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Scuba Diving in Safaga, the Red Sea
Dive Site: Tubya Shiwayya
Depth: 5 - 12 metres (16 - 40 feet)
Visibility: 20 metres (65 feet)
Tûbya Shiwayya gets its name from nearby Gezîret Tûbya - Tûbya Island. Often spelt as Tobia Soraya, (you can see the similarity) Tûbya Shiwayya is the local Arabic name of the dive site. Unlike Tûbya Kibeer (its larger sister reef), this site is not marked on admiralty charts, however lies only a short distance by boat to the south of Tûbya Kibeer. There are 4 sites in this area which take their names from Tûbya (see also Arba Erg, Tubya Kibeer & Tubya Hamra). Shiwayya in Arabic means "little" or "small", therefore translated this is "Small Tûbya".
Made up of 5 main reef pieces and a number of other smaller pinnacles intermingled, the shape of the dive site resembles an upside down capital letter "Y". Boats generally moor on one of the two southern tips of the small reef pieces. Small Tûbya is ideal for all levels of diver as there is rarely any current here. If current is present it will normally run from north to south coming down the sides of the upside down letter "Y" and sometimes sweeping in gently from the northeast. There are a number of interesting swim-throughs for careful divers; one located on the southwestern reef tip at 5m another on the southeastern reef tip at 12m and a third in the central reef pinnacle at 6m. Like at its larger sister there is a proliferation of coral and marine life, with large table corals (acropora) and occasional Red Sea fans (gorgonians) on the eastern side. There are often blue spotted rays on the sand in the lagoon area at 12m between the southeast and southwest reef tips. Snappers, fusiliers, goatfish and parrotfish are common.
Rik Vercoe, BSAC Advanced Instructor