NORTHERN LIVEABOARD ROUTE in the South Moon : dive the best sites in Ras Mohamed and Tiran including the Thistlegorm and Dunraven
Day 0: Embarkation in Sharm el Sheikh
Day 1: Check dive at Temple or Ras Katy, Ras Mohamed, Beacon Rock, Night Dive
Day 2: Dunraven, Small Crack, Wreck of the Thistlegorm, Night Dive
Day 3: Thistlegorm, Shag Rock, Alternatives, Night Dive
Day 4: Ras Mohamed: Shark & Yolanda Reef, Jackfish Alley, Gordon Reef, Night Dive
Day 5: Straights of Tiran: Jackson, Woodhouse, Laguna, Night Dive
Day 6: Thomas Reef, Gordon, Ras Um Sid
Day 7: Disembarkation in Sharm el Sheikh
Ras Katy is located at only few minutes from Travco Jetty, the main harbor of Sharm el Sheikh, and from where all our boats in Sharm are departing.
Is a very nice and easy shallow dive, ideal for the first dive in the Red Sea. It is ideal as well for night dives.
Just around the promontory of Ras Um Seid lies Temple dive site. Temple is so-named because here you will find three coral pillars resembling the columns of a classical temple. The pillars descend to a depth of 30m. Reef fauna commonly seen here include butterfly fish, parrot fish, bat fish and lionfish. You may also see a Napoleon Wrasse.
Ras Um Sid
Ras Umm Sid is the name of the promontory with a high lighthouse that marks the beginning of the Strait of Tiran on the western coast. The diving site, easily accessible by land, is immediately east of the lighthouse, opposite the famous Italian restaurant El-Fanar and the African Divers centre. It is renowned for the extraordinary proliferation of gorgonians (Subergorgia hicksoni) that create a veritable forest here, the most beautiful in all the northern Red Sea.
Shark & Jolanda Reef
Ras Mohammed is a peninsula of land jutting out into the Red Sea at the southernmost point of the Sinai Peninsula. Most of the Ras Mohammed Peninsula is, in fact, a raised reef plate, indicating that the sea level was once higher than it is today. In 1983 Ras Mohammed was given National Park status, the area the park covers was increased in 1989 to include much of the surrounding seas. There are some 1,000 species of fish and 150 species of coral to be found in the waters here, hence the need for preservation.
Dunraven - Beacon Rock
Built in Newcastle in 1873, this British steamer met her end in 1876 while bound for Bombay with a cargo of timber and cotton, which were lost in the ship wreck when the ship caught fire. She lies upside-down in 15 – 29.5 metres depth. The dive starts at the stern and takes you inside the hull where you can see Crocodilefish. You can also expect to see some groupers, Lionfish and schools of Glassfish. Above the bow you can enjoy a coral garden at 10 – 5 metres as you ascend from your dive.
Small Crack is a small break in the Sha’ab Mahmud reef system and is navigable by small dive boats only. The passage is 6m deep and 2-3m across with reef walls on both sides. Both hard and soft corals abound here – you can see Gorgonian fans, porites, salad coral and Acropora as well as anemones and their omni-present anemonefish. There is also a small eel garden at a depth of 19m and many species of reef fauna. Pelagic fish also frequent the site.
Wreck of the Thistlegorm
Lying some 31 miles from Sharm El Sheikh, the Thistlegorm is a popular site often visited by divers on day trips as well as liveaboard boats. Built in 1940, the Thistlegorm was a sizeable British transport ship. Early one morning in October 1941 while moored at Sha’ab Ali, she was struck by German bombers and sank. She was carrying a cargo of munitions, anti-tank mines, motorcycles, Bedford trucks, spare parts, tyres and medicines amongst other things for the British troops in North Africa. She lies at depths of between 16 and 33 metres and both the ship and her cargo are very well preserved, making her arguably the best wreck dive in the Red Sea. Not only you will you enjoy seeing a ship and cargo so amazingly intact, you will also see plenty of marine life in and around the vessel making the Thistlegorm, effectively, an artificial reef!
Believed to be one of the best dive sites in the northern Red Sea, only drift dives are possible here as there are no moorings. Here you will see a variety of corals including gorgonians, colonies of black coral and large Alcyonarians. It is possible to circumnavigate the entire reef on your dive, weather and currents, permitting. You can expect to see many reef fish including Angelfish and groupers as well as pelagic fish e.g. barracuda and the Whitetip Reef Shark.