Dive Site

Gordon Reef

  • Current: S in the morning, S at midday, N in the afternoon
  • Visibility: J, F, M, A: 25 m; M, J, J, A: 20 m; S, O, N, D: 35 m
  • Temperatures: J, F, M: 24°C; A, M, J: 26°C; J, A, S: 28°C; O, N, D: 26°C
  • Depth: 10 m to 50 m

Overview

A long, long time ago in September 1981, the 'Loullia' ran aground on the northern slope of the Gordon Reef and hasn't sunk any further ever since. Although we can't have the pleasure of diving this wrecked cargo ship, we can find other pieces of wreckage such as drums or cables. Yet the easiest reef of the Tiran group with mooring sites also harbours hazards – please never underestimate the current!

Description

The Gordon Reef – the southernmost reef in the Straits of Tiran – measures approx. 900 metres in length and the top of the reef is just half a metre below the water's surface. This is also the reason why we cannot visit the 'Loullia' cargo ship which was stranded here on its way from Panama on 29 September 1981. But who needs sunken cargo vessels when there are whole treasures waiting for us to discover all over the Gordon Reef.

An unmanned lighthouse still stands in the southwest and in the north the barely recognisable ruins of a lighthouse offer the perfect object to search for, presenting one or two challenges. Sandy mooring sites with depths of two to ten metres exist in both the south, the east and the west.

In the southern part, it's all about the pleasure of diving, as the drop-off ledge ranges between 25 and 30 metres before plunging to 50 metres. In the remaining area of the reef, the dive suddenly proceeds steeply downward, all the way down to depths of 300 metres.

And now we finally come to the colourful part of the tour: in the 'amphitheatre' (a sandy basin), if we're lucky we might just run into scalloped hammerhead sharks that at first sight will leave us utterly speechless. Unlike their counterparts, the 'kind' whitetip reef sharks, also grant us an audience here time and time again. It's not for nothing that this sandy basin is also called the 'shark pool'. As a general rule, the blades of grass emerging from the sand are Red Sea garden eels offering further highlights other than just fire coral and gorgonian.

Hotspots

  • Cable and drums: To the west of the amphitheatre, the current has done its work, washing up drums and cables which the ocean and its inhabitants have in the meantime made their own. The scattered pieces of metal to be found here are fragments of an old lighthouse.
  • Barrels: To the east of the amphitheatre, huge sunken barrels can be found which small fish like to use to play hide-and-seek.
  • Sandpit: It doesn't sound spectacular, but you'd be mistaken: it's the Gordon Reef's sandy plateau. Due to the shallow waters here, this area is teeming with garden eels and one or another snorkelers. It's precisely here, where you might feel safe, that you must pay the attention to the current.

map Dive Plans

Drift dive

Depending on the current, we start at the wreck and then work our way on the left or right shoulder of the reef towards the southern plateau. We float past countless colorful corals, find tube eels on the sandy sea surface and maybe even tuna, whitetip reef sharks, masked puffer fish and ... dolphins! The diving takes place over the plateau.

From boat to boat

We leave the boat and stay on the outer edge of the plateau, about 30 meters deep, until the plateau narrows. A drift dive to the north is also possible here, but the Zodiac crew should be given notice beforehand. Otherwise it's back over the barrels and in the shallow sandy area. In the blue water we can encounter large fish, including eagle rays in the sloping plateau area in the east

South plateau

Here, too, we do a circular dive from boat to boat and dive south to the sand pit. Take the junction towards the "Amphitheater" or "Sharkpool", take a selfie with a bow-forehead hammerhead or eagle ray, dive towards the west at the drop-off, say hello to three tube eels and turn back towards the boat at the fire corals.