Wreck Diving In Egypt ; Strait of Gubal

Wreck Diving In Egypt ; Strait of Gubal
Rosalie Moller 

The fortunes of the Rosalie Moller, an English steam freighter, made way for drama on 8 October 1941. The ship came under attack of two German Heinkel bombers and found her faith on the bottom of the Red Sea, sadly claiming two lives in the process. Initially, the wreck stayed undisturbed until its discovery in 1993 only. 

A dive at the Rosalie Moller site is classified as ‘particularly difficult’. Visibility at the location leaves room for desire and the almost constant current and winds contribute to the challenge to reach the wreck at great depth. As an adventitious result, the Rosalie is pretty well-conserved and not as damaged as the immense popular Thistlegorm. 

The Rosalie Moller now lies uptight on a sandy seabed at a depth of approximately 50 meters. Much of the deck equipment is still in place; so are handrails and ladders.

The ship has a fine layer of hard and soft corals. As for present fauna, large groupers are a fairly common sight, especially in the bows. Bigeyes and lionfish have found comfort on deck toward the stern. The entire ship has become the domain of glassfish, cave sweepers, half-and-half chromis and large trevallies.


The Bluff Point Barge

This is a mini-wreck, known as the Gobal barge or ‘the wreck at Bluff Point’, because that is where it finished its last voyage during the Arab-Israeli War. It’s probably an Egyptian gunboat.The location can be pinpointed at Gobal Shaghir, north of Hurghada.

The remains at a depth of 14 meters are very sparse; yet the skeleton of the barge’s hull contains a fantastic layer of vibrant corals of the widest thinkable assortment. It holds attractive surprises, especially after sunset when the barge is illuminated by torch lights of divers. 

There's an entirely new sensation of nocturnal life awaiting you underwater at Bluff Point. It’s like descending in a world where day species retreat to make room for nocturnal active fauna, set against illuminated flora. You will spot nudibranchs, cuttlefish, octopus, giant groupers, schools of glassfish, crocodilefish, various crustaceans, moray eels, etc. 

Night dives are highly recommended. It is as if the wreck gets a second chance to make a first impression.  It is when the mesmerizing Spanish nudibranchs impersonate dancers, performing their hypnotizing and almost sensual rhythmic contractions in their blinding red ‘costume’.

The wreck dive here is classified as pretty easy, suitable for all levels of divers under guidance.


Dunraven

The choppy waters to the north of Beacon Rock in the Strait of Gobal took the Dunraven cargo boat by surprise. The ship’s identity remained a mystery for quite a while. The Dunraven unlocked its identity when its name was discovered on porcelain plates, part of the ship’s belongings. At the end of the day, the Dunraven was classified as a steam-sail vessel. It collided during its return journey from Bombay India, now Mumbai, to Newcastle in England. This would have been August 1876. The crime scene was the southernmost tip of the Sha’ ab Mahmoud reef, now adorned with a beacon to alert passing ships.

So what has the Dunraven in store for you? It lies upside down, stretching between 18 meters and 29 meters depth. The wreck is easy to find and the visibility is fairly good. It is home to a myriad of fish, making for pretty photogenic scenery. What we see here are scissortail sergeants, just to name one species. Soft coral branches off metal ship parts such as hull ribs. The remains of the Dunraven are inhabited by giant groupers, crocodilefish and huge scorpionfish.

Those who observe patience are likely to be rewarded with sightings of barracuda, mantas and eagle rays. Of course those captivating glassfish, darting to and fro give ‘acte de présence’, rivalled by shoals of silverfish, moving around like lightning, forming forever waving, shiny curtains.