Sudan scuba diving Liveaboard

We are preparing our next season in SUDAN FOR 2014. We are planning 18 diving weeks. Our Sudan itineraries have been expanded with the one-of-a-kind true adventure 1-week and 2-week DEEP SOUTH TOUR and the exciting ULTIMATE SUDAN TOUR with the combination of North and South dive sites. And we still offer the traditional NORTH AND SOUTH TOURS from which to choose.

Take a luxury liveaboard with us and explore the most interesting dive sites of the Red Sea. Compare to the rest of the boats sailing in Sudan we have some additional benefits that are guaranteed to get the best services:

  • Dive Sites: Our itineraries include dive sites all the way from Angarosh and Abington in the north to as far as the most southern Sudanese site of Dahrat Ebid near the Eritrean border.
  • Unique itineraries: We are the only ones offering 1-week and 2-week tours in the Deep South of Sudan.
  • Diving: You can enjoy 3 day dives and a free night dive every day.
  • Safety: Ours are the only liveaboards (M/Y Cassiopeia and M/Y Andromeda) with a lost diver search and locate security system.
  • Speed: We are the fastest boats in the region, enabling us to reach the most remote sites.
  • Comfort: Our 100m2 sun deck is your ultimate escape to take it easy. 24h aircondition onboard.
  • Relaxation: We offer free delicious shisha onboard in our shisha room.
  • Fun: You can rent scooters onboard to make your dives even more exhilarating.
  • Boat: Our boat is made of steel, which is a necessary feature on the Sudanese Red Sea.
  • WIFI onboard M/Y Andromeda and M/Y Cassiopeia

Our newly designed sudan-diving.com Web page’s English version is operational! Click here if you have not seen it yet. Please e-mail us for booking information or availability: online@cassiopeiasafari.com

Our safari tours in Sudan:

Dive sites in the Sudanese Red Sea
Dive sites in the Sudanese Red Sea

Ghiannis D

THE STORY OF THE SINKING:

Ghiannis D9She was launched in 1969 from a Japanese shipyard as the “Shoyo Maru”. She was a general cargo vessel of 2,932 gross tonnes and a length of almost 100m.

She was equipped with a Japanese-made 6-cylinder diesel engine capable of producing 3,000 bhp and a top speed of 12 knots.

In 1980 the ship was sold to the Dumarc Shipping and Trading Corporation of Piraeus, Greece and she was re-named Ghiannis D, the “D” standing for Dumarc and it was painted onto her funnel.

 

DIVING AT THE WRECK:

Ghiannis D1Once she struck the reef and sank, she was declared unsalvageable. She remained on the reef for six weeks during which time her structure was badly damaged and eventually she broke into two and sank. The bow section remained a bit longer and then it also sank. Now she is found in three separate parts on the seafloor.

It is a very photogenic wreck and a relatively easy dive. It is best to start the dive at the stern section as this is the deepest part of the wreck at 23-34m, and move on upward from there. This part of the wreck lies on her portside and you can see the starboard screw and its blades that had been twisted by the power of the collision. The great anchor chain is coiled on the reef.

There is still a ladder on the starboard side and below is the propeller partially buried in the sand. Above is visible the huge funnel with the famous “D” on it. Access into the engine room is easy and provides some excitement deep into the heart of the ship. It teems with tiny glassfish. The bridge section is large and wide open with plenty of light. Here can be found the command bridge and the residential quarters as well to be discovered.

In the midsection where the ship broke into two there are still some rotted remains of the cargo of softwood she was carrying. Large groupers are the usual residents here along with snappers, jackfish, eagle rays and even sharks. This section of the wreck is abundant in parrotfish.

The bow section rests on its port side with the decks facing away from the reef and the main mast lies parallel to the sand now without touching the ground. Hard and soft corals colonise this part of the wreck and lots of reef fish make it their home. A large Napoleon wrasse is often seen around here.

Dunraven

THE STORY OF THE SINKING:

dunraven3In January, 1876 the Dunraven laden with cargo left England for Bombay. On April 6 she left Bombay loaded with cotton and wool. The trip across the Indian Ocean was uneventful and she continued on and up through the Red Sea. In the early morning hours of April 25, high land was spotted right ahead by one of the crew and believed it to be Shadwan Island. An hour later a light was also spotted which was taken for the Ashrafi Light, up in the Straits of Gobal.

The captain arrived on deck at around 4am. Land was in plain sight 6-7 miles off the starboard side in a northerly direction and the captain altered course in the direction of the land. A few minutes later a dark object was spotted along the way and by the time the news reached the captain who ordered the engines to be shot off, it was too late. The Dunraven struck hard and her hull was immediately penetrated.

The boat caught fire and the steam pumps were set to work right away. By 7am the water reached the engine room and put out the fires. By noon it was obvious the boat was going to go down and the crew took to the lifeboats. A local dhow took the crew onboard at around 4pm and it was then that they were made aware that their actual position was off the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, at Beacon Rock.

DIVING AT THE WRECK:


dunraven2When having sunk, the Dunraven landed almost completely upside down when reaching the sea floor at about 30m deep. Her upside-down bows are the shallowest part of the wreck, about 17m below the water surface.

Her keel is virtually intact and it is covered with bright soft corals. On the stern, at 28m, a coral-wrapped huge screw and the rudder can still be found, pointing toward the surface. The bows are broken and slightly separated and the whole wreck rests against the reef. A great chain still dangles from the chain holes with bright lush soft corals climbing all along its length. The anchor lies farther away from the wreck in the sand. Also in the sand near the wreck are scattered various parts of the boat, including the two masts.

When swimming along the keel, in midway of the wreck where the hull is broken, the remains of some contorted metal and the large funnel can be still seen. On the inside the two coal boilers are also still visible which are circled by thousands of tiny glassfish. Next to the boilers the engine can be found still intact along with pistons, pipes, taps and valves still in good shape.

The inside of the wreck can get a bit dark in places but the port holes allow some natural light to illuminate the inside. Lying almost completely upside down, the wooden-panelled deck is now the ceiling along which runs the propeller shaft.

The wreck of Dunraven hides a rich marine life. She is frequented by huge groupers, barracuda, scorpionfish, crocodilefish and on occasion mantas.

Umbria

THE STORY OF THE SINKING:

umbria9In May, 1940 the Umbria was loaded with various war-like commodities and ammunition such as 360,000 bombs, 60 boxes of detonators and other stores totalling 8,600 tons in preparation for the forthcoming Italian war effort and destined for troops already stationed in Italy’s East African colonies.

On her way to Eritrea, and eventually onward to Calcutta, on June 3, 1940 she arrived at Port Said and on June 6 she continued on. She was closely followed by the HMS Grimsby of the Royal Navy. When she got close to Port Sudan on June 9, the Grimsby forced the Umbria to anchor close inshore by Wingate Reef. After having anchored the ship, the New Zealand battle-cruiser HMS Leander arrived and 22 men (including the captain) boarded the Umbria searching for contraband and stayed onboard until the next morning. The Umbria’s captain was listening to his radio that morning and heard the news that Italy had formally declared war. He wanted desperately not to allow his precious cargo to get in the hands of the British and decided on the best solution – on sinking the boat. They had to do it without the British getting wind of any of their activities. And they succeeded. The British noticed water filling the ship and the 2 captains ordered to abandon ship. Although salvageable, it was decided the ship would be left alone as her cargo posed an awesome danger.

DIVING AT THE WRECK:

umbria13The Umbria lies almost exactly as she had reached her final resting place on the sea bottom – on her port side at Wingate Reef. The bows at 38m are the deepest part of the wreck. The stern and the rudder rest on the sand at 30m. The tops of the remains of its masts emerge from the water where birds are often perched.

The massive superstructure with only its wooden decking missing, provides a variety of opportunities for divers to explore. The wreck is overgrown by colourful soft and hard corals abundantly and its fish life is bountiful. It is one of the world’s most beautiful wrecks to dive. It is rare to find ship wrecks that are almost completely intact and free of any signs of crash or collision.

The ship was anchored when she was sunk and both her anchors can be found about 200m from the wreck. The main mast was near the forward deck which is now broken and lies on the seafloor.

Due to the entire body of the ship being so intact and missing hatch covers, it is easy to enter the hull and the cargo holds to get a glimpse at the sunken treasure. In one compartment lie undisturbed the aerial bombs, detonators, rolls of electric cable, wooden boxes and storage jars still sealed. There are also bags of cement with have now solidified and stand as cement blocks. And there are the amazing Fiat 1100 Lunga motorcars, still very much recognisable.

The area of the bridge is probably the one with the most damage due to the ship sinking and the natural erosion of the wooden decking and the effects of some powerful storms. Yet, it is also covered in gorgeous corals, making this truly a beautiful wreck to dive. This is the way to the staterooms with several cabins going along the sides of the hallway. The engine room can be entered from here however it is almost completely void of any light. Beyond the two huge engines are the two propeller shafts and nearby is a fully equipped workshop.

umbria2Once outside of the wreck, farther back is the easy access into the holds where the majority of the bombs lie, carefully stacked in long lines. It is a surreal experience to be witness to all this destructive power dormant for some many years. Farther in the back, one of the propellers is above the seabed and the other one is partly buried in the sand.

Lots of snapper fish and sea lilies found home under the giant rudder by the stern. Lots of tiny comical cleaning crabs live near the collapsed funnel on one of the gangways which start to clean our hands if we put them on the bridge. Around the wreck we can run into barracudas, butterflyfish, spiny fish and schools of tiny red fish. On the right side of the boat corals bloom like bunches of rosehip bushes. It is a truly rich wreck as in marine life as in history.