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Abu Galawa, a Fascinating diving site at Marsa Alam

21-08-2018
Port Ghalib News

Marsa Abu Galawa is located at Abu Galawa Shiwayya, Fury Shoals, Marsa Alam. It has 6 dive sites that can be dived at: Abu Galawa, shaab Abu Galawa, Sachwat Abu Galawa, Habibi Abu Galawa, Gota Abu Galawa and Marsa Abu Galawa. The dive site Marsa Abu Galawa is suitable for all levels of divers due to the topography of the reef complex.

Abu Galawa Shiwayya is a crescent shaped reef with a turquoise blue lagoon or pool enclosed within the reef towards its leeward side. Galawa is the name which refers to this turquoise color of the blue pool. Abu in Arabic means 'Father' and Shiwayya means 'Small'.

Therefore a rough translation of this site name would be - Small Father of Turquoise Blue Water.

The Site contains a 25 years old shipwreck, of a 16 m. sailboat. The wreck lies at a depth of 18 m.The Visibility level in the area is 30 m.(100 feet).

The mooring point is situated at the entrance of the lagoon. This lagoon is around 5 meters depth and except the sea grass bed, inhabited by some sea horses, on the sandy bottom, there is not a lot to see.

 

At the begin of the dive you can explore a coral block where you can spot some stonefish. Before you reach the drop off, you will encounter some nice table corals. The closer you will get to the drop off, the more underwater life you will find. The edge of the drop off is at 16 meters depth where small pinnacles of hard corals are hanging down the slope. Little further to the north, you can see an eel garden at about 14 meters depth. To the western end of the main crescent shaped reef is a smaller reef piece with gullies and swim-throughs in it.

On the southwest side of this is the wreck of small sailboat at the base of the reef, which lies on its starboard side in 18m of water on a sandy sea floor. Reported by local guides as an American sailboat which sank in 2002, I have my doubts. Although not confirmed it is my opinion that this is potentially the wreck of the Endymion, a yacht which sank in October 1998.

The coral growth starting to form on the wreck is more in line with nearly 10 years of growth as opposed to only 4 or 5 and the wreck is approx. 16m in length which also matches the description (although this of course is not conclusive evidence). Owned by Australian Anthony Corbyn this vessel was reportedly lost due to a navigational error.

The wreck (although devoid of decking and upper structure) is very picturesque and a great opportunity for photographs. Inside the wreck is densely inhabited with shoals of sweepers / glassfish which swim in tight formation as you glide through them. The decking is long since gone allowing plenty of light in through the remaining deck beams and adding to the effect. The head (toilet) remains in place starboard amidships and towards the stern are the remains of the galley (kitchen area). The stainless steel main mast mount still shines on the remaining deck support and the rear railings are still in place and also in remarkably good condition.

Heading with the reef to your right shoulder will take you around to the north where you can enter a gully in around 15m of water. Carrying straight on down this gully will bring you to what at first glance appears to be a dead end, however it is well worth ascending to just 4m allowing you to pass through a V-shape and over into a swim-through and ultimately a sand lagoon towards the center of the reef.

Surface conditions usually create a swell at the 4m depth, however this shouldn't create any difficulty. Once through the V-shaped break in the reef and back at around 8m there is some of the most fantastic hard coral I've seen in the Red Sea.

Boulder corals, stony corals and other huge hard coral formations cascade down all around you. Some are so large that a diver can swim underneath them - a little like swimming under the bottom bows of a giant Christmas tree.

There are two exits in front of you, either of which will bring you to eastern side of the reef, where you can head with the reef on your right shoulder a short distance back to your boat mooring on the south side.


 

Source: http://www.divesitedirectory.co.uk/dive_site_red_sea_fury_shoals_wreck_abu_galawa_wreck.html


 

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