Bells to Blue Hole
One of the premier dives sites here in Dahab is the Bells, a spectacular wall dive of amazing beauty. The Bells is a large vein of rock that has eroded out leaving a deep gash in the reef that drops to 45 meters formed where a deep groove cuts into the reef top just north of the Blue Hole. The groove of the Bells breaches the reef table and a clear blue pool is formed; this is where the dive is started. As you drop through this pool, you will emerge on the reef wall at about 12 meters. The groove disappears to re-emerge deeper at 28 meters. The open water here is some of the clearest, deepest blue you will see. The wall itself descends down into the blue to over 200m which only adds to the anticipation experienced when emerging through the chimney. It is vertical and in parts overhanging, with a rich growth of black corals and sea fans.
The dive ends as you cross over a shallow saddle into the blue hole.
The Dahab Canyon is the classic canyon, an essential dive for all fanatics of caves and cavern diving. The Canyon is itself quite a phenomenon. Up to 10 meters high and virtually closed over at the top, it snakes its way up from the depths, to emerge in a large glassfish filled coral dome. The Canyon dive site offers an easy entry and exit point through a shallow, sandy lagoon. This leads out to beautiful coral gardens inhabited by Butterfly fishes, Unicorn fishes, Octopus, Puffer fish and of course Red Sea Anthias, which can only be fully explored after several visits. The Canyon itself is positioned about five minutes north-east from the exit of the lagoon. The entry to the Canyon is done through it largest point at about 20 meters. The progression through the Canyon is easy and the light effect caused by the sun rays is fantastic.
is located next to the Canyon with the same entry and exit. Instead of heading north as you exit the lagoon you will go south towards this beautiful rounded wall. You will make your way south along the wall with the clear blue water to one side where you may see one of our large Napoleon fish swim by. As you shallow up you will swim through a sandy maze with hard and soft corals. This site is great for underwater photography.
A truly spectacular site for coral, this site is very exposed and can only be dived on calm days. Entry is via a small winding lagoon that leads out onto a vast sand bank which is covered in garden eels. As we cross the sand bank the eels retreat into their holes and pop back up again behind us. As we come back along the reef edge you’ll see some of the brightest and most colourful coral in Dahab.
Situated at the Northern end of the bay of Dahab, is home to the confined water training area due to its large sandy slopes and gentle drop off. The Lighthouse offers a number of different dives depending on the route chosen, and the sprawling coral gardens offer an abundance of marine life and vividly colourful corals, extending far from the shore. The Lighthouse is made up of a large rocky wall that wraps around the point whilst heading north to the EelGarden. The wall and the sprawling coral gardens, which extend far from the shore, offer varying depth ranges down to 60M plus making it suitable for all. Larger aquatic creatures, alongside a spectacular variety of corals, make it a very popular dive site. The Lighthouse is perfect for beginners, this easy to enter site still has a fantastic range of coral and fish life and also makes an ideal first technical dive in Dahab to brush up on buoyancy and equipment configuration.
This site is a favorite among guides and guests alike. A coral maze which truly shows the Red Sea coral at its best. Three giant pinnacles have grown together over the ages to create a playground of valleys and lagoons full of every reef fish you can imagine. One of the lagoons is home to thousands of juvenile barracuda, with trevally and large snapper always in attendance guarding their larder! An earthquake 10 years ago collapsed huge sections of the reef exposing holes and cracks that are rapidly filling up with renewed coral growth. This dive site never disappoints and as one of the shallower dives it is accessible to all certification levels.
One of the sites in the Southern Oasis and is a dive guide favorite. The reef here juts out quite a way and drops down to a sandy slope covered in Garden Eels, the best dive is to enter on the right hand side of the reef and keep the reef to your left shoulder, looking out for blue spotted rays, Nudibranchs and don’t forget to look out into the blue for eagle rays!
She set sail on her fourth and final voyage from Glasgow on 2 June 1941, destined for Alexandria, Egypt. The vessel’s cargo included: Bedford trucks, Universal Carrier armoured vehicles, Norton and BSA motorcycles, Bren guns, cases of ammunition, and 0.303 rifles as well as radio equipment, Wellington boots, aircraft parts, and two LMS Stanier Class 8F steam locomotives. These steam locomotives and their associated coal and water tenders were carried as deck cargo and were for the Egyptian Railways. The rest of the cargo was for the Allied forces in Egypt. The crews of the ship, under Captain William Ellis, were supplemented by 9 naval personnel to man the machine gun and the anti-aircraft gun.
Due to German and Italian naval and air force activity in the Mediterranean, the Thisslegorm sailed as part of a convoy via Cape Town, South Africa, where she refueled, before heading north up the East coast of Africa and into the Red Sea. On leaving Cape Town, the light cruiser HMS Carlisle joined the convoy. Due to a collision in the Suez Canal, the convoy could not transit through the canal to reach the port of Alexandria and instead moored at Safe Anchorage F, in September 1941 where she remained at anchor until her sinking on 6 October 1941. HMS Carlisle moored in the same anchorage.
There was a large build-up of Allied troops in Egypt during September 1941 and German intelligence (Abwehr) suspected that there was a troop carrier in the area bringing in additional troops. Two Heinkel He-111 aircraft were dispatched from Crete to find and destroy the troop carrier. This search failed but one of the bombers discovered the vessels moored in Safe Anchorage F. Targeting the largest ship; they dropped two bombs on the Thisslegorm, both of which struck hold 4 near the stern of the ship at 0130 on 6 October. The bomb and the explosion of some of the ammunition stored in hold 4 led to the sinking of the Thisslegorm with the loss of four sailors and five members of the Royal Navy gun crew. The survivors were picked up by HMS Carlisle. Captain Ellis was awarded the OBE for his actions following the explosion and a crewman, Angus McLeay, was awarded the George Medal and the Lloyd's War Medal for Bravery at Sea for saving another crew member. Most of the cargo remained within the ship, the major exception being the steam locomotives from the deck cargo which were blown off to either side of the wreck.
In the early fifties, Jacques Cousteau discovered her by using information from local fishermen. He raised several items from the wreck, including a motorcycle, the captain’s safe, and the ship’s bell. The February 1956 edition of National Geographic clearly shows the ship’s bell in place and Cousteau's divers in the ship’s Lantern Room. Cousteau documented diving on the wreck in part of his book The Living Sea.
Following Cousteau’s visit, the site was forgotten about except by local fishermen. In the early 1990s, Sharm el-Sheikh began to develop as a diving resort. Recreational diving on the Thisslegorm restarted following the visit of the dive boat Poolster, using information from another Israeli fishing boat captain.
The massive explosion that sank her had blown much of her midships superstructure away and makes the wreck very accessible to divers. The depth of around 30 m at its deepest is ideal for diving without the need for specialist equipment and training.
Boots and motorcycles are visible in Hold No. 1. Trucks, motorcycles, Wellington boots, rifles, Westland Lysander wings, about twenty Bristol Mercury radial engine exhaust rings and a handful of cylinders and Bristol Blenheim bomber tail planes are visible in Hold No. 2. Universal Carrier armoured vehicles, RAF trolley accumulators, [and two PUNDIT lights can also be found. Off to the port side of the wreck level with the blast area can be found one of the steam locomotives which had been stored as deck cargo and the other locomotive is off the starboard side level with Hold No. 2.
The wreck is rapidly disintegrating due to natural rusting. The dive boats that rely on the wreck for their livelihood are also tearing the wreck apart by mooring the boats to weak parts of the wreck, leading to parts of the wreck collapsing.
The Thisslegorm is undisputedly the most famous diving wreck in the world. The clear, warm water and huge, easily accessible holds with war materiel makes this a divers dream.
Mt Sinai and Jebel Katrin (Catherine), the 2 highest peaks in the central Sinai range, are sites of great historical, religious and peaceful significance. On Mt Sinai, Moses received the 10 Commandments; and the Holy Monastery of St Catherine at Mt Sinai is the oldest continually inhabited Christian monastery in the world. In all its history, the Monastery has never been destroyed, and the monks live in harmony with the Muslim Bedouin of the Sinai.
A day trip into the Sinai desert, traveling by jeep and exploring further on foot. Scramble the DoubleCanyon, play on the dunes and rest in the shade of beautiful sandstone mountains. Meet the people of the desert and enjoy lunch cooked Bedouin style.
The Cairo option may also be extended by extra nights.
In order to do any of the Cairo Excursions the early flight needs to be booked from Sharm to Cairo. You will be picked up at the airport and transferred to a hotel from where the excursions will take place. After your excursion you will be brought back to the hotel where you can have a refreshing shower before being transferred to the Airport for your flight home.
Please note that Cairo is huge and that traffic is a nightmare. Trying to see too much in a half day is too much. The Pyramids of Giza, Sphinx and the Khufu boat museum will take up all your time to do properly.
The Egyptian Museum is huge. From personal experience I would not link the museum and the Pyramids in one day – it is simply too much! Rather spend the day at the Museum and get to see the Tut Ankh Amon exhibit and spend the rest of the day shopping or enjoying a walk along the Nile.
Other attractions you might want to consider.
I have personally been to these and know how much time is needed to experience these attractions fully. If you want to add a Cairo package we can customize it for you – private tour guides and smaller vehicles makes it easier to get around and see more of this historic city.