The smallest of the four reefs in the Strait of Tiran, Thomas Reef offers a perfect blend of coral architecture, pelagic species, and colourful reef dwellers. It is famous among tech divers and deep divers for its canyon starting at around 35 meters and sinking to 90 meters and beyond. Three natural arches bridge the sides of the canyon.
The dive usually starts on the southern wall, where a steep drop-off starts from a couple meters below the surface and drops almost vertically to about 25 metres. Here, a little sandy patch with large sea fans marks the access way to the canyon; it is often a resting ground for big turtles. However, recreational divers usually start to ascend along the wall to the shallower waters before entering the canyon. In the proximity of the corner facing Woodhouse reef, the current can be strong, and divers are recommended to stay close to the wall to find shelter from it. Clouds of frenetic anthias and Chromis surround the divers, while big snappers, jacks, and barracudas patrol the big blue.
If the sea is calm, and the “Rais” (boat captain) is in a good mood, divers can continue the dive toward the northern side of the reef. Here, the difference in light exposure produces a different effect on coral growth: it is somehow less explosive in terms of colour, but overall it creates a more “pelagic” environment.
This text is for information purposes only. It has been written by members of the website and can be inaccurate. Always contact local professional divers before diving.