Cemetery Reef is just offshore of the north end of Seven Mile Beach and is reasonable second dive after a west side wall dive.
This site is so close to shore that you can also snorkel Cemetery Reef from the beach. You can find a number of different fishes on the site including, Angelfishes, Blue Tangs, Blue-headed Wrasse, Black Durgeon, Spotted Drum and much more. Cemetery Reef has a nice mix of coral fingers and sand channels to explore and a couple of nice Encrusting Octopus sponges.
While I rate this dive as average as a day dive it can be a lot more interesting as a night dive. So if you have done the usual sites, you may want to recommend Cemetery Reef as your choice for your next night dive.
Cemetery Reef Rating: 2.69 out of 5
- Visibility – Moderate; can be quite hazy
- Access – Easy; boat only and about 15 to 20 minutes from Hotels on Seven Mile Beach
- Current – minimal to none
- Depth to 60 ft / 18 m
- Reef health Hard / Soft Corals – Moderate (poor closer to shore)
- Sponges / Plants – Moderate (poor closer to shore)
- Marine species variety – Moderate
- Pelagics / Mammals / Turtles / Rays – minimal typically 1 to 3 sightings on a dive
Visibility on the site can be reduced a good bit at this site due to the amount of particulates in the water and its proximity to shore. However, Cemetery Reef can be interesting if you take your time. You can usually find Yellow Stingrays on this site partially buried in the sand. There is also a “lawn chair” in one of the sand channels where you can take a photo of your dive buddy.
There have been some Nurse Sharks seen on the site but this is not a common occurrence. The reef is in poor to moderate condition across much of the site but you can still find some very nice hard and soft
corals. You may also find a Green Moray Eel or two hiding in the corals. Make sure you check out the under hangs and pockets in the coral. You can also find Spiny Lobsters and other crustaceans. There several large sandy flats that runs through out the site and are good places to look for different types of rays, such as the Yellow Stingray. I have found several juveniles on this site from time to time.
Close up wide angle and macro photography are best on this site due to the amount of particulates that are typically in the water. There is also a fairly good variety of marine species on Cemetery Reef and I have spotted the elusive Spotted Drum on many occasions. This is typically a site where you can dive as a buddy team or you may be able to follow your dive master on a guided tour. It makes a nice change from one of the typical second dive sites on the west side and if you have not been to the site it is definitely worth at least one trip.
As in all dives I recommend going slowly and take time to appreciate the site. Read other dive site reviews on my blog and see other underwater photographs on my website and follow me on Twitter @ images2inspire. The pool is open…