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Dive Sharm el Sheikh
Sharm el Sheikh, formerly Ophira, is the most Southerly town on the Sinai Peninsula. It was originally a small Bedouin fishing village, however in the seventies, divers venturing down from Israel discovered the most spectacular reefs here and hence was born a SCUBA divers' dream location.
Before I begin, just a few things about diving in the Red Sea. The reef is a beautiful and fragile organism. We are quite honoured to be able to enjoy this wonderful sight, and want to keep it that way. Hence, we employ a strict no touching, no taking, no fishing, no feeding and no littering policy throughout the area. It can get busy, so the reefs would be decimated if everyone was to take a little bit back with them, or mess with the natural balance by feeding the fish. To help with this, dive knives are not allowed and neither are gloves as both encourage a little too much of the touchy, feely thing. Even in winter, while we wussy guides will be in dry suits, it is rarely cold enough for gloves (unless you have a medical condition) and a hood will serve you much better if you start getting chilly. There is also a maximum depth limit of 30M for recreational divers. Technical divers can still indulge in their passion for the deep, as most dive centres will have a selection of technical guides happy to take those of you qualified, into the realms beneath the crowds.
The Red Sea is quite a unique place to dive for many reasons. The surrounding desert leads to a distinct lack of fresh water entering the sea, meaning that next to the Dead Sea this is the second most saline body of water in the world, and this Northern section is the most salty part of the Red Sea. Hence you might find yourself requiring a couple of kilos more lead than normal, in order to descend. The sea is also very deep here, and runs along a techtonic fissure. This means that the sea actually touches part of the earth's mantle at this point, resulting in water temperatures much higher than you would usually get this far north of the equator. This is why we get tropical reefs here, whereas in other areas this far North, you would expect a more temparate environment. Here you will also find over 1,000 species of fish and 150 species of hard corals, many of which are endemic to the Red Sea and its unique environment. Despite the many hotels springing up along the coast line, there is very little in the way of pollution too, as all the hotels are required by law not to pump their sewage out to sea. As there is little or no greenery in the desert, this kind of activity would have really created some dramatic changes in this unique ecosystem. Hence all sewage is transported in land to a processing plant where it is safely disposed.
Whilst there is some shore diving here, much of our diving is done from specially designed boats, which generally head out for the day from one of three jetties in the area, namely Travco, Naama Bay and Shark's Bay. Obviously things vary from dive centre to dive centre, however most places weather permitting will offer most of the dives that I mention in this section.
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bear in mind that whilst we have researched all the information contained within
this site, we are not qualified medical experts
the majority of suggestions made here are based upon much of what you would
have learned in your diving training, combined
with a dash of common sense and shared experiences. Should you suspect that
you have a medical condition or issue, please
consult your doctor immediately. If you suspect that you or a fellow diver
are suffering from a life affecting or life threatening condition, please
the emergency services. To find your nearest hyperbaric chamber, click here.
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