6 days: Dive Safari – Northern Wrecks

Only Advanced divers who have logged up at least 35 dives should attempt these wreck dives which include six of the most famous in the Red Sea: Thistlegorm, Dunraven, Ulysses, Carnatic, Giannis D and the Chrisoula K.

For more information go to our partner’s website Sea Queen Fleet

Divers will be visiting the following sites in the course of a 6 day live-aboard safari:

Sharm: within close proximity of the port of Sharm

Ras Katy: an easy shallow first dive to check your competence; good for night dives

Temple: three coral pillars like the portico of a classical temple, descending 30 m into the depths with butterfly fish, parrot fish, bat fish, lion fish and Napoleon Wrasse

Ras Umm Sid: the most beautiful colony of gorgonian soft coral in the northern Red Sea

Straits of Tiran: a narrow passage at the southern end of the Gulf of Aqaba where a string of reefs have risen up between the Island of Tiran and the Sinai Peninsula; as the tides change, strong currents surge through the straits bringing barracudas, snappers and sharks.

Jackson Reef: a visible wreck marks the reef with large numbers of gorgonian and fire corals; expect to see turtles and sharks, particularly in the summer months from July to September.

Woodhouse Reef: a long narrow reef with no fixed moorings so only drift dives can be performed, and for that, the weather needs to be good; an opportunity to see jackfish, turtles and sharks.

Thomas Reef: once more, only drift dives are possible but the reward is some of the best diving in the Red Sea with varied coral: gorgonians and Alcyonarians; reef fish: Angelfish and groupers; as well as pelagic fish: barracuda and the Whitetip Reef Shark

Gordon Reef: a shallow, wide plateau providing easier and calmer diving; expect to see a variety of coral species, Whitetip Reef sharks, Hammerheads and spotted eagle rays.

Wrecks: splendidly illuminated by the sun shafting through the water

Thistlegorm: during World War II, British supply ships for the North African campaign needed to sail round the southern tip of Africa to avoid the dangers of the Luftwaffe in the Mediterranean; this ship, however, fell victim to a German bomber while waiting to sail up the Gulf of Suez, its cargo of motorcycles and Bedford trucks now reserved for curious divers.

Kingston: a small British cargo ship bringing coal to Aden, an essential coaling station for the British empire’s sea traffic to India; the Kingston collided with the rocks and sank in 1881, leaving its propellor, engine room and boilers intact

Dunraven: another British wreck, testimony to the importance of the Suez Canal to Britain’s Indian trade, this was a steamer bound for Bombay with a cargo of timber and cotton, sunk in 1876 and now a refuge for Crocodile fish, groupers, Lionfish and schools of Glassfish.

Ras Mohamed: the tip of the Sinai Peninsula where currents bring large pelagic fish past plunging coral walls

Ras Za’atar: magnificent reef wall and chimneys with gorgonian corals, black coral and pink Alcyonarians; glimpse Lionfish and Glass fish lurking round the coral and schools of Jackfish and Barrcuda out in the Blue

Jackfish Alley: fantastic caves and passages, alternating shadow and submarine light with Jackfish, Blue spotted stingrays, Triggerfish, Whitetip Reef Sharks and Manta rays.

Shark Observatory: a great wall dive and a chance to see Whale sharks passing in the Blue.

Sharks & Jolanda Reef: a very varied dive with a large colony of anemones and their Clownfish; Gorgonian fan coral; moray eels; and schools of barrracuda, Batfish and Jackfish. In 1980, a Cypriot ship foundered here, adding its cargo of sanitary bathroom ware, cases of whisky and a BMW car to the ecosystem.

Wrecks:

Bluff Point: a steep wall dive that follows the coastline with plenty of small passages and inlets in the rock that hide away life; glassfish, butterflyfish, crocodilefish and a flat-headed scorpionfish, keep an eye out for turtles.

Rosalie Moller (only for Tec or Wreck certified divers with a minimum of 50 logged dives): lying at 50 m, it’s too deep for recreational divers; with its masts reaching up 20 metres from a deck with its handrails and ladders intact and the ship’s funnel collapsed on the sea bed, the wreck is strongly evocative of an age when steamers ploughed their way through the gulf; bombed in October 1941.

Ulysses: run aground while en route from London to Penang; most of the cargo was unloaded but some large cable drums remain; glassfish and sweepers now populate the deck

Abu Nuhas: a treacherous reef that has wrecked at least four ships

Kimon M: en route from Turkey to Bombay via Suez with a cargo of lentils, she struck the reef at full speed in 1978; she now lies on her side at a depth of 32 metres.

Carnatic: cargo and passenger ship, en route to Bombay in 1869 when she struck the reef with the loss of 31 lives; most of the £40,000 of gold bullion she was carrying has been salvaged but bottles of wine and soda water can still be found!

Giannis D: en route from Yugoslavia to Jeddah and the Yemen with a cargo of timber, it ran aground in 1983.

Chrisoula K: wrecked in 1981 en route to Jeddah with a cargo of tiles that can still be found in the hold.

 

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