We’re off to the Red Sea in October, and I like to know everything about everything before I do anything (one of my annoying characteristics). With that aim for this holiday, I recently read this book by British diver Ned Middleton, which catalogues the vast majority of diveable wrecks in the Egyptian Red Sea, including all the wrecks we’ll dive on in October.
Middleton describes the ships as they were when they sailed the seas, their sinking, and the experience of diving on them. He is more focused on the features of the wrecks than the marine life that encrusts them (which I didn’t mind). He suggests routes around the wrecks, describes penetrating them (where possible), and – because he has dived the area over a period of years – is able to comment on the rate at which the wrecks are decaying. Unfortunately much of the damage observed on the wrecks is the result of souvenir hunting and theft by visiting divers. The impact of dive tourism on the area is keenly felt.
One of the most wonderful features of the book, which lifted it into another realm of quality for me, is the illustrations of the wrecks as they now lie, by artist Rico Oldfield. Working from thousands of photographs, he creates composite paintings of the wrecks on the sea floor. I can stare at them for hours.
As I did with Scuba Diving Malta – Gozo – Comino, I expect to refer to this book numerous times while on holiday in October, as well as afterwards for a reminder of the wrecks we visited. Can’t wait!