Difficulty: Open Water Divers
Boulders, limestone caverns, abundant reef life and a nearby island to chill out on.
A great dive North of Dibba, Lima Rock, amid a plethora of coral and marine life, marks the southern entrance to Lima Bay. This small island is a pinnacle of limestone rock, about 300m long by 200m wide with steep, jagged sides. The waves have undercut the rock in places, leaving shallow caves and deep lissures. Sheer cliffs drop almost vertically to a depth of about 12m, then boulders run steeply down to a sandy bottom at more than 60m. Check tides and expect currents, including downward currents.
On the southern side of the island, there are a couple of relatively deep caves, one of which used to be the home of a 2.5m nurse shark, now only seen very occasionally. At the south-eastern end of the island, a massive boulder guards the easternmost tip of the island. If the currents are mild, wait on this monolith and look out into the deep water for tuna, jacks, sharks and devil rays. You may even see a whale shark or a sunfish. Between 12 and 20m, the boulder field is covered with hard corals (table, stag horn, brain and boulder coral), and patches of soft corals (orange and pink teddybear coral). The marine life is abundant, with large shoals of reef fish. At 20m and deeper, abundant yellow and green colored black coral, and numerous clumps of purple coral appear between the patches of sand. Look out for the yellow-mouthed morays with their vivid, colorful markings. Moving deeper towards the shelving sand, white tip sharks, marble rays, torpedo rays and leopard sharks are often seen resting on the bottom. On the north side, steep walls drop down to the sand at 20m. This side of the island is in shade from mid morning onwards. Keep an eye open for critters and nudibranchs. They vary in size from 2mm to 20cm, and are very colorful. The island is also home to a variety of birds such as ospreys, swifts and sooty falcons that frequent the high ramparts of the rock, making it an interesting location to wait between dives.