Cousteau’s favourite dive sites

Many dive sites close to Cousteau’s own heart had since become world-renowned. But which were the great explorer’s top 10 favourites?

  1. Shaab Rumi, Sudan
  2. Sipadan, Malaysia
  3. Cocos Island, Costa Rica
  4. Poor Knights Islands, New Zealand
  5. Aliwal Shoal, South Africa
  6. Vancouver Island, Canada
  7. Blue Hole, Belize
  8. Cozumel, Mexico
  9. Heron Island, Australia
  10. Richelieu Rock, Thailand

It is no surprise that Sudan’s Shaab Rumi made the list, after all, great experiences, and exciting work and discoveries connect him to this site. Marvellous diving and an Academy Award. Jacques Cousteau, also known as the father of scuba diving, not only loved diving in this region of the Red Sea, but he had made several discoveries as well.

Jacques Cousteau, or Captain Cousteau to many, was a world-famous marine explorer who dedicated his entire life to marine discoveries. His main fields of interest bore not only great significance to science, but they also raised the curiosity of the general public. He garnered absolute fame with his underwater experiments he conducted in the beginning of the 1960s. Can man live underwater for a prolonged period of time? As part of his Precontinent II experiment, he spent a month living underwater, which they documented in a film. The film, titled “World Without Sun”, was awarded the Oscar in the category of Best Documentary Feature. It says a lot that of all the seas in the world, he chose the Sudanese Red Sea for his experiment. Though to those who had been to Sudan before, this is a no-brainer. One thing is for certain – Captain Cousteau had definitely managed to place Sudan into the psyche of divers.

Anybody who had dived in Egypt before knows that the Red Sea is an amazing and excellent place for scuba diving. Yet, one cannot simply think that if they had dived in Egypt, they saw everything the Red Sea has to offer. Far from the truth, since the Sudanese Red Sea is exceptional and incomparable. While you dive in the same Red Sea in both countries, the two experiences could not be any different. In Egypt hundreds of liveaboards sail the waters, but in Sudan this number barely reaches ten. The result of which may be that during a liveaboard trip, you see no other boat in sight. Sudan hides the most gorgeous and most pristine coral reefs in the Red Sea that shelter an feed its entire marine life.

This is where you will find the Red Sea’s marine life at its most abundant. Sudan’s warm and crystal clear waters support over 400 species of corals, and over 1,500 species of fish, turtles, and sharks. Large fish live here in large numbers, many of which are rare and even endangered. Here you will always see barracudas, spotted rays, morays, and giant parrotfish, to name a few. The coastal waters of Sudan are also ranked among the top sites for shark lovers. You will encounter grey reef, silky, hammerhead, white-tip, and whale sharks in this region.

If you had a diving bucket list, what would you include? If Sudan is up there, then…

… you should know that the most ideal time for diving in Sudan is between February and May. During these months water temperatures are around 25-28C, and this is when the marine life is at its best and richest. Dive with us on one of our trips:

And now would be a good time to mention that you can visit more of Cousteau’s favourite sites with us, like Mexico (Socorro and Guadalupe).

We are happy to send you further details. Send your inquiries to: info@cassiopeiasafari.com

Dolphin and wreck safari!

We have several good news – our latest safari offer is real dolphin madness! If you haven’t met dolphins before, or not enough, or you just can’t get enough of them, then you must really book yourself on this trip. At the same time we are catering to wreck lovers as well since we will be visiting the most famous Egyptian wrecks.

Common DolphinOn this tour you have just as good a chance to meet your garden variety dolphins at Shaab el Erg than you are bottle-nosed dolphins at Satayah’s horseshoe reef. With some good luck you can get really close to them.

Did you know that dolphins keep jumping out of the water for energy conservation? It is easier to move through the air than the water.

Common DolphinsBottle-nosed dolphins can jump out of the water as high as 6 meters and dive as deep as 600 meters. They can swim at speeds of 30 km/h and they can travel about 60-100 km a day. Since they are highly social animals, they usually travel in pods of 2-15 which can at times grow to even a hundred.

Common Dolphin Red SeaAnd once you meet up with them, watch them. Most dolphins are very keen on playing, most of all the common dolphins.

We have compiled this itinerary to include some of your favourite sites:

· South (Marsa Alam, Elphinstone, Marsa Shona, Abu Dabab)
· Safaga (Salem Express, Panorama reef, Abu Kafan)
· North (Ras Disha, Gota abu Ramada, Shaab el erg, Gubal, Abu Nuhas)

bottlenose dolphin Red SeaSafari date: August 31 – September 7, 2014
Boat: M/Y Andromeda
Itinerary: Special South/North dolphin and wreck safari
Departure: Marsa Galeb
Arrival: Hurghada

Truth be told, this is an undeniably attractive offer because frankly, all our other summer tours are fully booked. So, sign up, even if you only wish to enjoy the last days of the summer in Egypt.

Any questions or booking requests? Send us an e-mail and we will get right back to you!

The special THREE on Andromeda in Sudan!

The Sudanese Red Sea is equally spectacular if not better! The more experienced and adventurous divers have been coming here for years but as the word spreads of pristine reefs, healthy shark populations and fantastic wrecks, it’s becoming more and more popular so you may want to keep that to yourself! So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with our expert dive consultants to arrange your perfect Red Sea boat vacation!

And now we would like to announce our brand NEW promotion:

Our February, 2014 promotion in Sudan – the special THREE!

Book 2 and the 3rd is free!

Special promotion onboard Andromeda in Sudan!Only in February, on M/Y Andromeda.

Duration: Book by December 20, 2013 to be part of this promotion.

Are you ready to plan your diving in the Sudanese Red Sea? Then contact Cassiopeiasafari for dates and details. BOOK YOUR BOAT VACATION NOW ATonline@cassiopeiasafari.com

Note: All prices quoted are per diver sharing and are subject to availability and currency fluctuations. Currency rate is correct at time of publishing. Special offers apply to new bookings only.

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.