Red sea corals

Diving in Jordan

Diving in the Red Sea is rated by many as the best diving they have ever done. To many people the Red Sea is in Egypt as most of the renowned dive sites operate from live-a-boards from Egyptian cities.

Red sea corals
Coral in the Red Sea

However if you are like me and prefer the less travelled road and enjoy smaller groups and out of the way places, then Jordan is an extremely good option. Dive Aqaba located in the town of Aqaba in Jordan is the place to go.

Sunken tank in Jordan
This tank was placed as an artificial reef by order of the King of Jordan, who is a diving fanatic!

A PADI IDC Centre run by Rod Ibbotson and Ashraf Sulaibi, Dive Aqaba has everything you need. They run an amazing day boat which has recently had a major face lift and upgrade and was in my opinion an amazing dive boat when I was there but must be stunning now.

The boat runs out of the harbor daily and returns in the late afternoon. Between dives you are fed a meal they call lunch, an understatement of note as it is more of a feast. Having lived there for several months I tried many of the local restaurants and none of the amazing meals came close to the food served on the boat Laila 1. In the middle of winter when the water was cold (21 degrees celsius!) you are served hot soup, tea, coffee etcetera between dives. The kit up area on the boat is spacious, the dining area like a small restaurant and the upper deck a perfect spot to sit and absorb the desert sun on the trip out to the dive sites and back to shore.

Aqaba has an amazing array of dive sites for everyone, from snorkeling to deep technical dives, wall diving and the most amazing wrecks. My favorite dive there was the wreck of the Cedar Pride.

Cedar Pride wreck
The wreck of the Cedar Pride in the Red Sea

The Cedar Pride was damaged by a fire in 1982 whilst in the Port of Aqaba. In 1985 she was towed out and scuttled 150 metres from the beach and now lies in 28 metres of water on her starboard side. The Min depth is 10 metres and the max is 28 metres so it is a perfect dive for all qualifications and even has entry points for penetration, swim through and a swim through under the bow. The ship is about 75 metres long and with an average viz of 20 – 25 metres the Cedar Pride is an amazing site.

Wreck of the Cedar Pride
Wreck of the Cedar Pride

The city of Aqaba has an amazing array of clubs, hotels, bars and shops, and is safe and clean. It is a very pleasant place to stroll around in. Internet cafés are all over and there is wifi in most restaurants, not to mention hubbly bubblies everywhere.

Rod has been instrumental in many issues of conservation in the bay of Aqaba, has discovered wrecks, dive sites and many other wonders of the deep and will ensure you leave Jordan with a sense of satisfaction seldom found anywhere in the world.

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Tony

Scuba diver, teacher, gadget man, racing driver, boat skipper, photographer, and collector of stray animals

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