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Dive Site Darat Passage North - Gililawa Darat Island

 Diving at Darat Passage North
Scuba diving at Darat Passage North
The reef slope is very rich in marine life and the sandy bottom at 15m depth is covered in garden eels. On the approach to the channel, turtles may be seen as well as a school of giant sweetlips that live in a grotto near the surface of the water. Around the southwest corner of the island, the shallow reefs are extremely rich and full of fish life. Bumphead parrotfish are commonly seen and aggregate here to spawn annually around the month of April. Sharks and schools of batfish also reside in the passage. A large coral head about two thirds of the way through the dive teems with life and activity. An excellent drift dive and good snorkeling can be found on the northern side of the channel between Gililawa Darat and Komodo Island. The dive can be done from east to west or vise-versa depending on the current. The visibility is usually better if diving from west to east. Best to dive just before or after slack tide when the current is not too strong. The best diving entry point is on the reef slope on the west side of Gililawa Darat Island, about 100 meters north of the channel. Swim towards the southwestern corner of the island. The current is usually very gentle in this area. The sandy bottom starts at 15 m depth then drops away to about 35 m before rounding the southern corner of the island and into the channel. Get ready to drift as the channel becomes shallower and the current increases. Recommend to stay shallow and on the northern side of the channel as the deeper section of the channel has rubble, boat traffic and a downcurrent at the end of it. You will gradually get closer to the island towards the end of the dive. The current eventually decreases near the end of the dive.