This site is also known to locals as ‘the seven pinnicles’, but divers tend to call them the Alternatives due to the sheltered position and the fact it provides an alternative dive site if the weather in open sea is rough. They are a chain of shallow atol reefs running from Shaab Mahmud eastwards toward the Ras Mohamed coast. Stingray Station is a small part of this extensive chain which is located near its western end.
The Alternatives form a ring around a sheltered and enclosed lagoon. Boats will usually moor in the lagoon to take advantage of the shelter it offers. The outside walls of the islands offer the best diving as they have small walls and many large corals heads containing a large variety of marine life. The safe mooring, calm seas and variety of marine life make this a very popular area for night dives.