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SPECIAL OFFERS

SNEFRO TARGET

Also built in Rashid, measuring impressive 37 m in length, Snefro Target is one of the luxury class boats within the fleet but the only one holding Area 1 & Area 2 license covering the whole Red Sea on her itineraries. Like with her sister vessel Snefro Love, there is 7 twin berth cabin on lower deck, 2 double bed cabins on upper deck and a master suite on the main deck to comfortably accommodate 20 guests. All cabins are air-conditioned, with en-suite bathrooms, electronic safety deposit boxes, central music system and an internal telephone system. In addition, all double bed cabins are equipped with a mini bar. The dining and leisure areas are very spacious, air-conditioned and loaded with modern entertainment equipment (Plasma TV/CD/MP3/DVD and a central music system). The spacious salon on main deck invites to relax or choose the lounge on the upper deck. Chefs are excellent and prepare delicious, mouth-watering meals: if you have special requests, such as a vegetarian diet, just let us know. Daily meals are served in a buffet style offering Egyptian and International cuisine. Snacks, fruit, water, coffee, tea and soft drinks are offered throughout the day. To make your relaxation time enjoyable, there are 3 impressive sun decks on upper and high deck, divided in shaded and sunny areas. The large dive deck is equipped with fresh-water showers as well as 2 bathrooms and designed to provide ample space for kitting up. 2 air compressors and the Nitrox compressor are located below deck and silent during operation. Nitrox is free of charge for divers holding Nitrox certification. Air quality checks are carried out regularly and conform to EN12021:1998 standards. Boat safety equipment includes Sea Safe Divers Tracking system, life jackets, life rafts (2 x 25 person), fire extinguishers, smoke detectors & fire alarm system, first aid kit & oxygen (demand & free flow). Navigation and safety equipment includes GPS, chart plotter, radar, echo sounder, EPRIB, HF Radio (long distance) and VHF radio, all safety equipment meets international standards.

 SPECIFICATIONS

SAMPLE ITINERARY

SCHEDULES 2015

DIVE SITES

 SNEFRO TARGET DECK PLAN

Liveaboard, Snefro Target Deck Plan, Red Sea

360 TOUR OF SNEFRO TARGET

SNEFRO TARGET TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

 

Wooden Hull

Length  37 m / Beam 9 m

Engine  2 x 960 HP  G.M.

2 Silent Generator x 100 KW, 220 V

2 Desalination Units, each 1 t/day plus 7 t storage

4 sewage holding tanks and treatment system

Navigation: GPS Plotter, Echolot ,Radar

Communication: VHF, HF Radio (long distance), SAT Phone

Free WIFI on board (relies on mobile network reception)

entire boat is fully air conditioned

7 twin berth cabin with en suite bathroom

2 double bed cabin (upper deck), en suite bathroom, mini bar

1 master suite (double bed) on main deck, en suite bathroom, mini bar

cabins with individual AC, central music system, internal telephone, safe

spacious salon and living area on main deck, restaurant

air conditioned upper deck lounge with fully equipped bar

Entertainment: Plasma Screen TV / CD / MP3 / DVD / Central Music system

3 impressive Sun decks on different levels, partly shaded

Sun deck bar with ice cube maker

2 Bauer Mariner Compressor with Nitrox Membrane System

NITROX FOR FREE

44 x 12 Liter Alu Tank  (DIN/INT)

7 x 15 Liter  Alu Tank (DIN/INT)

Safety: Fire Alarm, CO2 Fire Fighting system, Fire Extinguishers, EPRIB

Fire Extinguishers & Life Vests located in each cabin

2 Life Rafts each 25 pax

2 Zodiacs with 25 hp outboard

Minimum of 12 pax - maximum of 20 pax

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SHARM- BROTHERS

This three-day safari is the unbeatable option if you want to dive top spots like Ras Mohamed and the World War II wreck of the Thistlegorm away from the crowds of daily diving boats whilst combining your stay in Sinai with land-based activities.

 

 1. Day Evening: transfer to Travco or International Port and embark. Welcome on board, cabin arrangement and boat-briefing. Permission work with port authority, sailing very early next morning.

 

 2. Day Morning: check dive at Temple or Ras Katy. Next dive is Jackfish Alley where you can easily enter the small caves there. The third dive will be the Alternatives, a chain of seven pinnacles with numerous sand patches and resident leopard sharks. Night Diving is very popular here.

 

 3. Day Morning: the boat will sail to the wreck of the Thistlegorm, the most famous of the Red Sea wrecks, maybe even worldwide. There is so much to explore so the plan is a minimum of two dives. The first one is an orientation of the outside and the second dive a penetrating one. For the third dive your boat will sail to Small Passage where two channels cut the reef system of Sha'ab Mahmoud and connect the sheltered lagoon to the open sea. A night dive inside the lagoon is optional.

 

 4. Day Morning: first dive of the day will take you to the historical wreck of the Dunraven, which sank in April 1876 - an old wooden wreck with plenty of room for passing through thousands of glassfish that live here in the shade of the wreck. Next dive is Shark and Yolanda Reef, the southernmost tip of the Sinai Peninsula with an endless wall unique in the Red Sea. Sailing back towards Sharm for your third dive at Ras Zatar, Ras Ghozlani or may be Ras Um Sid. Return to Travco or International Port and disembark.

CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

You need to be a PADI Open Water certified diver or equivalent with at least 15 logged dives. PADI OWD´s are able to join in night dives onboard if they have previous night dives logged.

PADI Advanced Open Water diver or equivalent is recommended for some of the more demanding dive sites, in special the wrecks, visited on this safari. You must have dived in the last year and recorded this in your log book to join this safari. Scuba Tune Up is available on request. This trip is suitable for snorkelers to join.

The itinerary is an example so if you have a special wish for a certain place in this area just let your dive guide know. Liveaboard itineraries are subject to various unpredictable changes including weather conditions. All dives and especially some wreck dives are subject to divers experience and weather permitted. Liveaboard itineraries are depending on Egyptian Government, Coast Guard and/or Marine Police approval. Every effort is made but we cannot guarantee diving at specific sites. The final decision lies with the captain and guide. Safety always comes first!

SANAI CLASSIC

A week-long diving safari starting and ending in Sharm El Sheikh. Visit the best that the Northern Red Sea has to offer. Magnificent drift, reef, wreck and wall diving, caves, plateaus and the big blue. Dive into an underwater world that is unique in both variety and the sheer number of species.

 

1. Day Afternoon/Evening: transfer to New Marina (El Wataneya) port and embark. Welcome on board, cabin arrangement and boat–briefing. Permission work with port authority, sailing very early next morning.

 

2. – 7. Day Morning: sail to nearby Temple or Ras Katy for a check dive. The week long safari will cover the area from the Strait of Tiran, Ras Mohamed National Park and the Gulf of Suez which is usual visited first.

 

The National Park begins at the small bay of Marsa Ghazlani followed by the larger and deeper bay of Marsa Bareika. Continuing along the coast to Ras Za’atar, Jackfish Alley, Eel Garden and Shark Observatory, to the southern end of the peninsula with Anemone City, Shark Reef and Yolanda Reef and ending at the Quay. Because of the geographic position this is a privileged area distinguished to strong massive currents that transport large quantities of plankton and other food that give rise to an extraordinary growth of stony and soft corals and attract large schools of both reef and pelagic marine fauna, over a thousand species in all. Schooling barracuda, jackfish, tuna and many kind of sharks swim in these deep blue waters, especially in summer from June to August, sometimes early September.

 

The safari will also take you to famous sites like the wrecks of Dunraven and Thistlegorm, Shag Rock and the wreck of Kingston, sail to Sha’ab Ali where pods of dolphins are common, explore several spots at Sha’ab Mahmouds reef system or maybe cross to Abu Nuhas.

Don’t miss the four famous reefs in the Strait of Tiran: Jackson, Thomas, Woodhouse and Gordon Reef, probably the most interesting and richest in marine life. You can choose from several dive sites with superb wall and drift diving. In the afternoon of the 7th day the boat will return to Sharm area.

 

7/8. Day Depending on your check out and flight time, there may be another dive or just snorkeling. Return to New Marina (El Wataneya) port and disembark. Transfer to airport or hotel.

CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

You need to be at least a PADI Open Water certified diver or equivalent and have 15 logged dives.

PADI Advanced Open Water diver or equivalent is needed for wreck penetration dives and some of the more experienced dive sites visited on this safari. You must have dived in the last year and recorded this in your log book to join this safari, if needed Scuba Review is available onboard.

PADI OWD´s are able to join the night dives if they have previous night dives logged.

This trip is suitable for snorkelers to join.

Note May 2012: Dive Sites in the area of Gubal Island can not be dived due to an order from the military. This affects the dive sites of Ulysses, Barge, Malak and the Rosalie Moller. It is unknown how long the restriction will be in place.

The itinerary is an example so if you have a special wish for a certain place in this area just let your dive guide know. Liveaboard itineraries are subject to various unpredictable changes including weather conditions. All dives and especially some wreck dives are subject to divers experience and weather permitted. Liveaboard itineraries depend on Egyptian Government, Coast Guard and/or Marine Police approval. Every effort is made but we cannot guarantee diving at specific sites. The final decision lies with the captain and guide. Safety comes always first!

SANAI WRECKS & REEFS

A week-long diving safari starting and ending in Sharm El Sheikh concentrating on some of the best wrecks worldwide such as Dunraven, World War II wreck Thistlegorm and the ship’s graveyard of Abu Nuhas with Giannis D, Carnatic, Chrisoula K and the Kimon M.

 

1. Day Afternoon/Evening: transfer to New Marina (El Wataneya) port and embark. Welcome on board, cabin arrangement and boat–briefing. Permission work with port authority, sailing very early next morning.

 

2. – 7. Day Morning: sail to nearby Temple or Ras Katy for a check dive. Sail into the Gulf of Suez passing Yolanda Reef that is named after a 74 m long Cypriot freighter which struck the reef on the 1st of April 1980. The wreck laid partially submerged on the reef top until a storm caused it to drop. Most of the ship finally has fallen over the drop-off, leaving a huge scar in the slope between Shark and Yolanda Reef. Although, a quantity of the cargo remains for the amusement of the divers: bathtubs, toilets and bathroom fittings. Continue with the historical wrecks of Dunraven. Recovered in early 1970’s, the more than 125 years old wreck is largely intact, totally covered in corals and rich in marine life.

 

The most famous of the Red Sea wrecks may be even worldwide is the Thistlegorm. The wreck first gained fame when Jacques Cousteau dived it in 1956 but left the actual location a mystery until it was rediscovered in 1992. Lying upright on the seabed at 33 m, the 127 m long and 18 m wide wreck is absolutely impressive. Close to Sha’ab Ali in the early hours of 22 February 1881, the 78 m long Kingston ran aground at the northern edge of the reef that is known as Shag Rock.

 

Crossing the Gulf of Suez will take you to Abu Nuhas, a paradise for wreck lovers which is best known for the abundance of ancient and modern wrecks that lie here: Giannis D, Carnatic, Chrisoula K and Kimon M. All are located on the northern side of the reef, a sandy seafloor at the bottom of a steep sloping coral reef filled with table corals. The reef is very exposed to the prevailing wind and waves and was named after the oldest wreck which was carrying copper (Nuhas in Arabic). Sailing over to Gubal Island and you find the little wreck of the Barge. During the day the wide open wreck is covered in soft corals and fish life, at night it is entirely different and becomes an outstanding site. If weather permits you can dive the Ulysses or the Rosalie Moller. Only two days after the sinking of the Thistlegorm, the Rosalie Moller was also lying at anchor when hit and went down upright. The location outside of Gubal Island is extremely exposed to the sea, wind and waves. The dive is deep, bottom time is limited and visibility is lower than elsewhere so this dive is definitely only for very experienced divers.

 

Note May 2012: Dive Sites in the area of Gubal Island can not be dived due to an order from the military. This affects the dive sites of Ulysses, Barge, Malak and the Rosalie Moller. It is unknown how long the restriction will be in place.

In between wreck dives you will also visit some outstanding reefs at Sha’ab Mahmoud and Ras Mohamed National Park.

 

7/8. Day Depending on your check out and flight time, there may be another dive or just snorkeling. Return to New Marina (El Wataneya) port and disembark. Transfer to airport or hotel.

CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

A PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certification or equivalent and 30 logged dives are required for this safari. All dives, and especially some wreck dives, are subject to diver’s qualification and experience. You must have dived in the last year and recorded this in your log book to join this safari if needed Scuba Review is available onboard.

The itinerary is an example so if you have a special wish for a certain place in this area just let your dive guide know. Liveaboard itineraries are subject to various unpredictable changes including weather conditions. All dives and especially some wreck dives are subject to divers experience and weather permitted. Liveaboard itineraries depend on Egyptian Government, Coast Guard and/or Marine Police approval. Every effort is made but we can not guarantee diving at specific sites. The final decision lies with the captain and guide. Safety always comes first!

DEEP NORTH

A week- long diving safari starting and ending in Sharm El Sheikh. This new safari will take you DEEP NORTH of the Red Sea where still few and sometimes even no boats can be seen. The marine park expedition is aimed also to discover new ones will take you to known dive sites and with Ras Mohamed and Tiran famous sites are also visited! Magnificent drift, reef and wall diving, caves, plateaus and the blue. Dive into a virgin underwater world that is unique in both variety and the sheer number of species.

 

1. Day Afternoon/Evening: transfer to New Marina (El Wataneya) port and embark. Welcome on board, cabin arrangement and boat–briefing. Permission work with port authority, sailing very early next morning.

 

2. – 7. Day Morning: start at a nearby site for a check dive, then sail north. Near Nuweiba you will dive one of the highlights - the Ras Mamlah area, home to the most northern dive sites of the Abu Galum National Park. Amazing fan corals, table corals, soft corals followed by a steep wall. Barracudas and jacks pass by in the blue of the Gulf of Aqaba. You will also find more ravines, walls, caves, hills and chimneys. Ras Abu Galum is a sheltered bay where you will dive incredible wall dives from both the north and the south.

 

Passing by Dahab you can visit famous sites like Bells, Blue Hole, Canyon, Eel Garden or the Islands. South of Dahab, within in the Nabq National Park, Gabr el Bint features a steep wall and colourful coral gardens. Two dives are possible here. These dives are among the most attractive in Sinai. Dive Gebel El Aswad, an underwater mountain only accessible by boat. It is possible to dive the wreck of the Million Hope and from there Tiran with its four famous reefs - Jackson, Woodhouse, Thomas and Gordon are not far. Back to Sharm and dive the world famous Shark and Jolanda Reef in Ras Mohamed National Park.

 

7/8. Day Depending on your check out and flight time, there may be another dive or just snorkeling. Return to New Marina (El Wataneya) port and disembark. Transfer to airport or hotel.

CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

You need to be at least a PADI Advanced Open Water certified diver or equivalent and have 30 logged dives. You must have dived in the last year and recorded this in your log book to join this safari, if needed Scuba Review is available onboard.

This trip is suitable for snorkelers to join.

The itinerary is an example so if you have a special wish for a certain place in this area just let your dive guide know. Liveaboard itineraries are subject to various unpredictable changes including weather conditions. All dives and especially some wreck dives are subject to divers experience and weather permitted. Liveaboard itineraries depend on the Egyptian Government, Coast Guard and/or Marine Police approval. Every effort is made but we cannot guarantee diving at specific sites. The final decision lies with the captain and guide. Safety always comes first!

BACK TO TOP

Start End Route Port Price
03.05.15 10.05.15 Sharm - Brothers SSH 799 Euro
17.05.15 24.05.15 Sinai Classic SSH 739 Euro
24.05.15 31.05.15 Sinai Classic SSH 798 Euro
31.05.15 07.06.15 Sinai Classic SSH 798 Euro
07.06.15 14.06.15 Sinai Classic SSH 798 Euro
14.06.15 21.06.15 Sinai Classic SSH 798 Euro
21.06.15 28.06.15 Sinai Wrecks & Reefs SSH 798 Euro
28.06.15 05.07.15 Sinai Classic SSH 798 Euro
05.07.15 12.07.15 Sinai Wrecks & Reefs SSH 798 Euro
12.07.15 19.07.15 Deep North SSH 798 Euro
19.07.15 26.07.15 Sinai Classic SSH 798 Euro
26.07.15 02.08.15 Sharm - Brothers SSH 889 Euro
23.08.15 30.08.15 Sharm - Brothers SSH 889 Euro
30.08.15 06.09.15 Sinai Classic SSH 798 Euro
04.10.15 11.10.15 Sharm - Brothers SSH 889 Euro
18.10.15 25.10.15 Sinai Classic SSH 798 Euro
25.10.15 01.11.15 Sinai Classic SSH 798 Euro
01.11.15 08.11.15 Deep North SSH 798 Euro
08.11.15 15.11.15 Sinai Classic SSH 798 Euro
22.11.15 29.11.15 Sinai Wrecks & Reefs SSH 798 Euro
29.11.15 06.12.15 Sinai Classic SSH 798 Euro
06.12.15 13.12.15 Sinai Classic SSH 798 Euro
13.12.15 20.12.15 Sinai Classic SSH 798 Euro
20.12.15 27.12.15 Sinai Classic SSH 798 Euro
27.12.15 03.01.16 Sinai Classic SSH 798 Euro

Note: Please do not book any travel arrangements until you have received your booking confirmation from us.

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RED SEA DIVE SITES

RAS MOHAMED & THISTLEGORM DIVESITE INFORMATION

South Sinai is one of the most spectacularly beautiful landscapes on our planet and a mecca for divers. Sinai Peninsula's most southern tip - Ras Mohamed - separates the deeper Gulf of Aqaba from the shallower Gulf of Suez. Declared a park in 1983, the desert peninsula of Ras Mohamed disintegrate into broad sand beaches and than drop off into unbelievable rich coral reefs. Ras Mohamed National Park begins at the small bay of Marsa Ghazlani followed by the larger and deeper bay of  Marsa Bareika. Continuing along the coast to Ras Za'atar, Jackfish Alley, Eel Garden and Shark Observatory, to the southern end of the peninsula with Anemone City, Shark Reef and Yolanda Reef and ending at the Quay.

Because of the geographic position the Ras Mohamed peninsula is a privileged area distinguished to strong massive currents that transport large quantities of plankton and other food that give rise to an extraordinary growth of stony and soft corals and attract large schools of both reef and pelagic marine fauna, over a thousand species in all. Schooling barracuda, jackfish, tuna and all kind of sharks swim in these deep blue waters especially in summer from June to August.

 

Ras Ghozlani :  Ras Ghozlani is the most northern dive site inside Ras Mohamed National Park, located at the southern entrance to the bay of Marsa Bareika. The bay was opened for diving a few years ago but access is restricted to certain sites. Ras Ghozlani can be only done as a drift dive, currents are rarely getting strong. A steep wall with caves and overhangs, which becomes a gentler slope around the corner and is scattered with colourful coral pinnacles, some covered with glassfish. The area closer to the entrance of Marsa Bareika let you feel like being in a surrealistic underwater forest, set up by table corals and series of hard corals cover in colourful red and pink soft corals. In spring look out for manta rays.

 

Marsa Bareika : The bay of Marsa Bareika penetrates the land for about 2.5 km, forming the Ras Mohamed peninsula. Only few areas are allowed for diving, most areas of the bay are prohibited for access from shore and from seaside. The reef is a gentle sandy slope with many coral pinnacles that create superior coral gardens frequented by a great number of reef fish and some sea turtles. Inside Marsa Bareika sea turtles got a protected bay where they can lay their eggs without being disturbed.

 

Ras Za’atar  : Ras Za'atar is located at the southern tip of Marsa Bareika where the wall of Ras Mohamed meets the gentle slope of the bay of Marsa Bareika. Having many cracks and some small caves it is scattered with a variety of corals.

 Only to be done as a drift dive, it will take you along a steep wall with caves and overhangs where back coral trees are found. Just before the corner stay at a depth of 15 m and look out for a wide split that begins at this depth, than narrows towards the surface, becoming a true chimney. You will see the typical inhabitants of gullies and crevices such as lionfish, glassfish and some large Malabar groupers. Look closer for the cleaning stations with the wrasse and shrimp in attendance.

The current may get stronger around the cape and in the blue there are schools of jackfish and barracuda hunting. Ras Za'atar is dived less often than Shark/Yolanda Reef so there are more open ocean fish here. The shallow areas of the wall are excellent places for macro photography.

 

Jackfish Alley  : The white patch on the vertical cliff face is a good marker for this site that is also known as "Fisherman's Bank". Best dived in the morning as the sun lights the reef, begin with a sheer wall with lots of small holes and caves. Diving southward, the wall leads to a sandy plateau at around 20 m.

At the beginning of the plateau you can enter one of two caves. The first extends into the reef, enter to the cave, turn left and re-enter open water. Do not dive deep into this cave as there is no exit. Keep the main reef on your right; you will come to a large coral outcrop which is opposite to the second cave that extends vertically to 3 to 4 m from the surface. On leaving the cave you will have a fantastic view into the blue water.

Move south and you find two coral heads, again covered with glassfish and plenty of soft and hard corals, a real great spot for photographers. Continue along the coral garden into the sandy alley, with plenty of passing jacks and resting stingrays. As well sometimes white tip sharks can be seen. In late summer be aware of titan triggerfish guarding their nests.

Due to greater depths, the long swim, the local tidal conditions or sea breezes with a high swell, Jackfish Alley is restricted to more experienced divers. The recovery of divers is at the end of the dive path and usually made by boat or zodiac, sometimes into high swell or current. When the sea is rough, this dive is not advised

 

Shark Observatory : This is a magnificent wall dive with a superb marine landscape where towering cliffs continue underwater to fade into the deep blue. The drift dive is along a vertical wall with numerous of gullies, caves and small canyons.

Coral growth is good with lots of variety among both soft and stony species. Jacks and Turtles, various kinds of reef fish such as big grouper and napoleons and the occasional grey or black tip shark can be seen. Divers should be careful of the strong currents which are common in this area.

Towards Anemone City you will reach a small beach under the observatory covered with some large gorgonians and, further up, a majestic overhang. Continue along the wall until you will find a beautiful cave that has a large fissure in its top where the sunlight shines trough, an amazing view.

 

Anemone City : Anemone City is one of the nicest sites in the area. The reef is steeply sloping forming a large shallow area, then suddenly drops away at a sharp angle to a smooth wall that is broken by some inlets, plateaus and shelves.

As the name is saying, there are uncountable numbers of anemone, with thousands of anemone and damselfish. Towards Shark Reef coral growth is very rich while barracudas and needlefish can be found near the surface. The dive begins northeast of Shark Reef on a plateau at a depth of 12 to 20 m. The plateau itself is like a balcony over the drop off into the deep blue. Out in the blue you will spot schools of batfish, emperors, jackfish, snappers and unicorn fish.

Leaving Anemone City behind, you can swim in the blue for a few minutes at a depth 20 m, which will lead to Shark Reef. Swimming across the channel is only an option for experienced divers and can be considered if current is not strong.

 

Shark & Yolanda Reef : At the southernmost tip of the Sinai Peninsula, dividing the sea waters between the Gulf of Aqaba and the Gulf of Suez is the number one and most popular dive site which is rated among the best in the world. The cape took its name from the rocks a little to the east, where you can recognise the face of a bearded man: the head of the prophet - Ras Mohamed.

The two reefs are actually twin peaks of a single coral seamount joined by a vertical wall rising almost vertically from a ledge at 100 m. Dropping into the abyss, the sea bottom below this ledge reaches 800 m. The two reefs are separated from the mainland by a shallow channel which becomes a gently seaward-sloping coral plateau reaching about 25 m. Start your dive at Shark Reef and use the current to explore the sheer wall dropping to the deep blue covered in soft corals. Large schools of fish gather in strong currents with large pelagic fish approaching to feed on them.

Continuing towards Yolanda Reef you reach a plateau with small coral heads where stone and scorpion fish, napoleon wrasse, turtles, blue and black spotted stingrays and really huge moray eels are common. Continuing round the reef you explore remains of the wreck "Yolanda'" with some of its cargo: containers filled with bathroom fittings, toilets and baths - now a new home to marine life.

The whole area is big fish territory, so always keep an eye into the blue for thousands of barracudas and snappers, tuna, blue fish and the occasional sharks as hammerhead, white-tip, silky or grey reef sharks. At the end of the dive you might reach a small pinnacle to the south called Baby Yolanda where visibility is limited during tidal changes.

Listen very careful to the briefing when planning a dive here; consider current strength and direction, time of day, sunlight direction, depth and time limits. The dive is always done as a drift, with the boat or zodiac collecting you. This dive is for experienced divers only - the current is very unpredictable and can even be going down the reef wall.

 

The Quay : The western side of the Ras Mohamed peninsula is well sheltered, shallow and sandy. Boots often moor here for lunchtime, on a level with the half-submerged remains the old jetty known as The Quay.

The reef is steeply sloping, cut by deep bays and inlets, a good place to look for smaller marine life like the feather tubeworms and nudibranchs. Take your time and watch out for smaller marine life.

The coral wall is interrupted by hot sweet water springs which pour clouds of warm water and sand into the sea. Visibility can be limited in this area, but once passed, as good as known from other places in the area.

 

Thistlegorm : The most famous of the Red Sea wrecks - may be even worldwide - is the "Thistlegorm". The 127 m long English vessel was constructed 1940 in Sunderland as an armed freighter with an additional armoured gun deck. It was one of a number of "Thistle" ships owned and operated by the Albyn Line.

On its final voyage the "Thistlegorm" was part of a convoy carrying supplies for British troops fighting in North Africa during the Second World War. The ship was lying at so-called "Safe Anchorage F" close to Sha'ab Ali and wait for about two weeks for further instructions. During the night of 6th October 1941, German Heinkel Aircrafts searched for a large troopship (possibly the "Queen Mary") but finally found the "Thistlegorm". They released two bombs right over the bridge, both went into No 4 hold, detonating a great deal of ammunition, almost ripping the ship in two parts and let it sink quickly. The survivors were rescued by "HMS Carlisle", taken to Suez where 4 of 39 crewmembers and 5 of the 9 Royal Navy Officers reported had lost their lives, making the "Thistlegorm" a war grave.

The wreck first gained fame when Jacques Cousteau dived it in 1956 but left the actual location a mystery until it was rediscovered by a group of divers in 1992. Lying upright on the seabed at 33 m, the ships seize, it is 127 m long and 18 m wide, is absolutely impressive. It is fully laden with land mines, shells, ammunition and explosives, weapons, Bedford trucks, armoured cars, Bren-Carriers, BSA motorbikes, trailers, vehicle spare parts, aircrafts and airplane wings, radios, Wellington rubber thigh-boots - and a lot more besides. To save cargo space, the motorbikes were placed onto the back of the Bedford trucks and two locomotives with tender and water carrier were carried as deck cargo.

Nowadays the wreck is an artificial reef, home to a large variety of marine life and schooling fish. The "Thistlegorm" rests upright on an even keel and despite extensive damage aft of the bridge, the main section and the hold 1 and 2 are undamaged. With so much to explore you should plan a minimum of 2 dives, the first one is a complete overview and the second a penetrating one. In general a smooth, but sometimes strong current prevails from bow to stern or opposite way and can affect visibility at the wreck. Plan your diving according to sea conditions, wind and waves, listen careful to the briefing and follow the plan.

As one of the most famous wreck dives in the world the site is often overcrowded by day boats and extensively dived. Being on a live aboard you have the chance to escape and do your first dive before they arrive or you can do an afternoon dive after they have left, it is still possible to dive the wreck without meeting others under water, it need the right timing. The "Thistlegorm" is a superb wreck dive that should not be missed.

RED SEA WRECKS

Known for its fierce storms and chains of reefs and submerged islands the Red Sea can be a navigational nightmare for any captain or for those caught in one of the sudden storms. During history many ships have been lost, mainly in the Northern Red Sea were the Gulf of Suez is one of the greatest navigation hazards.

Abu Nuhas, a magnificent coral plateau that barely reaches the surface and, from a distance, is not easily seen. The reef lies right at the very edge of the busy shipping lane called the Strait of Gubal. For ships coming from Suez, Sha'ab Abu Nuhas has always been the very last obstacle between them and the open Red Sea. Many failed at this "Ships Graveyard" which is best known for the abundance of ancient and modern wrecks which lie here. The reef is very exposed to the prevailing wind and waves and was named after the oldest wreck which was carrying copper (Nuhas in Arabic). Definitely a great place for wreck-lovers.

More wrecks can be found in the Strait of Tiran (Komoran, Million Hope), the Gulf of Suez (Dunraven, Thistlegorm, Kingston), near Safaga (Salem Express) and at the Brother Islands (Numidia), this just to name of few of them.

 

Kormoran (Zingara) : The "Kormoran" (also known as Zingara) was built in Rostock, in former East Germany and launched as the "Kormoran" in 1963. The name was later changed to "Adamastos" until in 1980, another owner renamed it "Zingara".

In August 1984 the merchant vessel sailed from Aqaba with a cargo of phosphate when an error in navigation caused it to hit the reef in front of Tiran Island. Just a few minutes from the North Laguna beacon, lying on the bottom at a rather shallow depth of only 8 m, the wreck is easy to find because its stern is partly above the surface.

The 82 m long "Kormoran" has a tremendous impact and lost almost all of its bow. Two large cracks opened on its left side and the superstructure of the vessel was irreparably damaged. The stern, propeller, motor, rudder and winch on the deck are well preserved and a part of the name can be read on the bow side. The wreck is covered by small table corals and schools of yellowfin goatfish.

Best conditions for a dive are usually in the afternoon, when the current is at its slowest, sea is calm and the sun lights up the wreck. The dive can only be done when the sea is calm to ensure good visibility.

 

Yolanda : At the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula Yolanda Reef is named after the 74 m long Cypriot freighter "Yolanda" which struck the reef on the 1st of April 1980.

The wreck laid partially submerged on the reef top until a storm caused it to drop to the sandy plateau. During a storm in March 1987, most of the ship finally has fallen over the drop-off to about 200 m, leaving a huge scar in the slope between Shark and Yolanda Reef.

Although, a quantity of the cargo remains for the amusement of the divers: bathtubs, toilets and bathroom fittings.Today Yolanda's remains are a new home to many of the resident species, in special large groupers, and are rich in marine life.

 

Dunraven : Beacon Rock, today identified by an automatic lighthouse, is located at the extreme south of the Sha'ab Mahmud reef system. In the night of 24th April 1876, on the way to Bombay, the 80 m long English steam freighter "Dunraven" hit the reef next to the beacon rock. After the impact the ship sank quickly. It is lying broken in two parts, deck-down on the seabed at a depth of 18 to 30 m. Recovered in early 1970's by H. Rosenstein, the more than 135 years old wreck is largely intact, totally covered in corals and rich in marine life.

Start the dive at the deepest part at the stern where the large brass propeller is clearly visible although one of the four blades is missing. Swim along the upturned keel to a point approximately amidships where the hull is broken and start enter the wreck. The boilers are side by side and they occupy a large amount of space. Although, there is plenty of room for passing trough thousands of glassfish that live here in the shade. Be careful, inside are also plenty of resident red lionfish.

After leaving the inside of the wreck explore the bow section with anchor chains and continue with the ship's hull. Overgrown with soft and hard corals the hull provides camouflage for scorpion and crocodile fish. If current allows, dive toward the beacon rock where you can encounter numerous large napoleon fish, hundreds of tiny pipefish and some hard coral heads.

Due to sea conditions and current visibility are often limited. The mooring place is quite far from the shipwreck so usually it is necessary to recover divers by Zodiac.

 

Kingston: Close to Sha'ab Ali in the early hours of 22 February 1881, the 78 m long "Kingston" ran aground at the northern edge of the reef that is known as Shag Rock. The British cargo ship, constructed in 1871, was on its way to Yemen carrying coal. Named after a skipper's wife, the wreck is also known as "Sara H."

The wreck lies in only 17 m depth upright on an even keel with the bow smashed into a superb reef. It is still in good condition as the weight of the cargo keeps it in place and prevents the vessel from being pushed over by real strong currents. Start your dive with the inspection of the stern section at 17 m with the intact propeller and rudder. Swim up, over the top and into the wreck itself. Access is easy; the wooden decks have rotten away, leaving a series of spars and metal frames. Now the entire wreck is wide open. Inside surgeon and glass fish, as well lots of Antheas hiding from the current. Colorful pink, green, red and blue hard corals cover the wreck.

Midships the "Kingston" is broken up and the front half of the ship is nothing more than a collection of wreckage. The two masts lie alongside the wreck facing up the reef where sweet lips, snappers, fusiliers and sometimes tuna can be found.  During the afternoon there is a good chance for a meeting with dolphins that are resident in the area.

 

Carina : The 19th century steam-driven sailing ship "Carina" was on its way to Calcutta with general cargo that included Belgian glassware. Coming from Suez it seems to have caught fire south of Sha'ab Ali. Probably the captain ran north for shallower waters to the northwest corner of Shag Rocks reef extension towards Sha'ab Ali.

The "Carina" is lying in shallow water and wreckage is spread over a large area. The bow and stern sections are intact and lie between 6 to 14 m. Some of the cargo is still visible: fragments of painted glass and drinking vessels. The wreckage has widespread coral growth and marine life. More of the cargo must be hidden beneath the well grown hard corals.

Due to the location large swell and strong currents are common and the wreck is dived infrequently, recovery of divers can get difficult at times and must be consider well when planning this dive.

 

Giannis D: At the western tip of Sha'ab Abu Nuhas lies the well-known "Giannis D." which was launched as the "Shoyo Maru". It was also known by two other names "Dana" and "Markos" before taking its final name. Being loaded with wood at the Croatian port of Rijeka the 100 m long Greek cargo ship had to sail to Saudi Arabia. On the 19 April 1983 with the engines set at full speed ahead, the "Giannis D." drove hard onto the north west corner of Abu Nuhas and had been declared a total constructive loss.

The wreck lies in two parts on the seabed at max depth of 27 m, more or less parallel to the main reef. The central part is destroyed and reduced to scrap metal. The bow lies on one side with an anchor still hooked into the reef. The masts above the bridge rise up to only 4 m. The bridge itself is large, shallow at 10 m, with plenty of light and a number of wide open entry and exit points, good conditions for those wishing to enter a wreck for the first time.

On the large funnel a big "D" can still be read. The bridge, engine room and gangways are easily accessible. The impressive engine room is filled with glassfish. The stern is rather big, fully intact and can be explored inside. The wreck is populated with big groupers living on the destroyed central part. Be aware of lion and scorpion fish. A lot of trevallies can be seen swimming among the wreckage while sometimes sharks   and spotted eagle rays are passing in the blue water.

Pay attention to sea conditions, strong surges in and around the wreck are common in rough weather.

 

Carnatic : The P & O passenger steamer "Carnatic" was built in 1862 in London, classified as an "iron framed planked passenger steamer" and was 90 m long. In September 1869, it had taken 210 passengers and crew, a cargo of cotton bales, copper sheeting, royal mail and £40,000 in gold coins and was on the way to Bombay.

The captain personally negotiated the long narrow confines of the hazardous Gulf of Suez. The night was clear, the mainland and islands were all visible and Shadwan Island was sighted. Soon after, breaking waves were seen on the starboard bow and the "Carnatic" struck the reef of Abu Nuhas.The ship is firmly stuck on the corals; it was taking water but was still in pretty good shape. The captain decided everyone would remain on board and he fully expected to be rescued later that day by other passing ships. None came and underestimating the damage of a coral reef on a steel-hulled vessel, the captain decided passengers and crew will spend another night on board.

The slow but steady process of weakening the keel was not recognized. The level of water within the ship finally flooded the boilers; power and light went off and in the morning sea condition changed. Now water was rapidly filling the ship. Finally realizing his ship was lost, the captain ordered the passengers into the lifeboats. First passengers had just taken their seats when the "Carnatic", without warning, broke in half. With her back broken, the aft section sank quickly. The fore section fell over onto its port side and began to slip off the reef - taking almost everyone into the sea. One by one survivors were taken into the remaining lifeboats and anything that might be helpful was collected. They row over to Shadwan Island from where they were rescued the next day and returned safely to Suez. Of her 210 passengers, 31 lost their lives when the ship sank. One month later all gold coins were brought back by a salvage operation but the story of a missing treasure still appears from time to time.

Today, the "Carnatic" lies parallel to the reef with the stern at 26 m depth and the bow at 18 to 20 m depth. Both the stern and the bow are largely intact. At the central part, where the ship was broken, the engine room and boilers are nearly destroyed. The "Carnatic" is unlike any of the other wrecks in the area as it was a wooden ship and fully encrusted in hard and soft corals. The wooden superstructure and planking has rotted away - now divers are able to explore the deck levels within the wreck although it is really a pile of scrap metal so be careful. The stern with a single row of seven square windows is the most exciting and interesting part. Below the windows, a magnificent rudder and a large three-bladed propeller. Similar to the bow section, lifeboat davits are found on both sides. Among the wreckage it is still possible to find pieces of furnishings and even intact bottles of wine and soda which were part of the cargo. The entire wreck is well colonised by hard corals, colourful soft corals and encrusting sponges also a wide population of reef fishes which include grouper and lionfish.

 

Chrisoula K.: This wreck was mixed up with so many others and known by so many names, it is really confusing, so get it first. The 98 m long vessel was launched in 1954 as "Dora Oldendorf", renamed "Anna B." in 1970 and got her last name "Chrisoula K. in 1979. The "Olden" part of the first name can still be found on the vessel's hull. It was therefore to think this was the "Olden." However, the fact is that the "Chrisoula K." was a vessel of 3.720 t while the "Olden" was of 27.288 t! Having confused the Olden's name with one ship, the cargo then becomes confused with another - the "Marcus" which was also carrying tiles. On discovering the "Chrisoula K." to be full of tiles, it has been assumed the "Olden" must be the other wreck nearby. There is controversy over the identity of 'the tile wreck' - is it the wreck of the Marcus or the Chrisoula K? Both ran aground in the exact same place, both were carrying similar cargo of Italian tiles and both ships looked very similar .....

The "Chrisoula K." had completed the loading of a cargo of Italian floor tiles. The Captain had to negotiate the narrow confines of the Gulf of Suez - during which he insisted on giving his personal attention till the vessel finally approached the Strait of Gubal. He had been on the bridge for more than 2 days, was finally able to relax and hand over control on 31st August 1981. Soon after, with the engines set at full speed the "Chrisoula K." struck hard into the northeast corner of Sha'ab Abu Nuhas, sustaining serious damage and considered a total loss.

Today, the "Chrisoula K." can be found where falling of the reef. Lying on its starboard side the main body is generally upright with the cargo still in place. The stern, with the large propeller and rudder, lies at a depth of 28 m in rather good condition. Deep inside the stern, the engine room can be visited but extreme caution is necessary as the wreck is now instable. Experience of such diving plus a torch and back-up torch is essential. In fact, it is better not to enter the ship here, don't take a risk. If you like, enter one of the holds and you can see the packed floor tiles still carefully bound together.

The wreck's superstructure is highly damaged, provides plenty of easy swim-through and natural-light. From the almost vertical decks above, the rear mast hangs in mid-water almost parallel to the seabed. The decks are overgrown by corals with all the popular reef fishes to find. The whole wreck is covered with encrusting sponges and colourful soft corals. Large morays live in the scattered remains of wreckage and batfish circle the topside. As well look at the very interesting area between the wreck and the eastern part of the reef.

 

Marcus (Tile Wreck): There is controversy over the identity of 'the tile wreck' - is it the wreck of the Marcus or the Chrisoula K? Both ran aground in the exact same place, both were carrying similar cargo of Italian tiles and both ships looked very similar .....

The "Marcus" was on the way to Saudi Arabia, faced steering problems and struck the reef of Abu Nuhas in May 1978 during a storm. The cargo was, same as on the "Chrisoula K.", Italian granite floor tiles. When running aground the weight of her cargo let her stuck firmly into the reef. The vessel became a total constructive loss but never broke apart.

According to the facts found by P. Collins in 2002, remains of the bow section can be seen on the shallow reef top, the starboard anchor chain is visible and the wreck stands upright down the slope of the reef. Not like the "Chrisoula K." the wreck is relative intact, although the bridge collapsed and the remains offering some nice swim through. At 27 m depth the stern is lying over to starboard and the propellers are intact. Hard corals have covered the hull and a real huge grouper seems to guards the wreck.

 

Kimon M. (Lentil Wreck): Stuicken & Sohn built the 106 m long cargo vessel "Kimon M." in the German town of Hamm in 1952. The vessel was of a similar size, tonnage and age to the "Chrisoula K." and did change name throughout its career too. The local name "Lentil Wreck" was given because of its cargo.

In December 1978, the "Kimon M." loaded 4.500 tons of bagged lentils in the Turkish port of Iskenderun to take them to Bombay. Navigating trough the narrow confines of hazardous upper Gulf of Suez, finally, the ship approached the wider Strait of Gubal. The captain handed over control and on 12th December and with engines at full speed the "Kimon M." drove hard onto the northeast corner of Sha'ab Abu Nuhas. Lloyd's List of 14 December 1978 reported "Kimon M." struck wreck in position lat. 27°35 N, long. 33°55 E Strait of Gubal".

It is not known which wreck the "Kimon M" claims to have hit as this was almost 3 years before the "Chrisoula K." would go aground. The initial impact drove the "Kimon M." hard onto the reef top where the ship stayed for several days. With some of the cargo recovered during the first day after wrecking, the remainder became contaminated with seawater and was destroyed. First surveys reported the damage to the hull to be so extensive that the vessel was classed as a total constructive loss. Prevailing winds and currents did their work and pushed the ship hard over onto its starboard side. With the bow high on the reef the main section of the ship broke and the area forward of the bridge and the forward holds were continually pounded until they were reduced to scrap metal. The remainder of the wreck fell into deeper water and came to rest at the bottom in 27 m.

The "Kimon M." offers a variety of different dives. At the bow, storms and rough seas have destroyed the front of the ship, and when the vessel broke it has been cut straight across in the middle. Immediately after this, easy to locate area is the engine room where removal of the main engine has created a wide opening.

As the upper hull has been weakened by salvage attempt, the impact of another vessel- the "Olden" and due to recent heavy storms penetration into the wreck is unsafe. From the aft holds forward the wreck is instable and should be visited from the outside only. Do not enter as it is extremely dangerous! Follow the port side all the way down towards the stern. The decks themselves are vertical and already well colonized by small outcrops of coral and all the popular fishes. Being the least damaged, many features of the stern remain intact complete with a large single propeller, bollards, capstans and railings. Away from the decks, the main masts lie parallel to the seabed.

 

Olden : Various articles and books have wrongly attributed this name to both the "Chrisoula K." and the "Kimon M", but the "Olden" is another undiscovered wreck at Abu Nuhas.

The 213 m long cargo ship was built in 1967 in Germany. Perhaps due to navigation mistake the "Olden" ran headlong towards the "Kimon M." struck the wreck and sank on 2 February 1987. A dropped anchor was found at 55 m so may be one day the "Olden" will become a target for technical diving although another report says the "Olden" sank at the open sea at lat. 27° 31.2' N, long. 34° 17.1' E - approximately 14 miles east of Shadwan Island in over 1.000 m of water.

 

Barge (Tug Boat) : At the islands of Small Gubal, in the bay below Bluff Point, lies this old barge at just 14 m of depth. Being used to tie boats that moor here for the night, just little more than a small open hull remained.

During the day you find the wreck covered in soft corals and spectacular fish life such as lionfish and giant moray eels. At night it is entirely different and becomes an outstanding site. Especially on a night dive make sure to stay at the wreck as currents are tricky.

Note May 2012: Dive Sites in the area of Gubal Island can not be dived due to an order from the military. This affects the dive sites of Ulysses, Barge, Malak and the Rosalie Moller. It is unknown how long the restriction will be in place.

 

Ulysses: Like so many others, the "Ulysses" was a steam cargo ship with sails and on a passage from London to Malaysia. In August 1887 it ran aground outside east side of Small Gubal Island and sank slowly weeks later when sea conditions went bad.

The majority of the ship lies on its port side on the seabed at 28 m, but parts of the bow are visible just below the surface. If sea conditions are good and no mounting swells at the site, the dive is beautiful. The stern of the wreck is overgrown by soft coral. You can find the obligatory glassfish in the bow section and with strong currents over the hull, travellies and jack fish are common.

The site is towards the Straits of Gubal and is directly facing the north to south current. The current here can be very strong and the surface swell is large, making boat mooring impossible. The only way to dive here will be a long zodiac ride from the south side of Bluff Point.

Note May 2012: Dive Sites in the area of Gubal Island can not be dived due to an order from the military. This affects the dive sites of Ulysses, Barge, Malak and the Rosalie Moller. It is unknown how long the restriction will be in place.

 

Schooner : Next to the "Ulysses" are the remains of an iron hulled vessel, most probably built around 1860. The wreck is unidentified till today ...

The site is towards the Straits of Gubal and is directly facing the north to south current. The current here can be very strong and the surface swell is large, making boat mooring impossible. The only way to dive here will be a long zodiac ride from the south side of Bluff Point.

Note May 2012: Dive Sites in the area of Gubal Island can not be dived due to an order from the military. This affects the dive sites of Ulysses, Barge, Malak and the Rosalie Moller. It is unknown how long the restriction will be in place.

 

Sea Star : There are several conflicting reports about this vessel. In some guides it is wrongly sited on Abu Nuhas but in fact lies north of the Ulysses. The name was given wrong to the "Kimon M." first but the real "Seastar" was lost outside of Small Gubal.

After the ship first struck the reef Abu Nuhas it was on the way to Suez to be repaired. The ship took water and the captain tried to beach her on the reef outside Gubal.  Sea conditions were bad and big waves took the 100 m long Greek cargo ship soon down the reef.

While the two anchors are still on the reef top the bow is now in 27 m and the stern is at a depth of 56 m. The holds collapsed but the bow, superstructure and the stern are intact and rarely covered by corals but jackfish, trevellies and snapper stay with the always present current.

Due to the very exposed position the wreck can only be dived in real calm sea.

Note May 2012: Dive Sites in the area of Gubal Island can not be dived due to an order from the military. This affects the dive sites of Ulysses, Barge, Malak and the Rosalie Moller. It is unknown how long the restriction will be in place.

 

Rosalie Moller : The "Rosalie Moller" was built in the early 1900s in Glasgow, transporting coal from England to Alexandria when German bombers struck it on 8th October 1941 - only two days after the sinking of the "Thistlegorm".

The "Rosalie Moller" was also lying at anchor when hit and went down upright with a loss of two lives. The wreck now lies on a sandy, muddy bottom with the bow down into the sand, port anchor up starboard down. First to see is the foremast with a crow nest now starts at a depth of 22 m and the top of the deck is in 35 m, the intact propeller in 48 m while the starboard anchor is deployed with the chain running down to the seabed at 50 m and then out of sight. The dive is deep, bottom time is limited and visibility is much lower than elsewhere.

The location outside of Gubal is extremely exposed to the sea, wind and waves. This dive is definitely only for very experienced divers, has limited bottom time, reduced visibility so extra skills are needed to dive this wreck. Good planning and surface support are a must for this challenging dive.

Note May 2012: Dive Sites in the area of Gubal Island can not be dived due to an order from the military. This affects the dive sites of Ulysses, Barge, Malak and the Rosalie Moller. It is unknown how long the restriction will be in place.

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