Without a doubt, the Red Sea is one of the most diverse places for divers anywhere in the world. The south of the sea offers spectacular reef and wall dives with close encounters to large aquamarine life including sharks and manta’s, while the north red sea offers countless shipwrecks of all kinds with the possibility of dolphin encounters.
The intrepid community that is Waterfront Scuba have made an ongoing tradition of visiting the astounding waters and travelling on a five-star private hire yacht for the week.
Waterfront’s tradition of running a red sea holiday has put us in a position where we know what ships are worth the money and which aren’t up to scratch. Developing relationships with the ‘Tornado marine Fleet’ based in Egypt allows us to utilize some of the most superior live aboard safari boats that are on offer.
The latest trip (May 2015) saw twenty one of our members board the MV Mistral, a four-deck luxurious safari boat purpose built for divers. Weighing over three hundred tonnes, she sat firmly in the seas and offered the smoothest sailing a boat of its stature could.
On board, our divers were greeted by smiling faces of the crew on board the ship, totaling fourteen including onboard chefs, cabin crew, dive guides and skippers and it wasn’t long before old friendships were reignited.
The north of the Red Sea offers some of the most intact ship wrecks to be found anywhere in the world, and each with its own story. From the eerie mess of the Salem Express, to the half tangled wreck of the Thistlegorm, to the pristine condition of the Hebat Allah, each told their own tale that led to them being on the seabed. Throughout the week, Waterfront dived ten different ship wrecks as well as different reefs and walls.
The Salem Express
The eerie sight of the Salem Express is one that many divers will never forget. For me, diving the Salem has been an ambition since the start of my diving career so to see it first hand was nothing short of spectacular. Laying on its starboard side under 32 meters of water, the wreckage still holds all the passenger luggage both inside and out. Life rafts lay in perfect situ in the seabed next to the super structure of the ship. In true Waterfront style, our intrepid divers took up the challenge of penetrating the wreck, entering through the cargo hold in the stern and for the lesser confident divers they then turned around and back out once reaching the end while the bolder ventured deeper inside through the corridors.
The Thistlegorm has become a favorite for most of our club members, not only for its sheer size and story but the sheer amazement every diver feels when they explore inside. Docked in 1941, the Thistlegorm was bombed by two German aircraft, sending it to the sea bed with a shattered stern. Inside, our team of divers took in the sights of the wreckage and the cargo it still carries; from jeeps to military bikes, rifles and ammunition the wreck really pulls the history and devastation of the world war into the present day for many that dive it and definitely left a strong imprint on all of our club members that have dived it.
Possibly one of the most photographed wrecks in the Red Sea (aside from the Thsitlegorm), the Giannis D has a perfect bow section laying on the sea bed at a 45 degree angle which makes it the opportune shot for any photographer.
Sitting at only 24 meters under the water, the wreck is accessible and enjoyable for most divers. Our divers took the adventure of the holiday to heart and explored the wreck in all of its glory – from the intact bow to the shattered remains of the stern and midship, the wreck is also covered in a lot of marine life making the site a great spot for everyone.
A huge container ship laying straight upright on the sea bed is always a delight for a wreck diver. The Hebat Allah sits deep at 46 meters to the sand but for anyone that can reach the depth, this is a wreck to see. Fully intact, several holds to enter and sat on an even keel means that photographers can snap away while others can enjoy the depths in wonder at the sheer mass of the boat. Out of respect, our leader Mr Andy Abery had two of our newest technical divers kiss the bow of the wreck before continuing the dive around the extensive metal.
The wreck is fairly and was intentionally sunk, but the life has already taken hold and has become a busy network of marine life.
The Rosalie Moller is yet another cargo ship which can be found at the bottom of the sea. This one too was bombed by german pilots which sent it below the sea level. The blast area sits in the stern of the ship but hasn’t left the metal in a tangled mess and as such most of the boat is still fully intact. Sat on a slight decline, she now rests at between 40 and 45 meters on an even keel with plenty to see. This wreck has become a personal Red Sea favourite to Andy Abery as well as several of our club members that were able to dive it. More or less covered entirely in hard and soft coral, the marine life is as extensive as the wreck itself. Ladders and walk ways are still well defined and recognizable, while schools of fish swim past. This was an awe-inspiring wreck to see.
As is tradition with all Waterfront trips, our divers had the very best time they could. Not only did several people pass various courses but new challenges were reached, experiences built upon as well as memories and strong friendships forged for a lifetime.
A big congratulations must be said to all divers on the trip for making it such a memorable week, but here are to the new qualifications:
James Lammin – Normoxic Trimix – Well done James, a new depth record set at around 60m! Safe diving and have fun on the next one!
Aaron Hall – Decompression Procedures & Advanced Nitrox – Mind over matter, lots of hurdles jumped this trip and a well-deserved certification reached at the end!
Jo Hall – Advanced Open water Diver – Finally! Despite everything that you’ve been thrown you’ve still managed to overcome each one and come out the other side smiling. No one deserved to celebrate more than you!
Mel & Alun – Deep & Wreck Speciality Divers – Now qualified to 40m and to enter the wrecks! What better place to finish off than the Red Sea. Done in style and in true spirit. Congratulations.
Thanks to our elite reputation around the globe, Waterfront was able to take our members exclusively on an itinerary that no other dive community could even try to negotiate! The lineup undertaken had never been done before and all is thanks to Andy Abery, CEO of the club who put in every effort he could to ensure everyone had a great trip.
Fancy being a part of the action? Call the store today to find out more information!