At Alphonse Island, there is no shortage of unique and interesting dive sites to explore. We have something to suit all levels of diving from beginners to advanced divers. If you’re an underwater photographer, you’ll be thrilled by the selection of unique dive sites perfectly suited for every type of photography. We cater to macro, close-up wide-angle and wide-angle photography – taking you to a range of sites to suit your photography needs.
For the love of small things
Macro photography is so much fun. We love examining the reefs to find the little things that often go unnoticed. By doing so, we learn so much about marine ecology, which helps us be able to spot and show you all the wonderful little things.
We understand that macro photography requires a different type of diving. Rushing around to keep up with the group and divemaster won’t lead to great shots. We will ensure that if macro photography is your goal, we will take you to the best sites and allow time for you to get your shots.
Here are a few of our top choices for macro photography dive sites:
Location: 15 minutes by boat, West Alphonse.
Depth: 5 – 15 m. on the plateau. 30 m. + on the slope.
Description: The 2-3m high spurs are surrounded by shoals of anthia and have many moray eels, shrimp and nudibranch within the coral holes. Small overhangs along the reef’s smoothed drop off are the perfect hiding place for lobster and crab.
Special feature: Excellent spot for macro photography and ideal for beginners, rarely much current.
WEST SIDE WALL
Location: 10 minutes by boat, West of Alphonse Channel.
Depth: 6 – 16 m.
Description: This site is one of the best for macro life with porcelain crabs, squat and cleaner shrimp, various nudibranch, flatworm, octopus and leaf scorpionfish.
Special feature: This is an easy and relaxing dive site suitable for beginners who want to enjoy a wide variety of marine life, particularly macro.
Location: 20 minutes by boat, East Alphonse. Depth: 8 – 30 m.
Description: A sunlit and hard-coral covered plateau at 8 m curves into a drop-off at 13 m.
The plateau teams with reef fish and turtles and is perfect for beginners. The site is named after the thousands of gorgonian sea fans that extend for kilometers in a dense purple forest along the wall. Other impressive soft corals include bushes of black coral and whip coral. These animals host unusual macro-life including shrimps and gobies as well as the reclusive long-nosed hawkfish.
Special feature: The gorgonian-covered wall is spell-binding with the added charm of the dappled light and vivid colours on the plateau. Currents at this site are often weak allowing for gentle drifts and easy diving.
Location: 25 minutes by boat, West St. Francois.
Depth: 7 – 20 m.
Description: The coral assemblage at this site with a flat gently sloping bottom resembles that of patch reef. However at 10-18 m patches of sand are scarce due to incredibly high coral cover. Currents are generally mild and so it is perfect for photographers who like to document even the smallest of fish. The laid back vibes at this site allow divers to get close to giant moray eel and lionfish that inhabit crevices in the reef.
Special feature: This is the best site for those who like to get up-close to a variety of reef fish for photography or behavioural observations due to lack of currents.
Location: 20 minutes by boat, South Bijoutier. Depth: 7 – 16 m.
Description: A flat sandy arena covered sporadically in great coral bommies that explode with fish. The massive structures are some of the most singular outcrops of coral in the region and therefore allow divers to fully appreciate how these animals grow up and outward into mind-boggling creations of life.
Coral pinnacles, mini-caves and crevices are home to many giant moray eel and octopus. Bommie hopping is the game of this dive and the surrounding sand patches harbour many gobies and shrimp.
Special feature: The lack of currents and flat-bottom at this sheltered lagoon site makes it perfect for independent discovery and exploration for buddy teams. It is also an ideal place to escape to in poor conditions.
All of these sites offer relaxed currents and can be explored when visibility is poor. Their shallow depths allow time for macro photographers to go slowly and take the time to compose that perfect shot. We understand those needs and are excited to show you our thriving underwater macro life!
Quick Tips for underwater photography: