North Reef Salang Bay

In Salang Bay Shore Dives by Grahame Massicks

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North Reef extends over a large area and drops off gently from about 2 meters to 10 to 12 meters with a sandy bottom stretching away to the west. In the shallow waters you can be find the best coral in Salang Bay with a fascinating group of large and small bommies on a sandy bottom.

Just to the south of the training area there is an exceptionally attractive hard coral garden which is a favourite of mine to visit with my camera. There is a resident school of batfish and a good selection of reef inhabitants. I have found nudibranchs, leopard moray eels and tiny lion fish here.

<img src="padi-diving-salang-bay-north-tioman-island-malaysia.jpg" alt="PADI diving, Salang Bay North, Tioman Island, Malaysia" />

Hawksbill turtle Salang Bay north reef

Turtles are frequently sighted at North Reef, along with occasional groups of bump head parrotfish. The more regular reef inhabitants such as butterfly fish, clown fish, wrasse and a variety of puffer fish are often seen. Groupers are sometimes found and I have occasionally found the very ugly devil scorpion fish!

To the north of the entry point the corals are not so attractive and were severely damaged by a storm a few years ago. Fortunately the fish don’t seem to mind and and a good selection of marine life can be found there.

The sandy bottom stretches away to the west. This area is great for practicing navigation and buoyancy skills. It is populated by a variety of sand gobies with their commensurate shrimp. The shrimps make and maintain the hideaway while the gobbies stand guard against predators.

<img src="padi-diving-salang-bay-north-tioman-island-malaysia.jpg" alt="PADI diving, Salang Bay North, Tioman Island, Malaysia" />

Lion fish in Salang Bay, Tioman Island.

Black banded rays inhabit the region. They are bottom dwellers, and so well camouflaged that it can be startling when they are disturbed and scatter off into the distance. The small yellow tailed puffer fish are another inhabitant of the sand and also a favourite with photographers.

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 North 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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