Dive sites - El Gouna - Egypt
Some of the dive sites:
The Mother of the Moon, so called because this small island to the south east of El Gouna is crescent shaped when viewed from above. The sea bed in this can be 100 meters down and most of the dive takes place on a sloping drop off. Umm Gammar is famous for the chance to spot free-swimming moray eels in daytime. There is also the chance to see large tuna, great barracuda and possibly an eagle ray out in the blue.
Shabrour Umm Gamar:
This is a piece of reef in the open sea close to Umm Gammar. The topography of the dive site is similar to Umm Gammar, but has the added attraction of a wrecked patrol boat starting at 24 meters. The two engines are easily seen and other small pieces of wreckage are scattered over the reef.
This is the furthest dive site to the south of El Gouna, in the open sea and unprotected in bad weather. There are 2 large pinnacles standing on a plateau starting at 10 meters and drop offs on all sides. There is the chance to see all types of marine life on the pinnacles or the smaller pinnacles on the plateau and the possibility of spotting a reef shark on quiet days.
Literally the islands, named for the small rocky islands at the north end of this long reef situated just outside Hurghada. This is a long reef that can be dived at either the North or South ends. The topography of both dives is similar with a sandy plateau next to the reef leading to a drop off to over 40 meters. The dive sites harbor most of the marine life seen in this area, especially lion fish and moray eels and the chance to spot jack fish and tuna passing in the blue.
About 2 hours cruising time from El Gouna lies the reef of Abu Nuhas - "The father of bad luck", so called because of the number of ships that have hit this reef over the years. The reef is to the north of Shaidwan Island, close to the main shipping channel from Suez and usually partially submerged making it dangerous for shipping. Among the many ships that have hit the north side of the reef, 4 remain as diveable wrecks for recreational divers. Starting from the north they are:
Kimon M - known as the "lentil wreck", the ship now lies against the reef with the bows pointing up the reef. The wreck starts at around 10 meters with a maximum depth of around 25 meters at the stern.
Chrisoula K - the "tile wreck", referred to in some guides as the "Marcus", another tile carrying ship, which is now believed to lie further from the reef in 65 meters. The bow of the Chrisoula K is in 5 meters with the broken off stern in around 26 meters. This is a very easy wreck for the novice wreck diver due to the shallow area at the bow and the gently increasing depth down to the stern. The cargo of floor tiles can be seen clearly in the open holds.
Carnatic - the "wine ship", which hit the reef and sank in 1869 on her way from Suez to India with a cargo of port wine and gold and silver bullion. The wreck is broken in 2 pieces and lies on its side on the reef with a depth range of 12 to 24 meters. The wreck is known for its huge bronze propeller and the beautiful corals that cover it after over 140 years on the sea bed.
Ghiannis D - the "wooden ship," which was carrying a cargo of timber bound for Saudi Arabia. Stranded on the reef, the ship broke its back during a storm and sank in two pieces. The stern section has twin masts that reach up to 5 meters from the surface with the stern at 24 meters. The engine room can be visited by suitably qualified divers.
In addition to the wrecks it is also possible to dive on the other side of the reef at a site known as Paradise, which has a plateau with a huge coral garden and a drop off into deeper water.
Siyul Kebira (Big Siyul):
This is a small low lying island around one and a half hours north of El Gouna. The island has a reef completely surrounding it and has two main dive sites:
Siyul Kebira - a beautiful dive at the north east corner of the island where there is a chance to find leopard sharks sleeping on the sandy bottom. Turtles, giant puffer fish, lion fish and moray eels can often be seen here. The highlight of the dive is a small pinnacle at the turning point of the dive, which has lovely soft corals and is home to thousands of glass fish and small moray eels. The return to the boat is like swimming in an aquarium due to the abundance of marine life. When there is a strong north current this dive can be done as a drift, passing the pinnacle en route to the moored dive boat.
El Gilwa - on the south side of the island is El Gilwa, so called because the reef here is not contiguous and has sandy patches between large coral blocks. There are 3 separate mooring points here allowing 4 different dives depending on the direction of the current, or a drift along the whole area. The reef blocks are very beautiful with a wide variety of hard and soft corals and a huge variety of marine life. The central mooring allows access to a beautiful pinnacle covered in wonderful corals and vast numbers of glass fish. The observant diver has the chance to find the elusive sea-moths in the sandy areas around this pinnacle.
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