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Red sea diving Hurghada

In Hurghada both beginners as well as experienced divers will find plenty of diving sites from a favourite sandy bottom with shifting white sand dunes to dramatic, steep outer reefs to the legendary wrecks in the Straits of Gubal. Note that dive centres in Hurghada  members of the environmental organisation HEPCA (Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association).

Hurghada’s northern top reefs are situated just in front of our diving center. Favourite sites like Abu Galawa, Abu Nugar, Sha’ab El Erg (Dolphin House), Um Gamar and Carless Reef are reached within 25 to 60 minutes boat ride. There are only very few other dive centers which go to the same places at the same time. Sometimes the Sinai Divers boats are even the only ones at the site. There are over 30 different dive sites and, apart from a very few exceptions, they are just as good for snorkelling because the reefs come high towards the surface. Wreck dives to sites like the legendary Thistlegorm and to the ship ‘graveyard’ Abu Nuhas (with wrecks such as Giannis D., Carnatic, Kimon Ml, Chrisoula K.) are organised as day trips (early morning departure) and also as live-aboard multi-day safaris.
Nowadays the wrecks have become fantastic artificial reefs offering a home to countless species of fish.
The above-mentioned wrecks are all situated in diver-friendly depths of 15-30 metres. In many cases one can safely dive into the wrecks themselves. There are two other wrecks, which can be reached on a normal day trip. One is the minesweeper ship (sunk by Israeli fighter bombers in 1970), the other is the Excalibur (a dive safari boat which sunk in 1995). Both are situated in the Hurghada harbour area.

Two of the most popular wrecks are:

Chrisoula K.

Lies on the outside of Sha’ab Abu Nuhas, alongside a narrow tongue of reef that projects seaward from the main reef. Like her neighbour, The Unknown Wreck, she is only accessible in the calmest weather. She is slowly collapsing under the pounding surf that rakes this reef. So be warned, don’t go inside, she is very unstable. The Chrisola.K was a Greek freighter carrying tiles from Italy. These tiles still fill her forward holds. She must have hit the reef at high speed, because her bow section is completely shattered and scattered in the shallow water. The midships section stands upright on the seabed and the stern section is torn away and lies on its starboard side at about 30m. Dive The Chrisola.K in conjunction with her neighbour, The Unknown Wreck, which is only five minutes swim away. Alternatively finish your dive on the narrow tongue of reef that extends northwards. It has a dramatic landscape of table corals.

Carnatic

Between The Chrisola.K and The Ghiannis.D lies The Carnatic. She hit the reef in 1869 broke up and sank the following day as the weather worsened. She was a passenger and mail ship for the P&O company and the story goes eight thousand of her forty thousand sterling bullion remains unrecovered. Her sister ship, The Pera Alma, met a similar fate and lies on the reef of Mushajirah in Yemen. The Carnatic lies at forty five degree angle to the reef on a gravel seabed, between 20m and 30m. She has broken up midships, leaving her bow and stern intact. The decking has fallen away to be replaced by a thick growth of tube sponges, alcyonarians and occasional table corals, making her very photogenic. She is also laid open to light from above and is easily penetrated. Large giant groupers frequent the wreck, alongside morays. Overhead jackfish and tuna cruise by. The Carnatic lies very close to the reef in an exposed position. She must be dived by zodiac in all but exceptional conditions due to large swells breaking on the reef behind. It is best to bouy the bow section at around 15m, here the divers may make their descent and ascent.

 

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