Egypt Itineraries:

Project Shark: Daedalus & St Johns


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The aim of 'Project Shark' is to highlight the global issues facing sharks, with a Red Sea focus, as well as enjoying some of the most spectacular reefs that the Red Sea has to offer! This itinerary combines the spectacular drop-offs and big pelagics at Daedalus with the stunning variety of St Johns. There is a reef for everyone and the opportunity to dive some of the most beautiful sites in the Red Sea.

QUALIFICATION NEEDED: The currents at some of these fantastic dive sites are what make its sightings so exciting but also means that this itinerary is not suitable for inexperienced divers. For your safety, we ask that divers must be a PADI Open Water diver or equivalent and have logged a minimum of 30 dives to join this safari. Please note that night diving and snorkelling is prohibited in the marine park where you will normally spend one or two days of the trip depending on the route. To get the most out of these superb dive sites, several dives will be from a RIB.


Itinerary Checklist:

Common sightings: Large fish, pelagic predators and plentiful reef fish
Reefs: Deep drop-offs, exposed plateaus and stunning reef systems
Wrecks: Limited - two small wrecks in Fury Shoal
Night dives: Normally two or three during the week but not guaranteed
Experience required: Moderate
Amount of travelling: Normally three overnight sailings

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Itinerary: Daedalus & St Johns

Learn about the biology and behaviour of sharks within the Red Sea with nightly lectures from a representative of the "Red Sea Sharks" trust.

Founded by our expert dive guide and marine biologist, Elke Bojanowski Ph.D, in her quest to track and collect basic population data on oceanic whitetip sharks (Carcharhinus Longimanus), in the Egyptian Red Sea.

Elke began the Longimanus Project in October 2004 and since this date she has been actively collecting underwater photographs and video-clips of Oceanic Whitetip Sharks for catalogue, review and analysis. Since 2012 the project has expanded to become Red Sea Sharks (www.redseasharks.org) and increased its scope to include Grey Reef and Silky Shark catalogues and monitoring for many shark species.

**PLEASE NOTE** the itinerary below is an example of the planned route and dive sites cannot be guaranteed. All dives sites are subject to weather conditions and the final route taken is at the absolute discretion of the captain and dive guides. Adverse weather can affect this route which includes several overnight sailings.

This itinerary departs and returns to Port Ghalib. Please note that ports are subject to change.

Day 1 - Visit a dive site local to Port Ghalib for a check dive before heading south for your afternoon and night dive on the way to St Johns.

Days 2 - St Johns

Day 3 - Morning in St Johns before traveling north to dive in the area of Cave Reef before continuing towards Fury Shoal.

Day 4 - A relaxing day of beautiful reef diving in Fury Shoal.

Day 5 - Visit the famous Daedalus Reef and hope to encounter some large pelagics.

Day 6 - After an early morning dive at Elphinstone, enjoy a relaxed dive local to Port Ghalib allowing you to cruise into harbour in the early afternoon. Take advantage of an evening onshore to purchase souvenirs and enjoy Egypt's famous hospitality before your journey home the next day.

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Itinerary Highlights:

Daedalus Reef
This huge tear-drop shaped reef rises from the sea bed in the middle of the Red Sea, 80km offshore and more than 300km south of Hurghada. Easily recognised by its zebra-striped lighthouse, this reef offers some of the most amazing dives in the Red Sea. The sheer walls are covered in over-grown hard coral formations and a variety of reef fish. Napoleon wrasses and turtles are often cruising by, but make sure you keep your eyes open on the blue! Daedalus is one of those places where anything can happen... oceanic white tip, grey reef and thresher sharks are often sighted, but Daedalus is most famous for its scalloped hammerhead sharks which can often be seen in large schools out in the blue during the summer months. The sheer size of this reef means that you can do several dives here and never get bored!

Fury Shoal
This large cluster of reefs offer unforgettable and easy dives. From the northern site of Small Abu Galawa to its most-southern site of Sataya, Fury Shoal can prove to be surprising and diverse. Each dive site has its particularity: from dolphins, to stunning hard coral formations and not forgetting the two little wrecks "Tug Boat" and the "Yacht".

St. Johns Reef
Located on the Tropic of Cancer, this chain of reefs boasts stunning dive sites, most of which are very close to each other allowing you to move quickly and easily from one place to another. This adds a lot of variety to your dives; drop-offs, tunnels and stunning hard-coral formations. One of these dives (St Johns Caves or Umm Kharalim) is truly unique and is a photographer's heaven with rays of light filtering through into the beautiful tunnels. The reef formation is not the only thing that will stun you at St Johns; the marine life and colours of the soft corals are some of the best in the Red Sea. With any luck, dolphins or pelagics will join you on your dives and St Johns will forever have a place in your heart.

Elphinstone Reef
A Red Sea legend; a finger shaped reef, with north and south plateaus covered in hard and soft corals, unpredictable and exciting this truly is an awesome reef where hammerhead sharks are regularly spotted in the summer and oceanic whitetip sharks often congregate in large numbers during late autumn.

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Itinerary Map:

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Private Guides:

If you are not too comfortable diving independently in a buddy team, or this will be your first trip to the offshore marine parks and you're not a super-experienced diver; why not give yourself peace of mind and book an expert blue o two private guide for the trip? They will be there every step of the way to make sure you get the best out of your diving!

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Courses:

Ever wanted to learn more about the marine life you see on your dives? Then why not complete your PADI Underwater Naturalist speciality course on your next trip to find out why some creatures behave the way they do. With a wide variety of marine life to see on this itinerary, why not complete your PADI AWARE - Fish Identification speciality course onboard to learn more about your sightings. Contact our expert travel team today for more information.

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Thanks to Dray Van Beeck for providing the featured underwater images.

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