JANUARY 2011: My Surface Interval named one of the best scuba diving blogs

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ras Goma dive site Sharm El Sheikh Egypt

Pristine reef? Check!
Pumping current? Check!
Four hours from the UK? Check!
I know it sounds unlikely but there is an untouched reef, entirely covered in pristine coral and full of exquisite life just a stone's throw from where dive boats gather daily. The only problem is, you've got to face some extreme current to get to it.
Not much has been written about Ras Goma; it's not in the guidebooks (and that includes Elias' superb Sharm and Sinai guides), there's not much on the internet about it and it's not on many boat itineraries.

But thanks to Hungarian guide Gyorgy Pall and his adventurous spirit, we managed to get a look at the beautiful splash of colour 25 metres beneath the Straits of Tiran.
one of two images I managed to get of Ras Goma
Situated in the saddle between Woodhouse and Jackson, where the whirling currents of The Straits converge, Ras Goma is off-limits to most but thanks to Gyorgy from Sinai Divers and a boat full of experienced divers, we eschewed the usual wall dives of Tiran for a chance at it.
We jumped in together at the north east corner of Woodhouse (a Lemmings' entrance as my wife calls it) in order to stay above the reef and headed down immediately against a pumping current (those who hit the water too late, missed the reef) to the plateau 25 metres beneath us, and abyssal drop either side.

Immediately there, the current switched on us and took us, ripping over the top of the reef at a rate of knots.

Positioned properly, (feet first) we were able to fin ourselves backwards in an attempt to slow ourselves down to avoid a blink-and-you'll-miss-it experience and being washed into the blue.

The reef itself was a window on what Sharm probably looked like 50 years ago, before divers and rising sea temperatures took their toll.
It was so healthy that there was not a bit of exposed dead reef anywhere on the site. Instead we were treated to a vista of healthy hard corals as far as the viz (about 20metres)would allow.

Whip corals were everywhere bending and twisting in the current while a plethora of fish life finned furiously against the current to stay in position.
Sadly, the current meant that our time on the reef was short and soon we were heading off the reef and into the blue across to Jackson where we finished the dive on the north east side of the reef, surfacing 35 minutes later close to the wreck of the Lara.
Truly a fantastic dive but one that must be done with care, on our return to the boat we could see SMBs bobbing about all over the place with divers blown off the reef and into the blue. Sadly, trying to stay in position on the reef meant that the number photos was limited to just two.


Four Seasons Sharm el Sheikh said...

Sharm el Sheikh is a really great place for diving. y's one of the things that makes luxury holidays in Sharm el Sheikh worth to take.

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