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Scuba Diving in Marsa Alam, the Red Sea
Dive Site: Sha'ab Samadai
Location: Marsa Alam
Description: Offshore Reef System
Depth: 5-25 metres + (15-75 feet)
Visibility: 20-30 metres (60-100 feet)
Just south of Marsa Alam is Sha'ab Samadai. This is where a pod of spinner dolphins are resident, however you are only allowed to snorkel with them, not dive. There are three diving areas here, the outer reef, a cave system (very James Bond) and several pinnacles. I have seen sharks here of both whitetip varieties. The outer reef is normally done by RIB and drift round to the south where you will be picked up by the rib again. It is a nice sloping wall down to about 20m with a plateau leveling off until you reach a drop off into the abyss. The caves are easy to do, however there are one or two narrow areas and it is advisable to follow the guide. There are areas where you can reach the surface if you have a problem. The pinnacles are to the south of the cave system and are easily navigated in a figure of 8 pattern. You will find seagrass here so look for small stuff such as seahorses.
Ian Higgins, Dive Guide
Sha'ab Samadai West
This reef has an area which cannot be entered by anyone to create a resting place for the dolphins which frequently visit this reef. Nice dive site to the south of the western tip of this reef, nice soft corals, nice cave system. Lots of groupers, goldbody trevallies, anemones and anemonefishes. We also saw giant squirrelfish and schools of yellowfin goatfish.
Sha'ab Samadai East
If you are lucky you might see the dolphins...we didn't! Very nice dive site at the pinnacles south of the eastern tip of the main horseshoe-shaped reef system. We saw a big barracuda, several trevallies, yellowspotted burrfish, great anemones with anemonefishes, garden eels and several groupers.
Gerhard Niezen, PADI Open Water Diver
Please stop diving here. It disturbes the dolphins. Please huge fines for the people who are not going to respect the nature and the underwater marine life, even from the locals.
It's not the diving that causes the problems at this reef, it's the amount of snorkling. The ribs thrash about trying to get the swimmers close to the dolphins. The diving is on the outerside of the reef well away from the sand bottom inner reef. Six dives Feb 2006 a truly insperational dive site although the current on far other side can be exhausting.
D Adams, Open Water Diver
If the dolphins don't want to be near you, they won't be.
Jon Thorne DM, BSAC Dive Master | 15/11/2009
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