Scuba Diving in Sharm El Sheikh

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Scuba Diving Locations - Scuba Diving in Egypt
Thursday, 13 November 2008 04:51
Map of Sharm El Sheikh

 

Scuba diving in Sharm el-Sheikh is an exciting proposition.  The amazing coral reefs and shipwrecks are something not to be missed out on by anyone who is serious about diving.  The clarity of the water is an added bonus as there are plentiful fish and plant life species that will make the dive an especially exciting one.  The area in which you can go diving in this region is also quite large and offers a variety of various diving spots that will offer you a different perspective each time you go to a new location.  Combine these factors with the relative and moderate calm of the waters and you have the set up for the perfect dive.


Generally referred to as Sharm by its inhabitants, the city is located on the strip between Mount Sinai and the Red Sea and serves as one of the main cities of the Southern Sinai province in Egypt.  Sharm el-Sheikh attracts many scuba divers because of the amazing underwater scenery found off its shores.  The warm water also attracts many swimmers and vacationers.  One of the most famous dive sites near Sharm el-Sheikh is Ras Mohammad, a national park located at the tip of the Sinai Peninsula.  Its 2,600 foot deep reef walls are a site few scuba divers want to miss.

 

One of the best things about scuba diving in Sharm el-Sheikh is the huge variety of options that you have to choose from.  There are so many different dive sites around the area that all you have to do is pick something that you are interested in and there is sure to be a diving location that is perfect for your needs.

 

View of Sharm El Sheikh

View over Sharm El Sheikh

 

 

Shipwrecks at Sharm el-Sheikh

Many scuba divers love to explore old shipwrecks.  Fortunately, this is something that Sharm el-Sheikh has in abundance and variety.  The different kinds of wrecks that are in the area to be explored is amazing, and each of them is extraordinarily beautiful in its own way.  
One of the more famous shipwrecks in Sharm el-Sheikh is that of the Yolanda.  The Yolanda is perhaps famous because of its cargo.  This ship wasn’t carrying gold and silver when it sank, but instead a load of bathtubs and toilets.  These porcelain goods are still at the bottom of the Red Sea in abundance, and over the years they have been absorbed into the surrounding sea life, making the area around the Yolanda appear as if it is full of modern art exhibits.

At the diving area known as White Knight there is a sunken Egyptian boat.  While this wreck is not as concentrated as that of the Yolanda, it is still very interesting to explore as there are plenty of cargo and boat remnants to keep you busy for an extended period of time.  Also, at Bluff Point there is some wreckage there from a vessel of unknown origin.  However, many have claimed that they believe this shipwreck is from that of an Egyptian boat that would have been in commission during the six day war.  

Abu Nuhas is one of the largest areas of concentrated shipwrecks in Sharm el-Sheikh.  This area has also been called the ships’ graveyard as so many vessels have lost their lives on its shores.  There are four wrecks alone on the north side of this particular area; however, they can be hard to access due to swells and other weather conditions.  

The Giannis D sank in 1983, and is currently one of the most frequently dived shipwrecks in Sharm el-Sheikh.  This ship was Greek freighter, and apparently it ventured too close to the reef in April of that year.  The interesting thing was the way that the ship sank because she did not go down immediately; instead she slowly broke into two sections and sank over a period of two weeks.  The boat is largely intact and has an impressive view of the stern section and engine room.  

The Giannis Wreck

The Giannis Wreck

 

The Thistlegorm sank during World War II when she was targeted by a German bomber ship that was out on its rounds.  The wreck is very interesting as the anchor is still down and intact.  Many of the tanks and other equipment that were on the Thistlegorm when she went down are still there, acting as a kind of instant time machine back to that era.  In fact, in the cargo area there are even motorbikes that would have been used by the soldiers when they went to land.  The ship is about thirty meters underwater and is an impressive one hundred and twenty six meters long.  This wreck is sure to provide you with hours of interesting diving as it seems there is always something to explore.

The Thistlegorm Wreck

The Thistlegorm Wreck

 

The Carnatic was a British P & O which sank off the shore in 1869 after running into the reef.  Locally this wreck was once known as the “wine wreck” because of the large number of wine bottles that were found around the area of the ship.  Now many of those bottles are gone, but there were also rumors of gold treasure that sank with the ship and went unrecovered, making it an intriguing dive for some who believe they might be able to find something of this elusive cargo.

The Carnatic Wreck

The Carnatic Wreck

 

The Rosalie Moller is a shipwreck that is often only recommended for the experienced divers because of the strong currents in the area and the reduced visibility around the wreck that can lead to disorientation.  This ship sank in 1941 within forty eight hours of the Thistlegorm.  The Rosalie was also brought down by a German bomber as she was trying to make her way to Alexandria.  The shipwreck is in excellent condition for having been under water for so long, but unfortunately she can be difficult to get to as it is almost impossible to access the wreck unless the weather cooperates fully.

The Rosalaie Moller Wreck

The Rosalaie Moller Wreck

These are just a few examples of the marvelous shipwrecks that are waiting to be explored in the reefs of Sharm el-Sheikh.  The variety of the ships that can be found combined with the beautiful layers of coral and marine life that surround each one of these wrecks make them diving sites that could potentially be explored for hours.  

Marine Life in Sharm El Sheikh

Besides the previous mention of the flashlight, glass, scorpion, and stone fish, there is a large amount of exciting marine life that you can see in this area.  This includes Spanish dancers, coneshells, trigger fish, mantas, gorgonians, Tuna, groupers, sponges, turtles, bluefish, masked puffers, Trevally, Napoleons, grey reef sharks, Moray Eels, sea fans, black coral, barracudas, eagle rays, and even some Hammerhead Sharks.

Sharm el-Sheikh Diving Fact Sheet

Best Time of Year: On top of the many exciting diving areas you can explore there are also a variety of options for the time of year in which you want to dive.  The temperatures are relatively moderate all year long but they can get very high in the summer, however the low humility of the region can work to keep the heat bearable.  However, due to the fluctuations in temperature you will want to make sure that you have the right suit for the season.  If you are planning on diving in the summer months you will need up to a 3 mm suit, but in the cooler months (November to March) you will want to make sure that you use at least a 5 mm up to a 7mm suit.

Notable Dive Spots: There is an area north of Naama Bay known as The Gardens that is a very good option for diving at dark.  During the night the area is populated with flashlight fish and blue spotted stingrays.  Temple is a good area to dive at if you want to take the chance of seeing the occasional octopus.  This area also offers a good example of an extending pillar of coral reef.  Jackfish Alley is an interesting dive because there are caves along the wall approximately five meters down.  You also have a good chance of viewing a school of glass fish.  Yolanda Reef is the site of the shipwreck, Yolanda, which is still laden with remnants of its cargo.  There is also a plateau nearby where you can see a few stone fish and even the occasional scorpion fish if you so choose.

Average Air Temperature:         26°C – 38°C

Average Water Temperature:    23°C – 26°C

Recommended Exposure Protection:  In the summer months you can do anything from skin to a 3 mm suit, while in the winter months it is best if you wear at least a 5 to 7 mm suit.

Average Visibility:  The average visibility in this region ranges anywhere from 30 to 70 meters plus depending on the conditions of the sea and the area in which you are diving.

Coldest Times:    December to March

Hottest Times:    May to September

Best Times to Dive:  Your odds of seeing the most variety of marine life are best in the months of May to August.  The conditions are almost perfect and the blistering heat of the summer keeps many of the less serious divers away so the waters are less crowded.

Worst Times to Dive:  You do not want to try and navigate your way through the heavy tourist times of March to May or September to November as the waters can be rather crowded.

 

Sharm El Sheikh Diving Video

 

 
 

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