Daedalus. This name seems to resonate when we talk about diving in the Red Sea. Certainly because it is simply one of the most beautiful Egyptian sites, it is lost in the middle of nothing, and the reef is topped by a legendary lighthouse that offers a breathtaking view from its top !
It takes a few hours of sailing to reach the Abu Kizan reef. In fact, it is a whole night necessary since it is the most remote site on the Egyptian coast. The Daedalus reef (better known by its name) is almost in the middle of the Red Sea, towards Saudi Arabia. Crossings like this can be quite rough, with a long swell quite often established. So when you have the chance to go by very calm seas, what a pleasure. As much as discovering the magnificent reef topped by its famous lighthouse before sunrise, with a sea resembling a lake !
Due to its remoteness, Daedalus remains very well protected from the influx of divers that can be found on some other sites, and offers a view of the Red Sea from its best angle. Although lost offshore, life abounds, attracted by the simply exceptional coral reefs. The walls are covered with corals of all kinds, both hard and soft, with the alcyonaires, also called “broccoli” corals. These reefs are bursting with life, and it is a real explosion of fish that can be seen in every corner. Thousands of anthias fly over the coral reefs. The groupers, more or less large depending on the species, but all more colourful than the others, watch the divers pass by impassively, or thread their way from hole to hole.
It only took me a very short time to understand that Deadalus is a magical place. After a very early morning snack, the bell rings twice. Briefing then dive departure…. Just enough time to reach the northeast face of the reef in semi-rigid, and to move to the other side of the surface. In a few seconds, we are joined by two manta rays that have come peacefully to spin a few metres from us. The encounter with this species (Manta birostris, giant manta ray or oceanic) is always a great moment for a diver…
We almost forgot that when we come here, it is usually another great pelagic that is most expected. It is indeed the privileged place to meet hammerhead sharks that move in schools sometimes quite numerous. We didn’t have the change of seeing a wall of hammerhead sharks pass by, although a few rather furtive individuals gave us the pleasure of letting us see their silhouette. But no more, so no drinking pictures unfortunately ! That being said, the ballet of mantas remains in everyone’s heads.
The dives continue and end a few meters below the surface where the condition of the corals is incredible and offers an incredible spectacle. Anthias, groupers, butterflyfish, angelfish, parrotfish colour the four corners of the reef. Daedalus is a marvel, and the three dives of the day will have only given us a preview. Certainly well provided, but I still have an unfortunate tendency to find diving in the Red Sea very frustrating… Because there’s always a time when you have to get out of the water !
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