King Snefro

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Shark & Yolanda Reef

(27°43.150' N, 34°15.590' E)

 

At the southernmost tip of the Sinai Peninsula, dividing the sea waters between the Gulf of Aqaba and the Gulf of Suez is the number one and most popular dive site which is rated among the best in the world. The cape took its name from the rocks a little to the east, where you can recognise the face of a bearded man: the head of the prophet - Ras Mohamed.

 

The two reefs are actually twin peaks of a single coral seamount joined by a vertical wall rising almost vertically from a ledge at 100 m. Dropping into the abyss, the sea bottom below this ledge reaches 800 m. The two reefs are separated from the mainland by a shallow channel which becomes a gently seaward-sloping coral plateau reaching about 25 m. Start your dive at Shark Reef and use the current to explore the sheer wall dropping to the deep blue covered in soft corals. Large schools of fish gather in strong currents with large pelagic fish approaching to feed on them.

 

Continuing towards Yolanda Reef you reach a plateau with small coral heads where stone and scorpion fish, napoleon wrasse, turtles, blue and black spotted stingrays and really huge moray eels are common. Continuing round the reef you explore remains of the wreck "Yolanda'" with some of its cargo: containers filled with bathroom fittings, toilets and baths - now a new home to marine life.

 

The whole area is big fish territory, so always keep an eye into the blue for thousands of barracudas and snappers, tuna, blue fish and the occasional sharks as hammerhead, white-tip, silky or grey reef sharks. At the end of the dive you might reach a small pinnacle to the south called Baby Yolanda where visibility is limited during tidal changes.

 

Listen very careful to the briefing when planning a dive here; consider current strength and direction, time of day, sunlight direction, depth and time limits. The dive is always done as a drift, with the boat or zodiac collecting you. This dive is for experienced divers only - the current is very unpredictable and can even be going down the reef wall.