North & Wrecks

   
 

Overview of tour / diving spots

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This tour takes you to the famous wrecks and reefs in the northern part of the Red Sea. First it goes to Shaab El Erg (Dolphin House), the wrecks of Abu Nuhas (Carnatic, Chrisoula K., Ghiannis D.) are also on the program.

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.

After arrival in Hurghada, transfer to the boat in Hurghada, dinner and departure the next morning.

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

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.



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.

 

  

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?

 



Sha'ab Mahmud is a large lagoon about 10 meters deep, closed at the western side by a very interesting long coral reef.

The lagoon interior is a very good mooring and safari boats often spend the night here. Usually the anchor is thrown on the sandy bottom of the lagoon, close to a break in the reef, the Small Passage.

This break, that can be crossed only by a zodiak, offers the perfect occasion to visit the wonderful reef outside the lagoon.

Depending on tides, the current can flow into or out of the lagoon. The best condition is when the current flows into the lagoon, thus giving the opportunity to dive along the reef and then enter the Small Passage and be pushed towards our mooring by the current.

During this dive turtles may be encountered. Moreover, one encounters certainly trevally and barracuda.

As part of the Safari also Beacon Rock is visited. This reef is located at the southernmost point of the vast coral reefs of Shaab Mahmoud.

In an unhappy night of the year 1876, the cargo ship Dunraven, who was traveling from Bombay to Newcastle, hit the reef. After the massive collision, the ship sank immediately and broke into two large parts, which are today on the reef Beacon Rock in 18 and 28 meters depth.

 

  

Ras Mohammed is the southernmost point of the Sinai, dividing the sea waters between the Tiran Strait to the east and the Gobal Strait to the west.

The cape takes its name from the steep rocky coast a little to the east, where you can recognize the face of a bearded man sculpted into the rocks by the elements: the Head of the Prophet

Ras Mohamed is one of the world's most famous dive sites, located at the tip of the Sinai. Two small reefs are connected by a vertical sloping wall.
Near the Shark Reef, located slightly north, there is Anemone City, an extended, flat Reef zone with numerous anemones and their Red Sea anemone fish and three-spot Prussia fish.

From Shark Reef you can go with the current at a steep wall that drops several 100 meters, along to Jolanda Reef. The wall is completely covered with colorful corals. On the way to Jolanda Reef you reach a plateau with small blocks and coral islands. Arriving at the reef you can see the scattered remains of Jolanda wreck: Container Sanitary way for construction, which are now taken completely in fog from the life of the coral reef.Jolanda-Wracks:

Ras Mohammed has everything united what the Red Sea has to offer for diving, because of its exposed location, current and flow of abysmal depths. One can find here more than 1,000 different species of fish and 220 species of coral.

The area around Ras Mohammed has been declared a national park in 1989.

 

  

The Thistlegorm is probably the most famous wreck in the Red Sea.

The British ship was on its way to Egypt, to supply the English Africa Corps with reinforcements, when she was attacked on 06/10/1941 by a German bomber and sank.

The wreck lies at a depth of 30 m upright on the seabed.
Especially interesting is the cargo: Tanks, trucks, guns, motorcycles, railway carriages and a locomotive.

The Thistlegorm is a must for every Red Sea diver. It is a pleasure for wreck friends, not least because of its spectacular charge.

And also offers a variety of fish, schools of barracudas or big tunas and snapper are not uncommon here. As an artificial reef, it also attracts countless coral fishes.

Worth seeing are the stern with its cannons, the midship and fore ship, the bug and the charge, as well as the vehicles, the two locomotives, the tender and the water truck.

The current on the wreck is moderate, sometimes strongly. Visibility is generally moderate and often are a lot of boats on site.

 

  

The Rosalie Moller sank on the same night as the Thistlegorm.

To drive to the wreck, the weather conditions have to be right, that means, not too much wind. The diver should bring some experience, because the visibility and flow conditions represent quite a challenge.

The wreck lies in the Gubal Island in a depth of 28 - 50 m.



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.


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.



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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