Abu Nuhas Shipwreck Sites




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Abu Nuhas Shipwreck Sites

Introduction

This diving area, just north of Shadwan Island, is a slightly triangular shaped fantastic site to submerge into the sea with five shipwrecks to explore. The main attraction is the wreck of the Carnatic, a UK cargo ship sunk in 1869, which is still in incredibly good condition with its skeletal remains home to flourishing coral and abundant fish life.

The Greek ship Chrisoula K(sunk in 1981) and the German Kimon M (sunk in 1978) are two more popular wreck dives in this area with plenty of opportunities to spot lionfish, triggerfish, and pipefish among the wreckage.

The translation of Abu Nuhâs is “Father of Brass”, Abu being a father and Nuhâs meaning brass. Whilst none of the divers have ever seen any brass here, it certainly deserves its other name – “The Ship’s Graveyard”. It’s location at the edge of the Straights of Gubal make the north side open to rough conditions, particularly on the surface where a large swell can make mooring difficult if not impossible.

The northeast corner often experiences strong currents which can actually sweep down from the north and in from the east, meeting at the corner. This means that on the northeast corner itself, two currents meet and a diver trying to carry out research on the reef wall formation could find themselves stuck between two non-swimmable currents (trust me).

Abu Nuhâs is a wreck divers dream come true boasting four vastly different wrecks in very close proximity to each other and all within comfortable diving depths of 30 metres or less. The wrecks are located on the north side of the reef (see the Abu Nuhâs map in PDF format below) and this requires calm surface conditions for mooring.

Back in the early 90s when we used to bring day boats here from Hurghada we often had no choice but to moor in less than ideal conditions, however, these days most boats which come here have a RIB or boat tender. This means that the main dive boat moors behind the reef near a sand lagoon or behind Woodvalley Reef (a small reef piece on the west end).

I refer to this extra piece of the reef as “Woodvalley” due to the amount of timber located in the channel between it and the main reef (no doubt some of the cargo of softwood from the nearby Giannis D, washed here by the water flow.

The tenders then ferry divers through this channel and out to the wrecks. If weather really is too rough to dive the wrecks, and if current allows Woodvalley Reef itself is a lovely dive. There is also the option of diving Yellowfish Reef (located on the south side of Abu Nuhâs) a reef which makes a lovely night dive.

Location

65 kilometres southeast of Hurghada