The Brothers

My first Red Sea trip of the year was aboard Scubaway's Shalakamy Explorer II departing from Hurghada and heading middle South. A special trip to the Brother Islands was on the Itinerary.

The Brothers are two small islands in the middle of the sea and miles away from land or civilisation. These two islands were off-limits to divers from '96 until '98 as a conservation measure and are now a designated Marine Park. Situated in mid-channel, they rise up to the surface from an abyss 300 metres deep and, with constant currents coming in from the open sea, the coral growth is spectacular and shark sightings frequent. There is also a spectacular wreck, the Aida II, resting against the western tip of Big Brother at between 30-70 metres.

Often dive boats due to visit the Brothers cannot get there as it is a notorious area for rough seas and strong currents. We were lucky to dive on both islands over 3 days but it was rough and we were glad to go to calmer waters after a few days.

The diving was spectacular as the islands are sheer drops into nowhere - everywhere you looked were oceanic white tip reef sharks and hammerheads.

The fish and coral life was tremendous. Even though the Shalakamy Explorer was a big steel boat, it was good to get in the water to stop moving.

Diving was from a rib so, fully kitted, we had to step off the main boat onto a rib that was bobbing up and down. If you survived so far... the rib then struggled over huge swells…still trying not to fall out of the boat at this stage (and very concerned about my camera going overboard so only holding on with one hand). Everyone on the boat had to enter the water at the same time and go down to 6 metres immediately to prevent being swept away from the reef in the current. And you thought the Red Sea was for softies! Anyway it was well worth it and the remainder of the week was spent diving the reefs of Safaga, well know for its magnificent coral gardens, and the Salem Express wreck.

This page was last updated on : 06 Sep 2011