Batman approaching the swim through

Dive sites (Red Sea): Jackfish Alley (Ras Mohammed National Park)

Swimming towards the reef
Swimming towards the reef

Jackfish Alley (also called Fisherman’s Bank) is inside the Ras Mohammed National Park, which covers part of and borders the Sinai Peninsula. We also dived Shark Reef and Yolanda Reef inside the park. Jackfish Alley was probably our favourite dive. Neither my words nor the photos or videos we have can explain how spectacular it was. The visibility was endless – I don’t actually know how to estimate anything much over 15-20 metres, so suffice it to say that it was a large number!

The other divers traverse a sand spit
The other divers traverse a sand spit

The captain reversed our boat towards a cliff face, and we leaped off into the water, which was approximately 800 metres deep. I searched briefly for the bottom, and then remembered the briefing and realised that I probably wouldn’t find it. Staying at about six metres we swam directly towards the reef wall, into a small swim through. The water inside the little cave, which formed a sort of a dog’s leg shape, was 24 degrees, which felt bracing compared to the 27 degrees outside. (As an aside, there is apparently quite a large, deep cave system here!)

Batman approaching the swim through
Batman approaching the swim through

The remainder of the dive entailed a lovely drift dive next to a wall that opened out onto a sandy alley from which the site gets its name. The sensation was like being in an amphitheatre. I don’t think I’ve seen such spectacular underwater topography before. The site is known for the large pelagic species that can be seen there, owing at least in part to the very deep water that is close by, and the currents experienced at the site. We didn’t see anything enormous – I saw some groupers and a ray – but to be honest I wasn’t really looking out to sea. The site itself is enough to keep your eyes busy.

Dive date: 20 October 2013

Air temperature: 27 degrees

Water temperature:  24 degrees

Maximum depth: 17.8 metres

Visibility: 40 metres

Dive duration: 54 minutes

Squaretail grouper
Squaretail grouper

Published by

Clare

Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

Leave a Reply