellent spot to find one or two large grouper, but you will have to sneak up on them. The ceiling of the overhang is covered in growth, usually attracting more than a few nudibranchs.

If you continue on you will enter the Blue Lagoon, but turn left and you will quickly find the base of a pinnacle that rises up above the waves, between Blue Lagoon and Crystal Lagoon. This pinnacle is known as Mushroom Rock, and is over 10m tall. The base is well worth exploring as there are lots of nooks and crannies, overhangs and boulders. Here you may find lobster, octopus, cuttlefish as well as reef fish. I have even seen barracuda and trigger fish around the pinnacle occasionally.

To return to Crystal Lagoon, either use the tunnel, or swim with it on your left so that you are between the coast and the sandy seabed at 16m. In this area you will find small boulders, sea grass, and small patches of sand or gravel. These patches are popular with octopus – just look out for their garden of stones, and their empties (shellfish they have eaten). As you swim eastwards the sandy patches become larger and larger until you reach the mouth of the lagoon. Here is a large sandy area, 10m deep, which usually has several flying gurnards picking their way across the sand. Try not to spook these fish and you might be rewarded with a wonderful display of their iridescent blue wings. If they take flight they often do so with wings closed sadly. Moving north into the lagoon itself you will find all sorts of juvenile fish and cuttlefish as well as booty dropped from boats. This is a great place for new sunglasses, masks, snorkels or towels.