Southern Red Sea Diving

For majority of divers, ‘Red Sea’ refers to ‘The Northern Waters’ off the Sinai Coast, especially the tip on the southern side, known as Ras Muhammad. It is not only amongst the best dive areas, but also easily accessible. The diving facilities are just amazing! Numerous dive boats and resorts operate in this area. However, some seasoned enthusiasts are looking forward to explore the rarely visited areas of South Red Sea. That’s why; certain dive boats which have been operating on the outskirts of Sinai, i.e. in Sharm al-Shaykh are seen to make extended trips to Sudan. People are also found sailing to Djibouti through Bab al-Mandab and then return to Yemen.

Topography

The Red Sea’s southern half is set amidst world’s most remote territory, with barren, wild countryside towards both the shores. However, the area beneath the surface of the sea on the offshore consists of a varied and rich underwater world. The western coast, that comprises of Ethiopia and Sudan features coral mountains which shoot up through blue water from high depths to surface.

Explorations

It was in 1950 off the coast of Sudan that Dr.Hans Hass, an Austrian Zoologist had shot his super-hit film ‘Under the Red Sea’. The world under the Red Sea was unveiled for the first ever time then. The team of Jacques-Yves Cousteau had conducted their ‘Conshelf 2 Experiment’ at this place in 1965, by attempting to live for a span of one month in an undersea habitat. Cousteau had tried to explore the floor of continental shelf to around 275 meters (down) by making use of a two-man, saucer-shaped submarine. The shots taken during this exploration were used later on in his film ‘World Without Sun’.

The list of connoisseurs of the Red sea includes Sa-wakin Archipelago, Sha’ab Rumi, and Sanganeb Reef. At such sites, divers are likely to come across fish like manta rays and sharks, open-water or ‘The Big Pelagic’. The present scenario is such that the diver, after entering the waters at ‘Sha’ab Rumi’ gets immediately surrounded by the sharks that are desperately waiting to get fed.

Certain ‘Charter Boats’ from the ‘Mediterranean’ have off late discovered that the winter stay can be had profitably in ‘Port Sudan’, wherein dive charters are offered. Today, 6 boats, majority of which are of the Italian make, are found to be serving the divers every winter. On the sea’s other side, i.e. along the coast of Saudi Arabia is a wide-ranging shoal called ‘Farasan Bank’ that has a range of around 593 Km from the western region of ‘al-Lith’s’ coast to the ‘Kara-Maran Island’. This area is extremely shallow, wherein the reefs have are spread over huge areas due to their better sunlight access. Cousteau’s ‘The Living Sea’ has described this region as amongst world’s most remarkable coral ecosystems.

Food Chain

The ‘Marine Food Chain’ has its base in Plankton. Most of ‘The Red Sea’ is devoid of plankton. Due to this, individual creatures are very few in number. However, the diversity found in these creatures is eye-catching.