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Scuba Diving Fury Shoals, Marsa Alam, the Red Sea
Dive Site: Sha'ab Heaven
Location: Fury Shoals, Marsa Alam
Depth: 8 - 22 metres (26 - 72 feet)
Visibility: 20 metres (65 feet)
Sha'ab Heaven is an oblong shaped reef with a split at the east end creating a swim-through at around 8-10 metres. As is normal boats will moor on the south southeast side and options are to either make an out and back dive from the dive vessel or use a zodiac or RIB to drop as far round to the north as possible. The sea floor surrounding the main reef is a reasonably flat 20 - 22 metres with much less in terms of coral growth and marine life on the south side. Whichever way you choose to dive this site the north coral garden is where you'll want to spend your time. To the north of the swim-through are a series of ergs and coral encrusted boulders. These have a proliferation of acropora table corals, some over 6 feet in diameter and often layered several high. If you don't have to worry about navigation (i.e. you have a zodiac or RIB to pick you up) then the best option is to simply get lost amongst the coral formations in the north garden.
Current normally runs from north to south, however it can be channelled between the ergs. If the current is concentrated between certain coral formations, simply drift sideways to the next and there are plenty of places to shield from any oncoming current. Blue spotted rays and grouper are common in the coral garden. The north side of the swim-through itself is very beautiful with a couple of huge gorgonian fans wafting in the current in 10m of water and thousands of gold and purple antheas covering the hard coral. If you are returning through this passage to your boat, then following the reef to your right shoulder will bring you to some large stony coral formations in 6m where you can do your safety stops before exiting to your boat.
Rik Vercoe, BSAC Advanced Instructor
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