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A Boat Trip To Tiran Island And The Coral Reefs
This is one of Sharm El Sheikh’s best snorkelling trips. Here I will give tips of where to get the best deal, what to take, and what to expect on your trip.
Sharm El Sheikh offers many exciting Trips and Tours, and one of the best and also a great day out for you and the family, is a boat trip to Tiran Island.
If it is your first time in Sharm El Sheikh and you happen to be staying in a Hotel then you will see all the trips and tours Sharm El Sheikh has to offer, This information is usually found in the Hotel Reception area either on Notice Boards or in book form. But remember when you book your trip from a Hotel that they are third party, and may be taking a commission from the Tour operators therefore making the price for your trip higher.
A better deal will probably be had in one of the busy resorts like naama Bay were there are a lot of Tour Operators competing against each other for these trips.
Once you have found the best deal in the whole of Naama Bay for your trip to Tiran Island, you will need to know what to take with you, first and most important your snorkel kit, comprising of snorkel, mask and flippers. Flippers are recommended because they are a lot easier to swim with, as the currents around the reefs can be quite strong. You will need a towel, and a bag for your belongings, and if possible a good underwater camera as the colours of the reefs and fish are stunning and well taking a picture of.
Although this trip is mainly about snorkelling, you don’t have to snorkel, you can simply just relax on the boat and take in the Beautiful scenery of Tiran island and the aqua seas of the gulf of aqaba.
The trip starts with your pickup from your Hotel or Apartment at around 8:00 in the morning. Your taken to naama bay, here you can hire snorkel equipment from a dive hire centre, from there it’s to Naama Bay Boat jetty, this is were all the day trips start from. The Boats usually take around 30 people so it does not get to crowded.
Once you are aboard the Boat it’s time to set sail for Tiran Island, although the boats are diesel. Its takes around an hour and a half to reach Tiran Island and if you are lucky you may see Dolphins on the way. Refreshments are included on your trip so you will not need your own water.
An introduction from one of the guides will be given, if you have never been on one of these trips this is were the guide gives some tips and do’s and don’ts for snorkelling the reefs, he will also show what fish you may see and the ones to be aware of as some can be very dangerous.
As you near Tiran Island your first stop for snorkelling will be Gordon Reef. Gordon Reef is the most southerly of the reefs of Tiran Island, and is home to an old rusty Merchant ship which foundered in 1981. The wreck called the Lovilla acts as a marker for Gordon’s reef.
Snorkelling at Gordon’s Reef can be tough if the currents are strong, but don’t worry if the currents are too strong, your guide will probably find a calmer spot around the reef. Your guide will be with you all the time when snorkelling for your safety, and if your not a strong swimmer you can take a life guard with you.
Never swim away from the guide and your boat, if you have seen the movie Open Water you will know what I mean
Once you drop into the water of Gordon reef you take a short swim to the reef, as you approach the reef you will see a Blaze of colour of the coral and the fish, and if you are lucky you may see Giant Manta Rays as this is there swimming ground, you may even glimpse the massive Humphead Wrasse, these big fish are very tranquil and may come close to you, but try not to touch them as they have a protected coated skin and may rub off leaving the wrasse with no protection from Bacteria.
After a while exploring the reef its time for lunch back on board the Boat, the lunch is prepared by the Boat chef and is usually a fish dish served with rice. When you have had lunch and rested for awhile its on to Tiran Island’s next reef called Jackson reef, this is the most northerly of the reefs. Jackson reef also has its own landmark in the form of a lighthouse situated on the east side, There is also a small shipwreck but this is badly eroded.
Jackson reefs coral walls plummet to depths of around 50 meter and once down there the sight is truly astonishing. The reef is also subject to strong winds and currents, your guide will determine whether its safe for snorkelling. After awhile snorkelling at Jackson reef its back to the Boat and head on to Tiran Island itself. The Boat can only get so close to the island, if you want to go on to the island they will take you there by small motor boat otherwise you can snorkel the shallow waters off Tiran Island.
Once you have had your short stay at Tiran Island its back to the Boat to start your head back to Naama Bay, As you come back to Gordon Reef, the Boat will get close up to the Ghostly wreck lovilla here you will be able to take photos of this majestic buckled wreck.
If your are doing well for time then you may stop off at Far Garden which is in the northern tip of the great bay surrounding Naama Bay Beach. This is a very good snorkelling spot the colourful coral gardens are outstanding, this is probably why it is named as a garden. At far Garden you will have a bit of free time to snorkel on your own and to explore the colourful reef.
From far garden its just a short journey back to Naama Bay Jetty, which is where your transport will be waiting for you to take you back to your Hotel or Apartment.
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