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Nov 17, 2017 at 10:14 PM
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GUBAL STRAIT PDF Print E-mail
Step into History One week cruise with boarding in Hurghada. The route takes you Northwards towards the many islands and reefs found in the area, up to the strait of Gubal, or more precisely the stretch sea between the Sinai Peninsula and the West coast of the Red Sea which precedes the Suez Canal. Navigation is particularly pleasant with short sailing times. This route makes it possible to alternate between dives on famous wrecks, including the Thistlegorm which dates back to the 2nd World War, and diving on the splendid coral-red barriers.The area is scattered with wrecks. Many of them are from the Second World War, when the ships waiting to pass the Suez Canal became easy prey for the fighters and bombers; others were victims of the not easily visible reefs which tore the skittles of the ships causing them to sink.   The Thistlegorm (sunk in 1941) is probably the most impressive wreck of all, both because of its size (over 126 metres in length) as well as for the rich marine life which grew up around this artificial barrier. Lying on the sea bed, it’s in a perfect position at a depth of 30 metres, in the Shaab Ali area. The prow is intact, but during exploration of the wreck the damage caused by the bombardment is clearly visible, where the impact tore away part of the ship to reveal the hold. The load of motor bikes, trucks, cross-country cars, ammunition and other goods intended for the English troops fighting in Africa can still be seen. The cargo never arrived at destination, because on the night of October 6, 1941, the Red Sea took an hour and half to swallow the Thistlegorm and her cargo for ever. In the northern part of Shaab Abu Nuhas there are four more wrecks; the Carnatic (sunk in 1869), the Giannis. D. (sunk in 1983), the Chrisoula K. (sunk in 1981) and the Kimon Mr. (sunk in 1978). A dive on these wrecks is like stepping back in history into the past, and is an experience not to be missed. Another splendid dive is on the wreck of the Rosalie Moller (sunk on October 8, 1941); at a length of almost 110 metres, this ship characterized by the quantity of fish that can be found. Unfortunately dives are not always easy to organize if the weather and marine conditions are not favourable, as the area isn’t protected so could become difficult.The splendid coral barriers are the ideal places for sightings of large groupers and moray eels, and often dolphins (tursiopes or sténelles longirostres). A good example is “Bluff Point”, where the boat is often anchored for night diving. There is a very rich reef here, largely made up of hard coral formations large umbrella corals, offering shelter to a great quantity of barrier fish. The northern side of the island also holds a surprise, the small wreck of the Ulysses (sunk in 1878). Starting near to the reef and dropping to a depth of about thirty meters, this very old wreck offers some wonderful scenes of life and colour, and together with the nearby coral-red barriers make for some great diving. Shaab el Erg and Shag Rock are both of great interest. The first is a splendid reef with a lagoon where a group of dolphins can often be seen in the late afternoon. The second combines the beauty of the scenery with a wreck dive; the Kingston (sunk in 1881) also named Sarah H. Not much remains of the actual ship, but the dive from the wreck along the barrier with its unique hard corals is very pleasant. Shaab Umm Usk, with its walls covered with formations of hard coral and barrier fish is another beautiful stage. Yellow Fish, at the entry of the reef of Abu Nuhas, is a small reef which often reveals great surprises of shoals of fish and sometimes even a group of dolphins attracted of the bubbles of the divers.

No less beautiful are the sites close to Hurghada, such as Umm Gamar, Gota Abu Ramada, and small Giftun, offering soft and very rich hard coral Reefs, and walls with incomparable sea fans where the tiny falcon fish can be found.

N.B. Please click on the for underwater maps

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