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Scuba Diving in Safaga, the Red Sea
Dive Site: Tubya Kibeer
Depth: 7 - 30+ metres (23 - 100+ feet)
Visibility: 20 metres (65 feet)
Tûbya Kibeer gets its name from nearby Gezîret Tûbya - Tûbya Island. Often spelt as Tobia Kebir, (you can see the similarity) Tûbya Kibeer is the local Arabic name of the dive site and on Admiralty Charts the site is called North Fairway Reef. There are 4 sites in this area which take their names from Tûbya (see also Arba Erg, Tubya Shiwayya and Tubya Hamra). Kibeer in Arabic means 'large' or 'big', therefore translated - this is 'Large Tûbya Reef' and it is indeed the largest of the Tûbya sites.
Boats generally moor on the southern side of the reef where there are also a number of ergs (small sections of reef) which make for interesting investigation. Ideal for all levels of diver there is rarely any current here. If current is present it will normally run from north to south coming down the sides of the main oval shaped reef. If your dive boat is equipped with a zodiac or RIB, by far the best option is to get dropped on the north side, where the reef drops down to around 22 - 24m and a sandy seafloor. Head south with the reef on your right shoulder which will take you down the eastern side of the reef (this side has more coral growth than the west side). There is nice soft coral and plenty of hard coral - cone coral, raspberry coral, table coral and the odd patch of yellow waver coral (which looks rather like a large lettuce). Look out for large moray eels in the reef and occasionally free-swimming. There is a proliferation of Red Sea fish life here - emperor angelfish, Red Sea bannerfish, butterflyfish and numerous wrasse to name but a few. Finishing your dive on the ergs is a good option as the very southern part of the reef has slightly less in the way of coral and marine life.
Rik Vercoe, BSAC Advanced Instructor
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