Let's try that once in Arabic: Kebir means 'large' and Gota means it's got something to do with a circular reef in the Red Sea. In summary, it's the large, circular reef of Sataya, adjacent to the main reef. No matter if we're sun worshippers or night owls, we'll all find the adventure we're looking for here!
Satay Gota Kebir is located west of the Sataya main reef and we dive to a depth of approx. five to 25 metres. The mooring is well protected by a plateau; we can easily spend both the day as well as the night here. Alone the thought of this is enough to make us spring up again and set off on the next holiday!
The plateau in the south lies five to eleven metres before it plunges between 15 and 18 metres on the outer side. Almost any insurance company would close a deal with us here that we are more or less guaranteed to see Spanish dancers. That's what the Satay Gota Kebir is known and famous for. We can come up with one or two other bets to make with our guides here. Bets can also be placed on prawns, rabbitfish, parrotfish in protective cocoon, cornetfish, gorgonocephalidae and lionfish.
In the west, we find a few larger blocks in a depth of around 22 metres, where flatworms, moray eels, snails as well as small groups of hunting fish feel at home. In the north, there's a wonderful lagoon with an incredibly beautiful coral garden, various shoals of fish, a colony of sea anemones including nemo fish and every once in a while some medium-sized predatory fish.
Spanish dancers: At night, we can almost certainly request the Spanish dancers to take the dance floor. Of course, this requires some patience as well as a good sense of intuition.
Lagoon: The beautiful lagoon with its coral garden and colony of sea anemones radiates in the most beautiful colours during the day.
Current: N/W in the morning, N/E at midday, N/E in the afternoon
Visibility: J, F, M, A: 25–30 m; M, J, J, A: 30–50 m; S, O, N, D: 40–50 m
Temperatures: J, F, M: 24–25°C; A, M, J: 26–28°C; J, A, S: 28-31°C; O, N, D: 30-25°C
Depth: 25 m
Tour 1 – the lagoon and the west
We have the Zodiac bring us close to the lagoon, descend to ten metres and then let the fun begin by diving through a fissure. We see beautiful corals, shoals of fish and small hunters. At the end of the lagoon, the dive continues west to the 'labyrinth' – we should remember to keep an eye on our no-decompression time whilst admiring the small and large blocks. Back at the reef, the dive continues with the current, heading south to the 'inverse maze' and then one hundred metres to the boat.
Tour 2 – north-east at midday
From the Zodiac, the dive continues south with the reef on our right shoulder. We let the current slowly and continually push us towards the boat. Whilst floating above the sandy flats, we explore rays, then also shoals of snappers and some snails. Mackerel, young tuna and barracudas openly hunt in front of us, whilst we keep an eye on the reef and dive to the small plateau, where we will find the anchor lines leading back to the safari boat.
Tour 3 – high plateau at night
It's best for us to enter the water from the stern to the high plateau and explore the outer edge in a depth of 15 metres. In the coral garden, we will find lionfish, crustaceans and sleeping parrotfish and rabbitfish. There is a sandy alleyway at the western end of the plateau where cone shells and seafeathers hunt. There's one more thing for fans of "Pet Sematary", as a snail graveyard exists here ... whoever wants to pass this one up, can dive back to the boat and look around both blocks for Spanish dancers, feather stars and gorgonocephalidae.