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Full Article: Best Lens Choices for DSLR Underwater Photography

Underwater photography has its challenges and chief among them is having the right lens for the shot you hope to achieve. Compact camera users have an advantage in this regard, as they can switch strategies underwater by adding a wide angle wet lens or diopter as needed. DSLR shooters, however, have to make a choice before the dive and stick with it. That means more than just a choice between macro and wide angle. It also means choosing the right macro lens or wide angle lens. 


Many budding underwater photographers start their adventure shooting images of small animals such as octopus, fish, and nudibranchs. My advice, whether you are shooting with a crop sensor or a full frame camera, is to use a 60mm macro lens. This lens allows the photographer to get close to the subject and fill the frame. It is especially good for subjects about the size of a small melon. With its wide focusing range, it can take images both extremely close up and at a distance. It is a good underwater choice for poor visibility as well because of its short working distance.

Rhinopias frondosa, 60mm lens, f/18, 1/320, ISO 100

Although the 60mm lens is a good all around macro lens, some photographers prefer to shoot smaller subjects or larger subjects at a greater working distance. In this case, I recommend Canon's 100mm macro Lens, or Nikon's 105mm macro lens. These lenses are compatible with both crop and full frame sensors and allow the photographer to fill the frame with a subject while maintaining a comfortable working distance. My favorite application with this lens, however, is to pair it with a wet diopter, such as the Subsee +5 or +10, or the Nauticam SMC-1 or SMC-2. When paired with one of these lenses, the working distance is reduced to just a few inches, and teeny tiny subjects smaller than an ant can be photographed, and still fill the frame.

Costasiella sp. Nikon d810, 105mm lens, SMC-1, f/20, 1/320, ISO 100

Both the 60mm and the 100mm or 105mm lenses can be enhanced with a wet diopter, teleconverter, or even extension rings. However, the wet diopters are the most versatile as they can be attached to an adapter that flips them out of the way when changing between subjects of different sizes. Although the choice to shoot macro still has to be made before making a gaint stride, these lenses give the photographer the option to shoot a head and shoulders portrait size of a diver all the way down to something the size of a grain of rice. To illustrate the versatility of this lens, the image above was taken with the same lens as the image below, Nikon's 105mm lens.

Nikon d810, 105mm lens, f/8, 1/125, ISO 200


It turns out, there are several choices for wide angle shooters as well as macro shooters. For crop-sensor cameras, the overwhelming majority of photographers use the Tokina 10-17mm Fisheye lens. This lens is very versatile as it focuses extremely close to the lens while giving tremendous depth of field. You can see the kelp in the image below is pretty much in focus throughout the image, although some of it is touching the dome port, and some of it is meters away.

Nikon d7000 with Tokina 10-17mm lens, f8, 1/30, ISO 200

Another option for both full frame and crop sensor shooters is the circular fisheye lens. If you are shooting a crop sensor, you will have to use a 4.5mm circular fisheye lens, to account for the smaller sensor size. Full frame shooters can use an 8mm circular fisheye. Sigma makes both lenses and it is a good choice if you want to have this option in your bag. Canon, and recently Nikon, both make an 8-15mm fisheye lens which I find to be the most versatile. The 8mm lens is sometimes touted as a gimmick to get judges to notice your photo in a contest, but I believe it is a tool just like any other and should be utilized under the right conditions. At 8mm (or 4.5 if shooting crop sensor), the lens sees 180 degrees in every direction creating a circular effect. It is a challenging lens to use because you must have the strobes pulled way back to reduce backscatter and the subject must be placed in the frame where it will not be too heavily distorted.

Nikon d810, sigma 8mm circular fisheye lens, f/11, 1/100, ISO 320

At the 15mm end of the 8-15mm fisheye lens, the frame is filled, has great depth of field, and the lens makes exceptional underwater images. Because there are very few straight lines in underwater photography, a fisheye lens works well to capture close focus wide angle photography.

Nikon D810, 8-15mm lens at 15mm, f9, 1/125, ISO 400

There are times, however, when straight lines are more desirable, such as the inside of a shipwreck, or the supports under a jetty. Full frame shooters have the option of using a 16-35mm wide angle rectilinear lens. This lens also works well for large animals that are not so large as to fill the frame with a 15mm shot, such as sea lions, dolphins, and giant groupers, so being able to zoom in to 35mm is helpful.

Nikon d810, 16-35mm wide angle rectilinear lens, f/11, 1/80, ISO 500

These lenses are not the only options available to underwater photographers, but they are commonly used and give both wide angle and macro shooters lots of options for better underwater photography. DSLR users will benefit from deciding what types of images they would like to create before the dive and going on the dive with those goals in mind. Of course, there is always Murphy's law that you will see a whale when you are set up for a nudibranch. But if you are prepared for the nudibranch, at least you will have the safistfaction of being ready when that new, undescribed species shows up.

Full Article: Nauticam D850 Announced

Less than a month after the Nikon D850 started shipping, Nauticam has announced the release of its D850 housing, the NA-D850. Taking such a remarkable camera underwater requires a remarkable housing and it seems Nauticam has done just that. Like all Nauticam DSLR housings, the casing is aluminum. It features the patented Nauticam bayonet port lock mechanism and the electro-optical converter like the one found on the D500 and D5 housings, along with a new level to easily toggle between AF modes. Of course, the housing also provides access to all important camera functions.

The housing is slated to start shipping on October 16th for a retail price of $3800 USD.

For the full press release from Nauticam, Please visit this link! http://www.nauticam.com/product/17222/

And to preorder your housing, please visit Bluewater Photo https://www.bluewaterphotostore.com/nauticam-nikon-d850-housing

Full Article: Sea&Sea Announces S&S YS-D2J

Sea&Sea has announced the updated version of their YS-D2 Strobe. The YS-D2J returned to Japan for manufacturing (hence the J), and should have even better reliability than the original model.

The specs and features remain the same so current YS-D2 users won't have any sort of learning curve by upgrading. The new strobe will be available this month and will retail for $689.95. 

For more information, please check the Sea&Sea product page linked below.


Please visit https://www.bluewaterphotostore.com/ to purchase the new strobes when they are available!


Full Article: Story behind the shot - Yawning Goby

Finding the Right Goby

I was diving in the Catalina Dive Park for the SoCal Shootout. There were hundreds of blue-banded gobies, and most don’t want you to get close. I was lucky to find one that wasn’t shy, he held his ground and did not instantly flee like the others. I had already seen it dart out and eat something, so maybe it thought it had a good feeding spot. When it ate something, that motion had caught my eye and made me decide to come in for a closer look.

Goby Underwater Photo

Becoming Friends

I took 35 shots of this particular goby. At one point it opened its mouth wide for a couple of seconds and I got 2 or 3 shots off before the mouth closed. My strobes were pointed slightly in. Photo was uncropped. I used the “creep in” approach, getting a little closer with every shot. I started without the diopter, and when I realized he wasn’t scared at all, I  flipped the diopter down. His yawn lasted just long enough for me to get 3 very quick shots off.

Goby Underwater Photo by Helen Brierley

Settings & Equipment

I used the Nikon D500 with the Nauticam D500 Housing, flash trigger, Nikon 105mm VR lens, two YS-D1 strobes and the Subsee +5 diopter. My settings were as follows - 1/200th, F18, ISO 200. That enabled me to have my flash reasonably low powered to recycle fast and F18 meant I could blur the background as I got in close, though it made the focus a bit more picky of course. Most of what I then altered as I moved in closer was the composition, focus and strobe position.

[Publisher's Note] Helen's photo ended up winning best of show in the the 7th annual SoCal Shootout. Congrats Helen!

Full Article: SoCal Shootout Winners Announced

Congrats to the winners of the 7th annual SoCal Shootout!

Winning images were taken all over Southern California, from the Northern Channel Islands all the way down to San Diego, and everywhere in between.

Over $20,000 worth of prizes were awarded! These included prizes from platinum sponsors:  Quino el GuardianAquaticaAiyanar Beach & Dive ResortsKraken SportsBluewater Travel

For the full list of winners and to see all of the winning images & videos, please check out the results page on Bluewater Photo


SoCal Shootout 2017 winning photos

This amazing uncropped photo of a Blue-banded Goby was taken with a wet diopter and Nikon 105mm macro lens. Stay tuned for a complete "story of the shot" going up on the UWPG site later today!



1st Place, Edited Video Category



View All Winning Photos & Video Here

The 8th Annual SoCal Shootout is September 14-16th, 2018!!


Full Article: Master Class Tutorial - Planning for a Great Shot

How to plan for great shots


When I started my underwater photography career, I wanted to photograph everything, everywhere. It was a blast. Over time, I got more selective – and now I realize I've entered a phase where I simply want to get a handful of amazing photos each trip, instead of 20 or 30 good ones. This takes a different approach, one that I've been honing for the last couple years and I wanted to share with you.


Last month I made a trip to Atmosphere Resort and dived Apo Island in Dumaguette, Philippines. This article is a summary of the approach I took on the trip. I should point out that the groupers and Lemon shark photos are from my July 2017 trip to French Polynesia.


This is the first in a series of master class underwater photography articles, and I hope you enjoy it! Look for more master class tutorials every week on the UWPG website.


Researching your chosen location is a must


It is of vital importance to research the location you are going to. Talk to photographers who have been there, google trip reports, and try to find images from that location. That will give you idea of what kind of subjects are seen, where they are seen, and how likely you are to see them.


If it is mandarin fish - which side of the reef are more of them seen? If it is a macro subject, what is the habitat? If it is a school of jacks, what depth are they usually at? Does their depth depend on the current?


In researching Apo Island, turtles, sea snakes and nice coral kept coming up. I also noticed that many people scheduled just 1 Apo Island trip during their stay, as it had a small additional cost and was marketed as a “special trip”. After arriving at the resort and diving at the island, I decided it was best to view Apo Island as a standard dive site that I dived every other day, if not every day – a different approach than others seem to have taken.


Schooling Jacks at Apo Island, Dumaguette. This is from my 3rd dive at the dive site with the jacks. Talking to the dive guide on the boat was essential for planning the photo - we discussed use of his dive light, fin position, and where he would look.


Give yourself enough of time


By diving Apo Island several times during my trip, it allowed me to get to know the dive sites, the subjects, and their behavior much better than if I only went for 1 trip. Knowing where on a dive site to spend most of your time can be very important – the dive guides are often moving you along, and some of my best photos were after I told the dive guides repeatedly “don't move from this location, we want to stay here during the dive”. Dive guides by nature often move around, particularly at wide-angle dive sites, so it is important to reinforce this point several times with a guide and get them to repeat it back to you, to ensure success.


Groupers in French Polynesia. My takeaway from this photo is, that if you see something truly amazing underwater, it is of vital importance that you assume you will never see it again. 


Talk to the dive guides


This should be obvious, but I think it is an important point to reinforce. When you arrive at a location, it is important to interview 2 or 3 dive guides, and ask them the following questions: Where is the best place to see my subject? What are the necessary conditions? What is the best time of day? How often is the subject seen? By asking these questions multiple times, I was able to determine which of two dive sites with schooling jacks would be better for a wide-angle photo, saving myself valuable dive time. I was also able to eliminate the dive site with the highest concentration of sea snakes from my dive list, after determining that it lacked the necessary background subjects for my photos – all without wasting precious dives.


Revisit the dive sites


Revisiting the dive sites multiple times was essential for getting great photos of the turtles, jacks and sea snakes. Conditions, animal behavior and opportunities varied tremendously from dive to dive. I suggest a minimum of 3 dives at key dive site if possible, to get the right opportunities and conditions.


Sea snake from my 1st sea snake dive. Although I was happy with the elements in this photo, the face was soft and I knew it was important to return to the dive site again at least twice and focus on getting a better shot (no pun intended!). F16, 1/200th, ISO 500


Focus on one subject

When a dive site frequently has a key subject such as a turtle, sea snake, or a school of jacks - it is important to focus on one subject and one type of shot throughout the dive. This means having a thorough discussion with the dive guide regarding what you want to accomplish on the dive site, and where you want to spend your time. It also means spending addition time with photo subjects, even after taking multiple photos, in case their behavior changes or they decide to eat something or mate with another animal. 

Spending prolonged time with the sea snakes, jacks and turtles paid off time after time. Interestingly, my encounters seemed to follow a "3 dive rules", one great encounter for every 3 dives I did at the dive site with the subjects. Of course your mileage may vary.



Preset your camera & strobes



When you enter the water, you should have one particular photo in mind for that dive. Arrange your settings and strobe positions when you start your dive, before you see the subject. Do a couple of tests shots, so when the subject appears you are all dialed in. For the sea snake, I knew I wanted an upward angle close-up shot of the snake, and there would be no time to change settings or strobes. So I guessed at the exact angle my shot, and prepared everything based on that angle.


The final result - a sea snake photo I was very happy with. This was a fast-moving snake and I actually had to "run" from the snake first to get enough of distance between us. F11, 1/250th, ISO 400. When I saw the fast-moving snake, I swam down-reef fast for about 10 seconds, then turned around. Luckily the snake was still coming towards me, and I had a couple of seconds to get into a low positon where I thought the snake would swim.

Run from the subject


If you aren't having luck getting close to your subject, try running away from it. I say this in jest, but with sea snakes and sometimes turtles, it is the best approach. Sea snakes move quickly, and I found that when I saw a snake swimming towards me, it always covered the distance to myself much too quickly. For my best snake shot (shown above), I actually had to immediately turn around and swim as fast as I could down the reef, and hope that the snake continued its path. So the next time you see someone running from a subject, they might not be crazy – they may be giving themselves an opportunity to get in front of the subject and compose properly.


Sea turtle from underneath. Doing multiple dives with turtles is essential to maximize good encounters, behavior sightings, and to get to know the dive site.


Equipment Used, Settings & the D850

Nikon D810, Tokina 10-17mm fishyeye lens at 15mm, dual Sea & Sea strobes, Zen 4-inch glass dome port, Sea & Sea Nikon D810 Housing, Beneath the Surface buoyancy floats, Light & Motion Sola 800 photo light.


Shots were taken at F11, ISO 200, shutter speeds from 1/125th to 1/250th unless otherwise stated. Focus mode was "AF-C", and "auto" focus mode was chosen because it uses a large focus area, which works well for large marine life that moves around like snakes, turtles, sharks and schooling fish - as opposed to spot focus or tracking modes.


I am now seriously considering the Nikon D850, here is my Nikon D850 pre-review.


Turtle face, taken on dive #3 at Turtle City, Apo Island. F16, 1/250th, ISO 640. We repeatedly dived this site to get maximum number of turtle encounters. It was only after around 20 turtle encounters that I was able to experience behavior such as this.

What's next? Next steps...


I hope you found some this advice useful. I realize none of it may be ground-breaking, but it helps to have it re-enforced and put into writing. If you plan on trying some of this advice, or just want to say hello, please send me a note at scott@bluewaterphotostore.com and let me know where you'll be diving next!


Full Article: Here Comes the Nikon D850

As seemingly more and more people are moving to the mirrorless cameras, the all too familiar "DSLR's are dead" shouts are more and more prevalent everyday. 

Enter the Nikon D850. A camera that, at least on paper, proves that DSLR's are very, very far from dead. 


Key Features:

The highlights that will be important to underwater shooters and differentiate the D850 from its predecessor the D810

  • 45.75 megapixel Full Frame BSI (Back-Side Illuminated) Sensor
  • The world's best autofocus system taken from the Nikon D5 (153 AF points, 99 cross type)
    • Can focus center spot down to -4EV
  • Improved low and high ISO performance over the D810/Improved Dynamic Range.
  • 7fps, 51 shot raw buffer
  • True full frame 4K video
  • Max flash sync speed 1/250s
  • XQD/SD card slots
  • $3296 (An incrediblely reasonable price for what should be an incredible camera)
-*That is not a comprehensive list of upgrades and features for the D850, those are the ones IMO that are notable upgrades from the D810


Nikon has already stated they're sold out and won't be able to fulfill the first run of this camera, that should really tell you how popular this camera is going to be. Several housing manufacturers including Nauticam, Ikelite, S&S, and Aquatica have all confirmed they'll be making housings (Get yours here when they become available! http://www.bluewaterphotostore.com/products/search/d850 )

For most underwater shooters, the D850 may well be the best DSLR ever made. In the past there has always been a compromise between speed and high resolution. No more. The D5 autofocus system + 7fps will be more than enough for just about every situation underwater. The dynamic range and ISO performance will be hugely appealing to wide angle shooters and the resolution to allow insane detail and ability to crop heavily will appeal to macro shooters. 

To get the most out of such a high resolution sensor, the best quality Nikon lenses will need to be used.


Lens Recommendations:


  • Nikon 105mm 2.8G VR Macro
  • Nikon 60mm 2.8G Macro

Wide Angle Fisheye:

  • Nikon 8-15mm 3.5-4.5G Fisheye - Best fisheye overall for Nikon FF
  • Sigma 15mm 2.8 Fisheye - The budget option but focuses very close, is quite sharp and much cheaper than the other lenses listed.
  • Nikon 16mm 2.8 Fisheye - Sharper, more expensive than sigma, but does not focus as close

Wide Angle Rectilinear

  • Nikon 16-35mm 4.0 - The mose popular and versatile choice but requires a big dome port for acceptable image quality
  • Nikon 20mm 1.8G - Small, compact, sharp, doesn't NEED as big a dome as the 16-35


I did not order the D850 and if I were smart, I should probably never shoot with one or chances are I will want one. I am very much looking forward to getting my hands on the camera for underwater testing. Stay tuned to Underwater Photography Guide for a comprehensive review once housings are available!

UPDATE: There are still no housings available just quite yet (they're coming!) but I did manage to get my hands on a full production model recently. It was not any sort of formal shoot, just played around with the camera for a few minutes to get a feel for it. That few minutes was enough to convince me that this will indeed be an amazing camera for just about any application and underwater shooters will not be disappointed in making the move to the D850.


Full Article: Photographing Guadalupe's Great Whites

I recently returned from Guadalupe Island off Mexico, considered one of the best places on earth for photographing the ocean's most famous predator. South Africa and South Australia may boast larger popluations, but nowhere are the conditions as conducive to photography as this rock in the Eastern Pacific.

Evolution achieved perfection when it created the Great White Shark. These animals are magnificent. And huge. Even the 'small' ones have a presence. I was asked frequently on the trip how I was going about photographing the animals and have been asked numerous times since I got back so I decided to do a quick write up explaining my approach.



An issue I quickly discovered on the first day was that my strobes seemed to be dying on me. They weren't putting out power like they should've been. Knowing that limitation, I switched up my approach and decided to aim to make natural light images while keeping my strobes on just in case I got a ridiculously close pass. I also am a fan of black and white big animal imagery. I think it brings a dramatic simplicity to the image. The best cases on my trip for such pictures were during high contrast situations.


When shooting natural light, shooting WITH the sun will give you color and detail (above), while shooting against the sun will give you a more silhouetted look, less detail, muted color, but crazy sun beams. In all honestly, the shot below was meant to be strobe lit and would look more dramatic if it had been, but again, dying strobes...




Time of day was definitely the most important factor in determining my approach in the water. During the morning, the water was quite blue but when the sun was low, the detail and contrast was muted. Late morning through early afternoon, the suns beams seem to radiate up from the deep (above), while during the golden hour of the late evening, the beams stream down from the surface (below). Those are the two times I would recommend being in the water. *Again, the image below would've been far more impressive had my strobes been functioning, but it gives an idea of what is possible and something to strive for when I go back.



The sharks seemed to be most active and make the most close passes during the last few hours of daylight. The Great White in the image below, whose name is Scarface, was the star of the show this trip. During the evening hours he became quite inquisitive and constantly cruised slowly past the cage time after time. Locking eyes with such an incredible predator is a feeling that is not easily replicated. 


I am eagerly (impatiently) awaiting my return to Guadalupe next month/year when I'll be leading photo workshops. Hopefully the sharks are obliging and I can improve my own images while helping my guests achieve their photographic goals of these magnificent animals. Please join me!


Full Article: ScubaPro First to Support Deepblu Connect

Deepblu Inc. has been known to be innovative with their Cosmiq dive computer, dive log & social media app, and online community for divers. Recently they have announced their new collaboration with one of the popular and well known companies for dive equipment, Scubapro.  

Scubapro's smart dive computers such as Aladin Sport (Matrix), Aladin H (Matrix) and Galileo 2 (Matrix) can now be synced with the Deepblu app.  Divers can now wirelessly upload their dive logs to the app which can include vital information such depth, water temperature and a quite a bit more.  The diver can even add photos and videos to the virtual log which produces a more detailed record of the dive. They can also share it among other divers within the Deepblu social community.



SCUBAPRO First to Support Deepblu Connect

New collaboration enables direct wireless synchronization between SCUBAPRO smart dive computers and the Deepblu online diving community.

TAIPEI & SAN DIEGO, August 1, 2017 – Since its launch in November 2016, Deepblu’s rapidly expanding online community has grown to include tens of thousands of divers and ocean enthusiasts. Today SCUBAPRO, the most iconic name in dive equipment, became the first to support the newly introduced Deepblu Connect, a feature that enables the Deepblu app to wirelessly interface directly with SCUBAPRO’s line of Bluetooth-enabled dive computers.



With the push of a button, information from the SCUBAPRO Aladin Sport (Matrix), Aladin H (Matrix) or the newly introduced Galileo 2 (G2) is wirelessly synchronized with the Deepblu app and stored in customizable, digital dive logs. This includes dive profiles, tank pressure levels, temperatures, depths and times. Divers then can enrich their logs with underwater photography and videography, store them in the cloud, and share them with their peers in the Deepblu community.

“We wanted to make dive logging on Deepblu accessible and easy for everyone, so we designed Deepblu Connect to be a convenient interface for Bluetooth-enabled dive computers to work with the app,” said Deepblu CEO James Tsuei. “We are excited to pilot the feature with SCUBAPRO, one of the most reputable and forward-looking companies in the dive industry.”

New for 2017, the SCUBAPRO G2 blends beauty and simplicity with technologically advanced computing and navigation. It sports a high-contrast, user-configurable color display, along with the intuitive menus and 3-button control system perfected in the original, award-winning SCUBAPRO Galileo. Along with Bluetooth and a long list of advanced features, the G2 incorporates SCUBAPRO’s patented Human Factor Diving™, which can monitor heart rate, skin temperature, breathing rate and water temperature to generate extremely reliable no-stop and decompression-stop calculations. The G2 stores up to 1,000 hours of dive profiles and its rechargeable battery lasts up to 50 dives.

“For more than 50 years, divers around the world have looked to SCUBAPRO for the most innovative, advanced and intuitive products in the industry,” said Joe Stella, Group Vice President at SCUBAPRO. “Divers are connected by a passion for what lies below the water’s surface and our support of Deepblu Connect will help those who put their trust in SCUBAPRO’s dive computers to capture and share their experiences with the global community.”

Once dive logs are uploaded, recent updates to the Deepblu user interface make finding and tagging dive spots easier than ever. Divers can even leave ratings and reviews to help other divers, while gear enthusiasts can now complete their logs with information about nearly every piece of equipment they own.



Starting in August, Deepblu will hold a monthly dive-logging competition, allowing divers to earn badges they can showcase on their logs. The August winners will receive exciting prizes from SCUBAPRO, including a G2 dive computer and other industry-leading SCUBAPRO dive gear. To win, divers must accumulate praise for their logs from the Deepblu community and climb through the ranks from Dive Log of the Day to Dive Log of the Week and, ultimately, Dive Log of the Month. Details are available at https://events.deepblu.com/2017aug_logofthemonth/.


About SCUBAPRO: SCUBAPRO is the iconic mark of the world’s most accomplished SCUBA divers, the preferred and recommended choice of elite diving professionals around the globe. Originators and innovators of exceptional dive gear, we build flawless diving equipment for the lifestyle and sport of those whose passion is found below the surface. Created by divers for divers, we’ve built a strong legacy of innovation and intuitive diver-centric design for more than 50 years. We believe that exacting commitment to performance, usability, safety, and design sophistication brings out the best in every underwater adventure. For more information, visit www.scubapro.com.

About the Deepblu Platform: Deepblu is the fastest-growing online community for divers and ocean enthusiasts. It was released in November 2016 at the DEMA show in Las Vegas and has since brought tens of thousands of divers together at deepblu.com

About Deepblu, Inc.: Deepblu, Inc. is the company behind the COSMIQ Dive Computer and the Deepblu community. Deepblu, Inc. is a team of divers and technology enthusiasts whose goal is to use technology and the power of the internet to revolutionize the diving community and lifestyle. For more information, visit https://about.deepblu.com/





Full Article: The Unforgettable Red Sea

*This article was originally published on Brook's personal site, http://www.waterdogphotography.com/*

For Europeans, the Red Sea is as common a dive destination as the Caribbean is to US Citizens. Although the Red Sea is less frequented by US divers, it is one of the world’s gems when it comes to diving. The crystal blue waters, abundant sea life, beautiful coral gardens and shipwrecks loaded with precious cargo make this one of the world’s best dive destinations.



Sha’ab Abu Nahas reef is famous for hosting several shipwrecks. The reef lies just north of Hurgada. Perhaps the reef’s most famous wreck is the Giannis D, a cargo ship which ran aground in 1983.



However, the Chrisoula K, which sunk in 1981 is full of Italian floor tile and has very interesting structure which is easily penetrated.



The Kimon M which sunk in 1978 is an exciting wreck which lies on its starboard side at the bottom of the reef and the Carnatic is a skeleton of a wreck that sunk in 1869 and offers wonderful photo opportunities.



If these wrecks don’t satisfy your appetite for wreck diving, then the SS Thistlegorm should do the trick.



A world class wreck, the Thistlegorm is full of World War II cargo, including trucks, motorcycles, a tank, two locomotives and lots of army boots, ammunition, and more. The holds are easily penetrated and offer a fascinating glimpse into another time.




Further north is the marine protected area, Ras Mohammed National Park. Just 30 km south of Sharm El Sheikh, the park has beautiful terraced coral reefs covered in fishes and other marine life.



The best dive sites in the park are Shark and Yolanda reefs. Shark reef has steep walls with soft corals and at certain times of the year, great schools of fish.



Its next door neighbor, Yolanda, is strewn with a cargo of bathroom fixtures from the ship wreck for which the reef was named. 



Within swimming distance of Shark Reef is Anemone City, a reef covered in anemones and anemone fish.



Ras Umm Sid reef offers snorkeling as well as diving, with a large shallow shelf of hard corals and a unique dive site called Temple. 



The Red Sea is diveable year round with the warmest months being June- August, and the coldest, January-February. The average water temperature is 74 degrees (23C). Direct flights from London to Hurgada are available, where many live aboard operations are docked. Divers can also fly in to Sharm El Sheikh and dive from live aboard, or the resorts based there.