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Scuba Diving in Fury Shoals, Marsa Alam, the Red Sea
Dive Site: Abu Galawa Wreck
Location: Abu Galawa Shiwayya, Fury Shoals, Marsa Alam
Length: 16 metres (43 feet)
Depth: 18 metres (57 feet)
Visibility: 30 metres (100 feet)
Abu Galawa Shiwayya is a crescent shaped reef with a turquoise blue lagoon or pool enclosed within the reef towards its leeward side. Galawa is the name which refers to this turquoise colour of the blue pool. Abu in Arabic means 'Father' and Shiwayya means 'Small'. Therefore a rough translation of this site name would be - Small Father of Turquoise Blue Water.
To the western end of the main crescent shaped reef is a smaller reef piece with gullies and swim-throughs in it. On the southwest side of this is the wreck of small sailboat at the base of the reef, which lies on its starboard side in 18m of water on a sandy sea floor. Reported by local guides as an American sailboat which sank in 2002, I have my doubts. Although not confirmed it is my opinion that this is potentially the wreck of the Endymion, a yacht which sank in October 1998. The coral growth starting to form on the wreck is more in line with nearly 10 years of growth as apposed to only 4 or 5 and the wreck is approx 16m in length which also matches the description (although this of course is not conclusive evidence). Owned by Australian Anthony Corbyn this vessel was reportedly lost due to a navigational error.
The wreck (although devoid of decking and upper structure) is very picturesque and a great opportunity for photographs. Inside the wreck is densely inhabited with shoals of sweepers / glassfish which swim in tight formation as you glide through them. The decking is long since gone allowing plenty of light in through the remaining deck beams and adding to the effect. The head (toilet) remains in place starboard amidships and towards the stern are the remains of the galley (kitchen area). The stainless steel main mast mount still shines on the remaining deck support and the rear railings are still in place and also in remarkably good condition.
Heading with the reef to your right shoulder will take you around to the north where you can enter a gully in around 15m of water. Carrying straight on down this gully will bring you to what at first glance appears to be a dead end, however it is well worth ascending to just 4m allowing you to pass through a V-shape and over into a swim-through and ultimately a sand lagoon towards the centre of the reef. Surface conditions usually create a swell at the 4m depth, however this shouldn't create any difficulty. Once through the V-shaped break in the reef and back at around 8m there is some of the most fantastic hard coral I've seen in the Red Sea. Boulder corals, stony corals and other huge hard coral formations cascade down all around you. Some are so large that a diver can swim underneath them - a little like swimming under the bottom bows of a giant Christmas tree. As mentioned, a short distance further along and the swim-though opens up into a sand lagoon. There are two exits in front of you, either of which will bring you to eastern side of the reef, where you can head with the reef on your right shoulder a short distance back to your boat mooring on the south side.
Rik Vercoe, BSAC Advanced Instructor
Abu Galawa Resources
As the divers' who first dived on the Endymion wreck, we would like to point out that the pics are definitely not of the Endymion. They are in fact of a (no-named) aluminium hulled yacht at Abu Galawa. The Endymion lies much farther south. While diving the Endymion (steel hull) we picked up Mr Corbyn's ID card lying on the seabed and eventually tracked him down to Australia.
Joyce & Richard Cook, BSAC Advanced Divers
view more Abu Galawa Wreck photos
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