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Experience level: Beginner
Typical depth: 30 meters / 100 feet

A stone's throw from Ulong Channel, this expansive coral garden boasts large hard corals of every variety. Panther Grouper, Spotted Sweet-Lips and a large school of big eye soldier fish shelter under broad table corals, while hefty schools of Yellow Fin Barracuda patrol the reef, sometimes accompanied by Grey Reef Sharks. The reef ends at a sandy bottom around 30m / 100ft which slopes off into the blue and gives the site its name. Look closely in the sand for waving forests of Garden Eels and be manicured by bold Cleaner Wrasse. Pay careful attention to your guide if they are also able to spot a beautifully camouflaged pair of Scorpion Leaf Fish hiding just below swarming tiny Glass Fish. Be warned though, this sandy bottom also serves as a popular breeding ground for highly protective Yellow Margin Trigger Fish in the run up to the new moon. This is the first site ever recorded as a mass spawning site for thousands of Humphead Parrotfish coming together before the new moon every month to spawn early in the morning.

Sandy Paradise

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photos by Mandy Etpison