If you like “sunken steel sheet”, the tour “North & wrecks incl. SS Turkia & Birchwood II” is the right tour for you. That’s superlative wreck diving! However, fish diversity, corals and a lot of more can be admired.

 

 


Overview of tour / diving spots

Click to enlarge

 

 

This tour takes you to the famous wrecks and reefs in the northern part of the Red Sea, and on top of that the inviolate wrecks of SS Turkia and Birchwood II in the strait of Suez.

First it goes to Shaab El Erg (Dolphin House), the wrecks of Abu Nuhas (Carnatic, Chrisoula K., Ghiannis D.) are also on the program.

A trip to the north of the Strait of Suez then leads you to Turkia. This wreck was just discovered  and is considered non-submerged. The Turkia fell in May 1941 and sits upright in a depth of 10 to 24 meters. The visibility is a bit less than at other dives sites of the Red Sea, because the Golf of Suez has just a depth of 60 m and a lot of ships are passing the channel.

In May 2015 we was searching for it and we found Birchwood II. This boat sank in 1918, but it is in very good condition.

The next wreck on the “menu” speaks for itself: The Thistlegorm, one of the most famous wrecks in the  Red Sea, with its motorcycles, trucks and off-lying locomotive.

If permitted by the weather and current conditions, you will visit the Rosalie Moller, a wreck that sank in the same night as the Thistlegorm and lies in the middle of the Strait of Gubal. Also at the island of Gubal fascinating dives are planned.

 

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                     Some impressions of what there is to see on this tour:

 

 

Karin J.
Das ist Wracktauchen der Superlative !
Hans. S.
Ein unbetauchtes Wrack! Genial!
Gerald F.
Eine einzigartige "Schrotttour"!

Possible dive sites on this tour:



After 90 minutes drive from Hurghada, you can reach Shaab el Erg, the first dive site on the Safari. Shaab el Erg is an extensive reef, in the shape of a horseshoe. This formation is open to the south with a shallow lagoon, which is full of ergs. The whole lagoon can be dived.

Very popular are the northern tip, the eastern wall or the southwestern tip - Gota Shaab el Erg.

Between Gota and the main reef is a small canal; on the south and west side is a large sandy plateau with innumerable towers and coral heads. The domiciled dolphins pass several times a day this channel. They can be seen all year round here.

Mantas can be observed from January to March on the northern tip.

On the plateau that surrounds Gota, you can find scorpion fish, groupers, snowflake moray, blue spotted stingrays and many triggerfish. .

Under the table corals you can see from time to time white tip reef sharks.
In the sand you find cone snails, shells and sole. Along the shallow reef you find frolicking nose unicorn fish, angelfish, bream, snapper and turtles.

The diving on Gota Shaab el Erg is dreamlike.
For photographers especially the coral heads are likely to be interesting. They are not part of illustration and are in a southerly direction at 16m depth.


shaabruhr_umm_gamar

Whoever wants to see grey reef sharks in Hurghada should strike out to Shaabruhr Umm Gamar, especially in the afternoon. A great reef but rather challenging dive, due to the strong current on the east side. Shaabruhr Umm Gamar is the summit of an underwater mountain and, as is not hard to guess, it is located not far away from Umm Gamar, only one kilometre south.

Details


Those of us who know a little Arabic know that Shaabruhr basically means 'narrow reef'. The narrow reef of Umm Gamar certainly has a lot to offer: many caves, overhangs and a sandy plateau at approx. 15 to 30 metres. There's even the remains of an ancient Egyptian patrol boat at the southernmost point.

Two other ships have also met their surmise here, a safari boat and the Colona IV – one of the first diving charter boats from Hurghada – which ran aground here at the end of April 1995 due to bad weather and which now rests at a depth of 66 metres.

The reef's sandy plateau is much wider on the west side as it is on the east side and the current in the east is also much stronger – that's why we're spot on here when it comes to drift diving and seeing large fish.

On the west plateau, we come into contact with moray eels, Napoleon wrasse, large groupers and bluespotted rays. The east is the right place for fans of whitetip reef sharks, mackerel and large tuna – and maybe even for grey reef sharks in the afternoon during snack time.

Hotspots


Patrol boat: Shipwrecks are always a highlight, although only half of the ancient boat, which the Egyptian army used to cross over to Shadwan Island, remains.

Tour 1 – drift diving


Shaabruhr Umm Gamar literally cries out to be explored by drift diving. We dive from the boat and take a brief trip to the shipwreck of the ancient Egyptian patrol boat to continue diving east with the reef on our left shoulder. Afterwards, we drift north with the current, knowing that the Colona IV lies deep below us. Once we've seen enough whitetip reef sharks, mackerel and tuna, it's time to put out the buoy and have ourselves picked up – and just maybe while we're waiting, a grey reef shark might just dare to swim close to us.

Tour 2 – from the boat to the erg


We dive from the boat and first explore the patrol boat which once served the Egyptian army many years ago. Here we make sure not to dive too far north, otherwise the current will drag us with it and we can only wave goodbye to the west side. Once we've explored the wreck and outsmarted the current, we work our way across the sandy plateau with the reef to our right shoulder, heading north-west. We pass by many beautifully covered and highly populated overhangs and caves and then resurface at the mushroom-shaped erg. We have the Zodiac collect us here.



The Bluff Point, which is displayed by the same automatic lighthouse, is located on the northeastern end of the island Small Gubal. This is separated from the island of Big Gubal by a short isthmus that is partially flooded by the tides or partially out of the water.
Bluff Point forms part of the long Straits of Gubal, which closes the Gulf of Suez in the south.

This dive starts at the north-eastern point of the tip and then goes along the coral wall to the south to the arcuate protected bay at the north side of the island Small Gubal. A strong current drives the diver in a southerly direction, so you should stay as close as possible to the wall.
Along the rounded tip, where the dive begins, large Napoleon fish can be found, and not infrequently even turtles.

The wall drops down to 35 meters deep and is heavily rugged in the first few meters and interspersed with ravines, which are populated by dense groups of scorpion fish.
Beyond the tip to the south the wall is soften and goes in 15-20 meters into a platform, which expands further to the protected bay side - the usual anchor point for cruise boats.

On this small roof large moray eels can be found, in some cases outside their caves. Once inside the bay move to the middle, where you find in about 10 m depth a small, 20 m long wreck of a modern vessel.

A pleasant, little demanding dive, which can be performed even at night. The darkness unites around the wreck crowds of scorpion fish, mollusks, Arab Emperor, including rather unusual figures as the partridge-ton screw.

 

  

The reef Abu Nuhas is famous for its wrecks and is also called "ship graveyard".
At this reef 4 ships have declined, which are an attraction for divers from all over the world.

Who has not heard of the 4 wrecks lying on the north side of Abu Nuhas on sandy seabed?

 



The reef extends around the Island Siyul (Big Siyul) and is very different.

Sometimes sandy valleys (wadis) interrupt the reef, or you can explore overhangs and clefts. An excessively rich coral growth and countless fish put the diver in amazement.

The dives with an almost rapid current is leading you to the northern tip. Here you can find a gentle slope to around 10 - 30 m.

In the depth you often see sharks and large stingrays, in the shallow water schools of grunts and Bluecheek Butterflyfishes.



This wonderful dive site offers a variety of hard corals and soft corals.

It's a fantastic, colorful dive, where you can discover all kind of reef fishes of the Red Sea.

If you are blessed with very good eyes, you can discover stone and scorpion fishes.

In the sand there are lying often well camouflaged crocodile fishes, besides you can be lucky to spot Napoleons, giant groupers and turtles.

 



Shaab Umm Usk is a crescent-shaped reef, open in the south, enclosing a specially protected lagoon in its interior. This makes a good base for one-day stay during the cruise.

The lagoon is known for domiciled bottlenose dolphins, which, if they are not scared and swim away, can be observed as they perform interesting maneuvers.

The lagoon is protected in all weather conditions, not least because of the scattered coral formations at the southern tip that curb the wave motion.

The most appropriate place for the dive is in the southwest, beyond the coral reef.

The most interesting part, however, lies in the southeast, but is only recommended for good sea conditions.

The dive described here is the second of two: After anchoring in the lagoon you need a zodiak, with which you can be brought to the outside.

After leaving the lagoon, you start the dive counterclockwise around the coral ring. If you reach the half of the east side, the reef drops down to a flat area. This is the first step, situated in 18-20 meters depth. It follows a second step in 60 meter depth, which falls to greater depths. The dive takes place on the easily gradually sloping wall to the first step in 20 meters.
The current prevails to the south; therefore it is necessary to stay always close to the reef, which is also particularly blessed with life wealth.



Umm Gamar is a small, crescent-shaped island north-east of Hurghada. The name means mother of the moon, probably due to the shape of the island. It is easily recognizable by its light house located on the north side.

The island is surrounded by an expanded coral reef up to 2 km to the north direction. The way to the Island can be a bit rough sometimes, but on the south plateau the boat will find enough protection from the wind.

The typical dive at Umm Gamar takes place on the eastern side of the island. The Zodiak will drop you at the desired site and you can dive on the eastern drop off to the south until you reach 3 coral towers that mark the beginning of south plateau. Two of the coral towers are hollow and filled with glass fish. The third has a large, sandy cave at 27m. All three are covered with purple red soft corals and clouds of glass fish cavort in the cavities.

It would be worthwhile to take a look at the number of smaller coral blocks or caves - there can be found lionfish, crocodile fish and a lot of any "small animals". There are also many scorpion fish, as well as the extremely toxic real stonefish. If you look into the blue, sometimes an eagle ray or Manta is coming along.

Once on the plateau you will find certainly Napoleon, moray eels, flute fish, bat fish and schools of butterfly fish.



Carless Reef is one of the best known Hurghada dive sites, that can take place on the classic 20 meter deep reef or, less frequently, on the eastern wall which drops to 70 meters depth.
The reef is composed of two semi-exposed coral towers that reach 3-5 meters depth. They are clearly visible in the transparent water of this unprotected area that in some weather conditions make the mooring impossible.

Its notoriety comes mostly from the giant morays that inhabit this zone, often swimming freely out of their dens. If not disturbed they are not dangerous.

This area can be easily explored admiring the richness of soft corals, hard corals and gorgonians covering the towers. Different kinds of table corals grow abundantly on this reef. On the bottom, as well as the giant morays, many reef fish: Butterfly fish and Red Sea bannerfish gather in unusually large groups among soft corals where puffer fish can also be met.

This richness of middle sized fish often also attracts pelagic fish, generally white tip reef sharks and mackerels.

You will return in the afternoon (about 2 o'clock p.m.) to the harbor one day before departure, and spent the last over night either on your boat or in a hotel. The next day you will be transferred either to the airport or your hotel.

You must be a certified diver with at least 50 logged dives for the under water National Parks (Brother Islands, Daedalus, Rocky Island, and Zabargad).

Attention: The tour description is merely our suggestion. Which diving places on tour are dived is determined by many factors including the wind and weather.

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