Rating – High Season
As this is a reef dive it can be dived year round.
Rating – Low Season
Rating – As A Dive
This dive rates an 8/10 as a reef dive. It is mostly a shallow dive starting at 11m and dropping off to 18 to 20m making it accessible to all qualifications.
Eelskin lies on the Southern most tip of the Aliwal Shoal approximately 1km from Cathedral. Starting at its most Southern point it lies in an open “L” shape with its northern end almost touching the southern side of the Inside Edge.
Eelskin is only 15m across and is thus it is easy to Criss Cross over the top of the reef from the one edge to the other. Usually the dive master will pick one of the three routes, either along the top of the reef or along one of the sides.
This is truly a spectacular reef with everything to offer except depth. It is scored with gullies, caves, overhangs and shallow drop off’s, on each of its sides and must be at least a kilometer in length.
Due to its southerly position it is not one of the most commonly dived sites and thus has minimal evidence of diver impact.
This dive is a must with anybody visiting Aliwal Shoal, especially those divers that are looking for the “pretty pretty” – stuff both in landscape, fauna and flora.
The diversity of fauna and flora on this site is amazing. One finds the huge Tiger Cowries, Murex etc on this dive as well as turtles, potato bass, rock cod’s and a full variety of tropical fish.
This is a shallow dive starting at 11m, dropping down on the sides to 18 to 20m. There is a lot to see on the shallowest points and it is unnecessary to go below 18m for a fantastic dive.
This dive works best on a slight South – North current as the southern most tip of the reef is easily located and from there the reef is easily navigable using the slight current to your advantage as you drift down the reef.
Its most notable feature is the Tiger Sharks (Click on hyperlink to go to tiger shark section)
The main danger on this dive is that it is a long shallow dive, which results in an increased chance of DCS as opposed to a short deep dive.
Other dangers include marine hazards such as Lion fish and fire corral.
One also needs to be particularly vigilant of where the DM is, as the reef does not lie in the direction of the usual current flow.
If you are swept away from the group one needs to ascend immediately, omitting your safety stop, to ensure that you are still close enough to the buoy to be picked you by the skipper.