Ras Mohamed: Shark and Yolanda Reef

Location: Sinai
Description: reef/vertical walls/wreck
Depth: 10 – 40m

One of the most visited sites in the Red Sea – Ras Mohamed. It received National Park status in 1989 to protect its unique marine life. In the underwater coral gardens among giant corals swim grey sharks, barracudas, snapper fish, mackerel, tuna, morays coral fish and dozens if other school if fish. Thanks to the currents from Akaba Bay, large oceanic species also find food and shelter here.

There are many dives you can make here – all of which are drift dives – and they can be varied, depending on different factors. The most classic and most complete dive will allow you to visit not only Shark Reef, but the other two sites, Anemone City and Yolanda Reef, in one.

The dive begins northeast of Shark Reef on a line with a plateau commonly known as Anemone City, which lies at a depth of 12-20 m and just out like a large balcony  over the blue. After explore the Anemone City you must swim in the blue for a few minutes at a depths 20 m, which will lead you directly to Shark Reef, clearly recognizable by the unmistakeable profile of some gorgonians.

If you observe the blue you will easily spot schools of batfish, walls of jackfish, snappers and emperors and bluespine unicorn fish. After going a few dozen meters more, you will reach the sandy  and shallow saddle that connects Shark Reef and Yolanda Reef which silhouette takes shape right after a big gorgonian situated at a depth of 20 m and a second gorgonian at 14 m.

After having crossed this garden you will see – at a depths between 25 and 10 m – the remains of the cargo of Yolanda, a Cypriot merchant ship that sank here on the night if 1 – 2 April 1980 while on its way to Aqaba: containers, bathtubs, sanitary fixtures, wallpapers, cases of whiskey and even a BMW automobile that belonged to the ship captain.

 

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