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Scuba Diving in the Red Sea
Dive Site: Blind Reef (Sha'abrur Siyul)
Location: North Hurghada
Description: Reef / drift
Depth: 10 - 20 metres + (30 - 65 feet)
Visibility: 20 - 30 metres (65 - 100 feet)
Sha'abrur Siyul, or Blind Reef as it is more commonly known, is an elongated oval-shaped reef located to the southwest of Sha'ab Abu Nuh‚s. It has become commonly known as Blind Reef due to its location (totally below the surface) and in an area becoming increasingly heavy with dive boat traffic, it can be hard to spot.
There is some great diving to be found here and this site is dived much less regularly than other surrounding sites. Normally dive boats will moor on the south side of the reef and then ferry divers around to the north side using their dive tender or RIB. Currents will dictate whether you dive from the north side in an easterly or westerly direction around the far tips of the reef and back to the south side. The north side of the reef drops away fairly steeply and has some beautiful corals. The upper slope has acropora table coral and some lovely gorgonian fan corals, as well as fields of whip corals and soft coral. As you reach the 20m mark there is an ever increasing array of soft corals (which require less light than hard corals), as the hard corals diminish slightly. Look out for large pelagics; white-tip reef sharks, barracuda and jacks. There are also often turtles in the shallows as well as hoards of Red Sea bannerfish, fusiliers, and antheas. Currents can be strong here, usually coming from the north and splitting on the north side of the reef. If you are lucky you can experience a fantastic drift dive.
Rik Vercoe, BSAC Advanced Instructor
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