Egypt - Red Sea

Dive Reports, Destinations Questions, and Travel Issues

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Postby quacker » Wed May 19, 2010 5:13 pm


Am planning to dive in Egypt sometime around Christmas. Wonder any of you have dived there in December. If so, would like to know the visibility in December.

Has anyone dived at any of these sites, namely, Elphinstone Reef, The Brothers & Daedalus in Egypt?

I realised that some of these sites are only accessible by liveaboards and as such am contemplating diving by liveaboards as opposed to land based diving.

Any suggestions will be helpful.


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Postby scottg » Thu May 20, 2010 4:39 pm

hey Steve - Willie has dove there, I'm sure he'll chime in. Visibility is supposed to be great in december. There's some information on our Marsa Shagra page, but I have a more extensive article on the red sea that will be going up shortly.

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Postby quacker » Fri May 21, 2010 9:59 am

Hi Scott,

Thanks for your input. I have read the article on Marsa Shagra. However, at the top of my list are dive sites such as Thistlegorm, Shark & Yolanda Reef, Blue Hole (Sharm El Sheikh area) and Elphinstone Reef, The Brothers and Dadaelus (Marsa Alam area).

I will most probably do the Marsa Alam dive sites via LOB as the dive sites are not that accessible. I do hope I will be able to dive the sites at Sharm El Sheikh as well. Need to get more info on how to travel from Marsa Alam to Sharm El Sheikh.

But then again, as I will be travelling alone, doing land based dives may not be convenient as they need to make the numbers in order to dive a particular dive site - a minimum number of 6 - and all 6 must have 50 or more logged dives, so on and so forth.

I reckon LOB will be a better bet for me. So much for diving!

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Postby Willie » Sun May 30, 2010 2:07 am

Hello Steven
The dive sites around the Sina Peninsula are all very good, but there you dont see alot of bigger fish. But the coral live is exceptional good. As further south you get as more untouched are the dive sites. In my opinion Marsa Sagra is a very good place to go. They have daily trips to elphinstone reef by speed boat. But you have to have 50 logged dives, or you can take a private guide then they let you come along. On liveabords of course is the best choice to dive the best sites. But remember, diving around offshore reefs can be challenging especially when you havent got so much diving experience yet. Strong currents are very comon at offshore reefs.
You probably want to avoid Hurghada. I must admitt that I havent beend diving at Hurghada but I havent heard any good about it.
Enjoy, Willie
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Postby adambmi » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:58 am

Hey Steven,

I've done a bunch of the sites you mentioned, but they're quite spread out, and even on a liveaboard, you won't hit all of them on a single trip as the itineraries are generally fixed in one area. If you could give us a little more detail about how you're approaching this, it would be easier to give you some steer.... For instance -

How long will you be in Egypt for?
Are you going solely to dive or are you interested in land based attractions, too?
What areas will you be in?
Will you have your own dive gear with you?
Do you have particular photographic goals (reefs, sharks, wrecks, etc?)
Do you have a preferred type of diving (drift, reef, walls, etc?)

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Postby LeaMoser » Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:42 am

Hi Steven,

I go there every year and dove in different seasons. ( I usually dive north part though.)
Normally diving at Red Sea in December is not so ideal. It's cold, windy, and the visibility isn't so good, either. I've never dove there in december but January and Fabruary instead.
We met quite strong currents and big waves. Not so many fishes were around. Taking wet suit on and off was like a torture, cause it was cold and windy. At least 7mm wetsuit or better semy-dry is highly recommended. I saw many divers with dry suits, too. I think the best time is from May to October.

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Postby critter-hunter » Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:07 pm

I've checked with other divers for a possible Red Sea trip in January and it's cold and windy

Please review this note from someone who travels there.

Hi Larry,
Good to hear from you. Air and water temp are in the 60’s during Jan & Feb but can actually very a bit due to weather and currents. It’s also dry and windy so the air can be quite chilly then. Any land tours need to be shorter in winter since it gets dark earlier (gotta do the Nile stuff while you’re there) Summer is brutally hot on land and water temps in the upper 70’s maybe hitting 80. We chose September since the air temps have moderated and the water is still warm. We also scheduled our trip to avoid the major religious holidays and the European vacation season starting in October. Quite a few divers are bringing non-diving spouses for the land package then the spouses will travel home as a group when the divers head to the Red Sea. We also have a few non-diving spouses doing the live-aboard. Most of the dive sites are walls where the top of the wall comes within a few feet of the surface so they are great for snorkeling too.
Your choice of dive and land based operations is important too, to assure you have a safe operation that caters to American tastes. (typically a more active vacation the European’s)
Egypt/Red Sea is a trip you gotta’ do. We would love to have you and your friends join us on our trip. We make it easy, you just send money and get on the plane, we take care of everything else. There is still space available on the boat, but we expect it to fill well before departure. Please call or email if you have any concerns or questions.
Thanks for your interest,
Bill Downey

Downey Diving LLC
213 Summerfield Dr
Baden PA 15005
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Postby scottg » Thu Jul 22, 2010 5:19 pm

Here's a great article on diving Elphinstone and the Brothers that Adam wrote ... rs-red-sea

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Postby U.W.E » Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:22 am

Dear Steven,
I've been diving the Red Sea many times.

There is no specific season for diving the Red Sea, but, as mentioned already, in December their might be a lot of wind which cause waves as well.

For the Sinai peninsula you should go for some other time, because often the water is warmer as the cold winds from the mountains around (sometimes there is snow on the mountains). Anyhow Sinai pensisula is pretty well developed and boat goes out daily to the reefs such as Ras Mohammed (Shark & Yolanda reef), but not for the Blue hole close to Dahab (about 1h by car).
But you might go for Jackson, Thomas, Woodhouse reefs in the Strait of Acabar as well.

All above possible by boat day trips based in Sharm el Sheik area.

The Thisslegorm is only accessible by liveaboard trip (about 3-4h by boat one way from Sharm).

Now more to the south:
The Brother Islands are only accessible by Liveaboard trips as well. Tiny little islands without any vegetation at all, but beautiful underwaterlife, chance for pelagic fishlife and 2 outstanding wracks (the Aida and the Numidia)

Elphinestone might be done as day trip diving from Marsa Alam, but I don't recomment to do so.

Both Brothers as well as Elphinestone reefs are in the open water with some hundred (in fact it is more than two thousand) feed of open water straight down next to the reefs. There is always current around, which might be strong.

Same with Daedalus reef, which is even more far out.

In general in winter there is not that many fish in the north of the Red Sea (Egyptian Red Sea) and, as mentiond, conditions might by rough.

I also recommend to take at least a 7mm Wetsuit for December.
But best saison for diving is May to November.
Visibility is always great in the Red Sea :!:

I really recomment to run the diving by lifeaboard trips:

- The North Egyptian Red Sea you migh do with the Thistlegorm and Ras Moammed. Don't miss the wracks at Abu Nuhas.

- If you would go for the Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinestone take a second lifeaboard trip starting either in Marsa Alam or Hurghada. Better don't stay in Hurgharda landbased.

Have a great trip

Quite frankly - Red Sea is a place where you dive the open waters and it happend from time to time that divers got lost.
I really recomment such a liveaboard trip when
a) you are an experienced diver (judge yourself what you consider experienced - I did not dare to go there myself for many years)
b) Condition are good
You might find some of my recently published images in here:
Have fun watching (-;
Uwe Schmolke (from Germany)
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Postby scottg » Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:34 am

great info Uwe, thanks for your post


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