Middle Reef Salang Bay

In Salang Bay Shore Dives by Grahame Massicks

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Middle Reef stretches out north from the Salang jetty. Some of the dive operators here call this area House Reef because it is the reef closest to their shop. Since I am an independent instructor this name doesn’t seem appropriate to me, so I call it Middle Reef.

It starts from the low tide mark dropping gently down to 3 to 5 meters. In this area there are a variety of attractive bommies, rock and coral outcrops surrounded by sand. Then the bottom slopes more steeply down to about 12 to 14 meters.

<img src="padi-diving-middle-reef-tioman-island-malaysia.jpg" alt="PADI diving, Middle Reef, Tioman Island, Malaysia" />

Cuttlefish mating, Salang, Tioman.

Every year in this area cuttlefish come in to mate and lay their eggs in the hard corals. This happens over roughly a three week period in February to March and is an amazing thing to witness and try to photograph! The males display for the benefit of the females, and to try to intimidate the other males. When they display their whole body increases in size, particularly the tentacles and their body mantle. Their skin turns into vertical stripes of black and white, and they ‘grow’ nodules all over their bodies. Sometimes the display results in physical contact. The winner of these contests then mate with their chosen female in a face to face position. When this is complete he will guard her while the female lays her fertilised eggs into the reef. Meanwhile the unsuccessful males hover close by looking for an opportunity to interfere. After they have completed this process the hard corals are full of their white golf ball sized eggs – and then turtles come to feast on them!

<img src="padi-diving-middle-reef-tioman-island-malaysia.jpg" alt="PADI diving, Middle Reef, Tioman Island, Malaysia" />

Cuttlefish fighting in Salang Bay, Tioman.

The sandy area below this is a great place to practice compass skills and the training area in between the reef and the jetty is ideal for Open Water skills and buoyancy practice.

Another feature of this area is where one of the dive shops have made some small metal structures in an effort to promote coral regeneration.

During 2016 the sea has washed away some of the sand from the lower parts of the beach. This has uncovered some of the rocks below and has made the beach more difficult to cross in bare feet. So I strongly advise participants to bring a pair of flip flops to wear into the water until we are up to our chests. You can then float, take of your flip flops and put on your fins.

Lots of divers consider shore diving to be inferior to boat diving, but Middle Reef is proof enough to me that they are not always correct. In fact, the shore diving in Salang Bay is so good that I offer a specially priced three dive day. Details can be found on the Current Prices page under the heading of Fun Dives.

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See Middle Reef and Jetty’s Gallery