Dive Site: Perpendicular Wall Christmas Island WA

Profusion of Fusiliers diving Perpendicular Wall at Christmas Island in Australias Indian Ocean by Diveplanit

Site Overview

Site Type: Reef and Wall; occasional mega fauna
Depth: Top: 5MMedian: 22MBottom: 36M
Location: The dog's tail: the north west tip of Christmas Island

Description

As the name implies, Perpendicular Wall is completely perpendicular to the ocean’s surface. It falls away almost vertically, the corals leaning out as far as they can to catch as much sunlight as they can. Large gorgonians extend perpendicular to the wall to catch as much as they can from the passing currents. It’s a riot of colour and teeming with fusiliers who seem to take great pleasure in schooling up and down the vertical wall, whilst the other reef fish travel horizontally along it.

My favourite dive along the north coast, but before it even starts we’re swimming with dolphins.

Dolphins before the first dive diving Perpendicular Wall at Christmas Island in Australias Indian Ocean by Diveplanit

The dive starts under an overhang with fantastic sea fans.  But don’t take my word for it – this short video will give you a good impression of what diving a vertical wall covered with coral and marine life is all about.

I think we were particularly lucky with the sunlight – being early morning it was coming from the north east – straight onto the Wall.

And, as the name suggest, falls away pretty much vertically as you head left towards the north-west tip of the island.

Sea fans in every direction diving Perpendicular Wall at Christmas Island in Australias Indian Ocean by Diveplanit

The wall is literally teeming with life: great coral and shoals of fish.

Well-named diving Perpendicular Wall at Christmas Island in Australias Indian Ocean by Diveplanit

both small and big like this Blue-lined Angelfish.

Blue-lined Angelfish diving Perpendicular Wall at Christmas Island in Australias Indian Ocean by Diveplanit

There’s a part where some coral sand from above has cascaded down onto the corals, fans and feathers that looks for all the world like it has snowed on the Christmas coral reef.

Christmas Is dusting of snow diving Perpendicular Wall at Christmas Island in Australias Indian Ocean by Diveplanit

Though the Featherstars don’t seem to mind.

Christmas Is dusting of snow diving Perpendicular Wall at Christmas Island in Australias Indian Ocean by Diveplanit

Top tip for this dive: take your time; there’s plenty to see at the front end and you’ll tend to find yourself galloping along to see more of what’s coming, so slowdown and enjoy the trip or it will be over all too soon. There are not just great fans but Feather Stars and Hydrocorals.

Hydrocorals diving Perpendicular Wall at Christmas Island in Australias Indian Ocean by Diveplanit

Christmas Island has it all: a stunning diversity of sea fans and corals.

Stunning diversity of fans & corals diving Perpendicular Wall at Christmas Island in Australias Indian Ocean by Diveplanit

At the end of the dive on the way back there is a lovely 5 m reef again beautiful in perfect sunshine.

The 5m reef is not bad either diving Perpendicular Wall at Christmas Island in Australias Indian Ocean by Diveplanit