Daedalus Rock / Abu-el-Kizan

Daedalus Shoal / Reef (also known as Abu-el-Kizan) was one of the well known hazards for the shipping, as it lies about a 100km southeast of Marsa Alam. The reef is exposed to strong winds and often plagued by strong currents, which can make the reef a challenging dive and is not usually used for night dives.

 

To reduce the shipping risk, in 1863 a "61ft red, conical metal tower on concrete base" was build on it. The tower was updated in 1931 to its current height of 98ft, allowing it do we seen for 15 nautical miles. The light house is crewed and managed by the Egyptians, as part of their Suez Canal obligations - and if you dive often enough you will see the supply ship exchanging crew and bringing food. You often see the lighthouse crew sitting at the end of the pier using fishing lines - so be careful when you reach the pier when diving.

Image from Michel Forand

 

Due to the strong currents, the reef is dived primarily as a drift dive and staying between 10 and 20m. The boats anchor on the southern tip, near the pier and take the RIBs (Zodiacs) to the northern point. A drift either along the west wall will bring you back to the boat itself. Diving along the East wall is usually means being picked up by the RIBs somewhere along 2/3 down the reef. It is imperative to carry a delayed SMB here, allowing the RIBs to pick you up and also find you should you get pulled into the big blue.

 

A slightly more sheltered route is diving of the boat itself, using the pier as a reference and dropping down to 40m there onto a shelf between 35m and 40m. At depth, route to the East and explore the wall (this area is usually protected from current), slowly raise yourself back to about 30m and follow now along to the West past the pier and boats against the current. A short drift back allows you to get back to the pier. Due to its depth, keeping an eye on your bottom time and pressure gauge is critical,

Key numbers

Dive type: Reef

Length: 1070m x 300m

Depth: 10m to 40m

Visibility: 20m+

Location: 24°55.87N, 35°52.22E

Difficulty: 3 Stars

Dive: 2 Stars

 

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Daedalus Reef