Mariveles Reef, 59km slightly east of north from Terumbu Layang
Layang, dries enclosing two large lagoons in a figure of eight formation with a sand
cay between them. This small cay and some isolated rocks are just visible at high
The currents are strong and the stony corals healthy but many of the sea fans have
seen better days and have now been colonised by sponges.
There are numerous sandy areas with many shy Eagle Rays, Blue Spotted Lagoon Rays,
Porcupine Rays, snappers, large groupers and nesting Clown Triggerfish. Timid Guitar
Sharks always manage to avoid photographers getting close while octopuses and stonefish
make good use of their camouflage. This is a good reef for observing rare Triton
Erica Reef, 24km east-northeast of Mariveles Reef is small, almost circular, with
an outside radius about 1 km. It dries entirely, enclosing a shallow lagoon. A few
rocks remain visible on the east side at low water but there is no obvious point
The lagoon is too shallow to be of much interest and the outer reef is a steep slope
rather than a drop-off, but it descends into very deep water. Healthy stony corals
harbouring a myriad of reef creatures descend into the depths and many shoals of
semi-pelagic fish are seen in the clear visibility.
On each reef the south walls are precipitous while their other boundaries are slopes,
the walls are a result of prevailing currents and the direction of maximum sunlight
encouraging coral growth.
On mirror-calm days we were entertained by marlin and sailfish jumping out of the
water while chasing caranx and tuna.