The Red Sea is in fact an arm of the Indian Ocean situated between the African and the Asian continent. The entrance of the Red Sea is the Gulf of Aden, in Yemen, leading to the Sinai Peninsula with the Golf of Aqaba on the east and the Suez Canal on the west side.
The Red Sea covers an area of about 450’000 km2 for a length of 2’000 km. The maximum depth is well over 2’000 m. In spite of that impressive depth, all around the Red Sea there is a large proportion of Coral Reef. The variety of life under water is also astonishing with more than 1000 Species of fish and hundreds of corals.
It was not before the 6th Century that the Red Sea was starting to get mapped in order to locate Reefs and Currents.
Later, the Greeks used the Red Sea waters for commercial purposes between Egypt, Europe, Northern Africa, the Middle East and the Indian Ocean. Dahab was in ancient times an old Nubians’ Harbour with part of its ruins just a step away from Club Red Diving Centre.
Throughout the centuries, Romans, Egyptians, Greeks and French, to name but a few, have used the waters of the Red Sea in order to trade between Egypt, Europe and India, Australia or China. With the opening of the Suez Canal (1869) shipping was very much speeded up.
The Red Sea, due to its salinity and its winds, is one of the hottest seas in the World. The temperature varies between 28° Celcius in summer and 24°C in winter.The surface temperatures of the water remain constant to around 200 metres with visibility remaining good all year round. The average visibility for diving is about 15 meters but be careful with the Red Sea current that can be strong and unpredictable.
The region around Dahab gets a lot of wind the whole year round which makes it also ideal for windsurfing or kite surfing. The winds induce currents that play an important role in the Red Sea for the divers as well as consistently moving sediments.
The salinity of the Red Sea is greater than most of the World average. The reasons are:
The high rate of evaporation produced by the heat and the poor rainfall.
The Shortage of fresh water entering the Red Sea.
Only a very small part of the Red Sea is connected with the Indian Ocean, reducing the exchange of water.
The Red Sea has an extremely rich ecosystem with in excess of 1000 species of fish. That diversity is due to its beautiful coral reefs surrounding the Red Sea and being a natural habitat for underwater life. Moreover, due to its platform like coral reefs and lagoons, these are often visited by different species of shark, other large fish and mammals.
With such a biodiversity, the Government has established some protected areas such as Ras Mohammed, Ras Abu Galum, Gabr El Bint and Nabq Reserve. As divers we appreciate the diversity of the Red Sea, the natural reserves as well as all of the shipwrecks you can find around (SS Thistlegorm, Dunraven), and of all the other amazing dive sites such as Canyon, Elphinstone, The Brothers, Blue Hole, Dolphin Reef… and we do our best to protect them!