Scuba Diving in the Northern Red Sea

I just returned from a 1 week scuba diving safari on board the Emperor Infinity through the Northern part of the Red Sea.

On Thursday, May 22nd, 20 folks from our local scuba diving club “Tauchertreff Mainz” met at Frankfurt airport around noon time to board a Condor flight to Hurghada, Egypt. It was dark already when we landed and right away we had been transfered to our boat, the M/Y Infinity, waiting for us in the Hurghada marina close to the Emperor diving center.

After an initial boat briefing, diner, sleep, breakfast, a lot of paperwork and another security briefing our boat left the harbor the next morning. We stopped for our check dive at Poseidons Garden (@ Shab El Erg) and I noticed that I would need 11 kilogramm lead here in the Red Sea to adjust to a proper buoyancy while I had used 6 kilogramm only during my pool training the Friday before. The Red Sea is one of the saltiest bodies of seawater in the world.

Crossing the Street of Gubal
Crossing the Street of Gubal

Our second dive site for this day: the Dunraven, our first wrack dive. Built in 1873, the ship sunk in 1876 after hitting a reef. After this dive we had a rough ride across the Street Of Gubal (Gulf Of Suez), since it has been pretty stormy, to reach the “Ras Mohammed” National park, located south of the Sinai peninsula,  where we would do several dives the next day.

Day 3 ( Sunday, May 25th ) took us to the “Small Crack”, a nice dive along a reef ending in a shallow sandy lagoon,  and the Thistlegorm, another very famous wrack in the Northern Red Sea, a British Navy ship sunk by German bombers in 1941, discovered by Jacques-Yves Cousteau in the early 50th. On day 4 we visited another wrack, the Kingston, and did two more dives at Bluff Point, famous for its strange currents and also called the “Laundry machine”, but peaceful this time, where also a small barge wrack can be discovered, home of a giant Moray eel. On our journey to the next stop dolphins accompanied our boat during the hour of sunset.

giannis d 009
“giannis d 009” by Cathy Thomas

On day 5, Tuesday, May 27th, we visited “Gubal Malak” for the morning dive, then the “Abu Nuhas” reef, where four ship wracks are waiting on the ground to be visited by divers. Before lunch and in the afternoon we took a closer look at the Carnatic and the Giannis D, the latter a pretty “new” wrack of a ship sunk in 1983.

Day 6 already was our last diving day, “Small Giftun“, where I did my deepest dive so far: 34.8 meters, and “Gota Abu Ramada West”, where I did my longest dive so far, our last dive sites. At this day we returned to Hurghada and stayed on the boat for another day, until a Condor flight brought us back to Germany on Thurday, May 29th, where we landed Friday morning at around 01:00 am.

Zodiak ride to the dive site
Zodiak ride to a dive site

It has been a fantastic trip with a nice group of people on a comfortable boat with 10 very mindful and helpful crew members and three very professional and nice dive guides, two from Argentina and one from Germany, with lots of beautiful dive sites, a full schedule ( 06:30 am wake-up, 07:00 am first briefing, morning dive, breakfast, some rest, briefing, second dive, lunch, some rest, briefing, third dive, some rest, briefing and night dive ( not for me ! ), dinner at around 09:00 pm, a beer, sleep, … ) and lots of nice experiences and adventures. Even it has been a very enjoyable week I also must say that 1 week for such type of trip is enough. At the end almost two third of our group encountered some problems with their ears, colds or other type of sickness and thus a break after one week of diving was well accepted.

In total I did 15 dives (just missed 1) and those of us who also did the night dives ended up with 20 dives; as far as I can tell actually nobody managed to do all the dives offered. Here is a detailed list of dives I did ( dive # 15 is my 49th dive in total ):

Number Date Depth Duration Dive site
1 05/23/2008 13.8 m 45′ Poseidons Garden
2 05/23/2008 28.3 m 36′ Dunraven
3 05/24/2008 25.1 m 45′ Ras Ghozlani
4 05/24/2008 20.1 m 45′ Shark Reef: Anemony-Yolanda
5 05/24/2008 24.5 m 41′ Skark Reef: Volanda Reef
6 05/25/2008 18.9 m 44′ Small Crack
7 05/25/2008 24.7 m 39′ Thistlegorm
8 05/26/2008 19 m 47′ Kingston
9 05/26/2008 15 m 37′ Bluff Point
10 05/26/2008 13.6 m 48′ The Barge
11 05/27/2008 24.5 m 54′ Gubal Malak
12 05/27/2008 23.5 m 56′ Carnatic @ Sha’ab Abu Nuhas
13 05/27/2008 20.5 m 52′ Ghiannis D @ Sha’ab Abu Nuhas
14 05/28/2008 34.8 m 50′ Small Giftun
15 05/28/2008 11.9 m 72′ Gota Abu Ramada West

2 Responses to “Scuba Diving in the Northern Red Sea”

  1. sottovoco Says:

    Hurghada is a really fun. I don’t dive but got to snorkel there last fall. Amazing clarity. Sounds like you had a fantastic trip. Can’t wait to go back.

  2. Scuba Diving in the Southern Red Sea « Axel’s Travelog Says:

    […] This year my wife and I traveled to Egypt for a 1 week scuba diving safari in the southern region of the Egypt part of the Red Sea ( which itself reaches further down up to Eritrea ), after we had been there last year to explore the North. […]

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