Dive Trip Report, diving in Aqaba - Jordan, the Red Sea, with trips to Petra and Wadi Rum:
Where do you find Aqaba - Jordan, the Red Sea?
General Information about Aqaba - Jordan, the Red Sea;
The time difference between Aqaba - Jordan and Belgium is one hour. If you want to keep track of the correct data of your log book on your dive computer and photo device, you shouldn't forget you need to adapt to the extra hour.
In April, the temperature of the water in the Red Sea is approximately 21°C and is a 5mm wetsuit recommended. We had a week of strong wind in Jordan. This made the temperature of 28°C - 30°C in the shade very pleasant. We didn't really sweat and it was pleasantly warm. Nevertheless, you have to be careful and prevent yourself from sunburn. Sunscreen of a sufficiently high factor belongs to your compulsory travel accessories. After I asked the diving school and other several local inhabitants of Aqaba, April in particular, seems to be a windy period. Nevertheless, the wind doesn't really influence the diving. With Aqaba, dives in the Red Sea take place at the surcease, where the sea is narrowest.
Aqaba - Jordan has in its 20 km of coastline on the Red Sea, 23 different dive sites. We dived in Aqaba - Jordan at 10 different of these dive sites, off shore diving.
Sturdy diving boots are a must when it comes to shore diving. This is because of the many boulders that lay in the breakers of the Red Sea (approximately 5 meters). If you were to take my advice, this doesn't cause any trouble when shore diving. There's also no need to be afraid of having to walk very far. The car of the diving school drives on to the beach and sometimes even in the water. At my dives, I never had to walk further than 50m on the beach. Sturdy diving boots, also protect against sea urchins, scorpion fish, stone fish, lion fish and the coral itself.
Do not take any diving boats. They go to the same dive sites, but cost much more. The only difference is that instead you get to the dive site, from the shore, the boat takes you to the same dive site. I recommend to use your money for a following diving trip or make an additional trip to the recommendations such as the desert 'Wadi Rum' or one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world 'Petra'.
Dive Report Aqaba - Jordan, the Red Sea
Friday 20 April 2012
Departure to Aqaba - Jordan - Tala Bay
We get up in the middle of the night because our flight departs at 6.50am from Brussels. It's quiet on the ring of Antwerp and we arrive in Zaventem with plenty of time left. After a flight of 4 hours and 30 minutes we land in Aqaba - Jordan and become acquainted with a lovely warm climate and the always refreshing, cool breeze. After half an hour's drive, we arrive at Radisson Blu Tala Bay resort and get assigned to our room with beautiful views of the swimming pool and the Red Sea. After we have unpacked our suitcases, we explore the 5-star hotel and contact Jordan Divers to discuss the diving of the upcoming days. Around 18.30pm we head to the restaurant and enjoy the feast of delicious buffets. It's almost impossible to choose from the range of desserts! On our first day in Jordan, we go to bed early, as we've been up for a while now and need to be fresh for our dives tomorrow.
Saturday 21 April 2012
Diving at the house reef of Jordan Divers on the dive sites Black Rock and Tank Wreck
Diving on Black Rock
The entrance of Black Rock starts on a gravel beach. You dive in and pick up the reef on the right-hand side to go to the planned dive depth. This dive site is usually around 25m deep. In the north are huge coral hills and valleys with large black coral shrubs, regularly visited by Hawksbill Turtle. Then ascend slowly to 10 meters and swim back to the south, where you entered the water. In the shallower bit, you come across many fusiliers fish, parrot fish, grey langoustes, but also electric torpedo rays (black) that you should not touch, Moses sole (flat fish) and platichthys flesus in the sand and gravel.
Diving on Tank Wreck
The entrance to dive site The Tank is easy. You first dive above a grass field. In the grass field, you'll see many interesting invertebrates, that live in the shallow water. Then you go on to the reef that starts on about 2 to 3m depth. Go to the pinnacles, and dive into the direction of the coast to a different set of pinnacles (the Fairy Ring). Diving further south to 8m depth, where patchy coral makes room for grass and sand. This until you see a 6m long, M40 anti-aircraft crawler, (The Tank). The Tank sunk here in September 1999, in order to serve as an artificial reef. In one of the wheels of the crawler was a very large stone fish. The coral starts to form slowly, but is plagued by Starfish that make the development of coral nearly impossible.
Beach Walk Tala Bay
After our dives, we go for a stroll along the beach near the hotel and go to the small centre of Tala Bay, where in addition to a beautiful Marina are also a few shops and restaurants. We exchange our first euros to Jordanian dinars (1 EUR is approximately 0.88 dinars) and buy a bottle of Martini and Amaretto in the local 'liquor store', so we can enjoy the evenings and conclude our days with a tasty aperitif on our own terrace. Santé!
Sunday 22 April 2012
Diving on the dive sites Shipwreck Cedra Pride en Rimbow reef
Diving on the wreck the Cedar Pride
The wreck the Cedar Pride is one of Jordan's most popular and most celebrated Dive sites. It's a former Lebanese cargo ship that was largely damaged by a fire in 1982. At the request of King Abdullah, the fatal ship deliberately sunk. The wreck is marked by a buoy so it's easy to find from the surface.
The wreck the Cedar Pride is about 50m from the beach, and now serves for offshore scuba diving. It literally is an artificial reef for divers. The wreck the Cedar Pride reaches a maximum depth of 28m, with its larboard and spreads over two reefs. It's colonized by a variety of hard and soft corals. The upper starboard is on 10m depth. This makes it a great site for both beginners and more experienced divers.
The wreck the Cedar Pride is largely intact and approximately 80m long. The most interesting part is on the seafront, where you'll find the deck and can see the construction of the ship. The most striking feature is the Crows' Nest. That's covered with an abundance of colourful soft corals and stands out against the bright blue water. If you continue the hull, you'll pass mushroom ventilation shafts and the large mast. In the deeper water the soft corals are more scattered, but replaced by hard corals and schools of fish, including barracudas. If you dive back along the top of the starboard, you'll find lots of hard corals and small creatures who made the hull their home, including anemones, table corals and clusters of Acropora. The creatures include sea urchins, shrimp, Spanish Dancers, frog fish and soft coral crabs. Due to these features, the Cedar Pride wreck deliver excellent night dives.
This is highly recommended!
Diving on the Rainbow reef
The Rainbow reef is a popular 'night dive' site on the coastline of Jordan! This dive site has been given this name because the reef is shaped like a rainbow. The diving on the Rainbow reef starts on about 6m depth and quickly drops to 18m. A deeper gully runs along the north side of the reef and constitutes in a beautiful wall along the side of the reef. If you dive far enough, you see a telecommunications cable at the bottom end of the gully that runs all the way to Egypt.
At night dives, you come among others across Spanish Dancers and a lot of lobsters and hunting morays and lion fish. The reef is also covered with spring stars in all colours of the rainbow. So, if you want to dive on Rainbow reef 'make it' a night dive!
Egress to Aqaba city in Jordan
After dinner, we take the free shuttle bus from the hotel to the city centre of Aqaba in Jordan, where we're going on a hunt for a local tour agency to organize our trips to Wadi Rum and Petra. For a while, we stroll between the many colourful shops full of clothing, shoes, souvenirs and trinkets, but a travel agency that organizes local trips in Jordan, we can't find. Out of the blue, we're invited for tea and a tasting of herbs and spices, by the owner of Al Baba Spices. We ask him if he knows somewhere that books trips to Wadi Rum and Petra. He immediately calls a friendly taxi driver and within 10 minutes Mohammad (Mohamadalktishat@yahoo.com Tel GSM: +962 779 817 419) gets to the shop. After the necessary negotiations, we come to a very interesting price arrangement for the trips we want to make.
Monday 23 April 2012
Diving at dive sites Japanese Garden and First Bay
Diving at Japanese garden
Japanese Garden is located south of Cedra Pride. Japanese Garden is a very beautiful and colourful dive location. The conditions for diving and snorkelling are very good. The reef starts in shallow water, but gradually progresses into the depth. Turtles and barracudas are regularly spotted.
During the dive, you come across very large schools of Anthias (gold fish), lyre tail groupers, royal angel fish, langoustes, butterfly fish, puffer fish, Red Sea walkman, clown fish, sergeant major fish, fusiliers fish, big shells, e.g. which are all very common here.
Diving on First Bay
First Bay is a 700 meters long reef that's located south of the Marine Science. The dive site drops in the centre quickly to a depth of more than 30m. If you want to dive on a shallow bit, you need go to the outer sides. These are divided in First Bay 1 for the north and First Bay 2 for the southern part of the reef.
On the First Bay 1 reef you will find Fire corals, Acropora (stone corals) of different kinds, on approximately 18 to 30m depth are a lot of angel fish, groupers, wrasses, blue surgeon fish, e.g., which are very common here.
If you go to the 2 dive places simultaneously, on First Bay 2 you'll come across a lot of sand with here and there some boulders with coral and seagrass. Here you will find the typical corresponding life, such as synghnatus, eels, e.g.
Tuesday 24 April 2012
Diving on dive sites Gorgon I and Dula reef
Diving on Gorgon I
The name of the reef origins from the 2 large Gorgon corals. To be able to see all the beauty, 12m depth is ideal, but therefore it's a relatively shallow dive. The dive site Gorgon is therefore also suitable for newly certified divers.
The entrance to the Gorgon reef starts at the beach with a width of 3m and depth of 4m. In the, more or less, canyon, are different shy inhabitants that hide in the many caves, cracks and cavities that the canyon provides.
After crossing the beautiful shallow canyon, divers will be generated with the fascinating life of the Red Sea.
The dive site has two pinnacles which stretch from the bottom to the surface. The pinnacles are inhabited by unique soft and hard corals at the bottom. Furthermore, they form a secure and rich home for many types of beautiful aquatic invertebrates and fish (such as Mimic octopus, squid and very many beautiful coral).
Diving on King Abdula reef
The King Abdullah reef is located in an area known as the Tourist Camp. The King Abdullah reef is a fantastic maze of coral. Dive further away from the coast and follow the slope down from 5m depth to 12m. Here you'll find a wide variety of marine life. Continue around the reef with a big fan in the centre of the coral. There dive to 24m where lots of Pennant Fish (longfin banner fish) have built their 'permanent' home.
Then end the dive slowly, ascend in a circle and look at the territorial Parrot fish until you get to a depth of 10m. As a result of the reef in the south you'll see lots of clown fish, anemones, occasionally a ghost pipe fish, scorpion fish and purple Acropora (stone coral). At the end of the dive you'll encounter many Burr Fish and occasionally the odd Toad Fish.
The Wadi Rum desert in Jordan where they filmed Laurence of Arabia
At 14.45pm, Mohammad, our driver, picks us up at the hotel, to drive us to the desert of Wadi Rum in Jordan, which for the public is mainly known because of the multiple scenes in the film Laurence of Arabia. After an hours' drive we stop at a neighbouring town, and transfer to a 4x4 jeep to continue our route in the stretched-out desert. The landscape is rough, with many rocks and mountains that continuously show different colour shades due to the bright sunlight. The climate in Wadi Rum is surprisingly pleasant, because of the refreshing breeze. With the jeep, we drive further and further away from the inhabited world and enjoy the infinite void, the corresponding tranquillity and beautiful rock formations. Our attendants also give us sufficient time to take photos, walk bare feet through the fine sands of Wadi Rum and clamber on the various rocks. Midway through our trip in Wadi Rum we make a stopover for some tea. Made by or driver the 'Bedouien way' (A kettle on a self-lit fire). The tastes great! Then we make a little trip through the desert with a camel (actually dromedaries), forget about any danger for the most picturesque photo on a rock and we make our way to the 'viewpoint' to finish off the day with a beautiful sunset in Wadi Rum in Jordan.
Wednesday 25 April 2012
Last day of diving on the dive sites coral garden and the Aquarium
Diving on Coral garden
Coral Garden is located south of The Royal Diving Club and can be accessed via their jetty or next to it via the beach (through a very narrow passage in the coral) if you can make long dives. Be extra careful on this dive site, as the current can be very strong here. It's a reef of different hills, as the corals continuously grow and form a long path toward the south. Coral Garden is a great diving site for photography. Certainly, if the corals grow in loose hills. Next to coral, large langoustes and frog fish are signalled regularly.
This site is highly recommended!
Diving on Aquarium
This dive site is known as the Aquarium. This name has arisen because, this north-eastern side of the central reef used to be a place where fish were fed, in the past. The fish were present in large numbers and could be detected above water (this is no longer allowed because it's against the Aqaba Marine Park rules). Yet, the fish is still present. During your dive you may see schools of Barracuda hanging in the current above the deeper reefs, many unicorn fish, reef fish, langoustes and fantastic displays of red soft corals that float in the current.
Thursday 26 April 2012
Petra in Jordan; one of the 7 ancient world wonders
Our driver Mohammad picks us at 08.00am from the hotel. After 2 hours of driving we arrive at the legendary city Petra in Jordan. Petra is recognized as one of the 7 wonders of the world. In Petra, we buy our entrance ticket (50 dinars) and start our hiking trip through the well-known gap of Petra. It's tremendously busy and we sometimes really have to squeeze ourselves through the crowd, to get to the best place to obtain the most amazing pictures. The walk through the gap is truly magnificent and results in some extremely beautiful pictures. After a short hour, our efforts will be rewarded with a first glimpse of the Khasnè, the most famous building of the old Nabataeans capital. This is a truly unique experience and must see for anyone visiting Jordan. After taking pictures of this world wonder, we continue our trip along the amphitheatre, the royal tombs, the columns and the temple of the winged Lions. To end this day in beauty, we also want to visit the higher situated monastery, but when we hear that we need to walk ca 850 steps and the walk will take about an hour, we get a bit hesitant, and decide to make the trek to top per donkey. After the negotiations, we've agreed to a fair price and jump on our mule creatures. The donkeys keep a firm pace, which almost looks like a reciprocal competition of who gets to the top first. Innocent pedestrians who walk in their way, are get nearly bumped of the road. The donkeys in Petra also walk very close to the skirting, a (small) ruin, what provokes some anxiety, but after the 20 minutes adventurous ride, we get to the monastery in Petra, safely. We're absolutely flabbergasted by the beauty and grandeur of the building and of course we take plenty of time to ensure we've taken pictures from all angles. Subsequently we start the return trip down and can enjoy the natural beautiful surroundings more relaxed. By our tired bodies, we notice that it's been enough for today and return via the Khasnè and the gap back to our starting point. In the past 5 hours, we walked 14 km, while we were in the ancient city of Petra. Tired but satisfied we make our return from Petra to the hotel!
Friday 27 April 2012
Departure of Aqaba - Jordan - Tala Bay to Belgium;
The last day of our holiday in Jordan. After a beneficial breakfast, we check out and fly from Aqaba (with a stopover in Hurgada) back to cold Belgium.
Map dive sites Aqaba - Jordan the Red Sea:
|Number||Dive Sites North||Number||Dive Sites South|
|01||Power Station||10||Japanese garden|
|02||First Bay North||11||Gorgon 1|
|03||First Bay South||12||Gorgon 2|
|04||Ras Al Yamanya||13||Seven Sisters|
|05||King Abdullah Reef||14||New Canyon Tank|
|06||Black Rock||15||Eel Canyon|
|07||Rainbow Reef||16||Yellowstone Reef|
|08||Cedar Pride Wreck||17||Blue Coral|
|09||Tarmac Five Barge Wreck||18||Kiwi Reef|
|23||Soudi Border wall|
Photos scuba diving in Aqaba - Jordan the Red Sea
Part 1 Photos scuba diving in Aqaba - Jordan in the Red Sea
Part 2 Photos scuba diving in Aqaba - Jordan in the Red Sea
Part 3 Photos scuba diving in Aqaba - Jordan in the Red Sea
Part 4 Photos scuba diving in Aqaba - Jordan in the Red Sea
Part 5 Photos scuba diving in Aqaba - Jordan in the Red Sea
Photos of Aqaba - Jordan, the Red sea, the desert Wadi Rum en the ancient city Petra:
Photos of the hotel Radisson Blu Tala Bay resort on the Red Sea
Photos of the desert Wadi Rum in Jordan and his rock formations
Photos of the ancient city Petra in Jordan, one of the 7 world wonders
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Useful information about Jordan:
Medical information of Jordan:
- Always refer to your doctor to get your vaccinations looked after. Also in European countries certain vaccinations are required or recommended.
- Protection against the sun is in Jordan is absolutely necessary. The use of a sunscreen is absolutely recommended in order to protect the skin against incineration. Even in the cooler periods of the year, it's necessary to apply the uncovered skin, to protect from the sun. A good pair of sunglasses to protect the eyes must not be forgotten.
Hyperbare centra in Aqaba - Jordan the red Sea emergency:
Adres hospitaal Princess Haya witht Hyperbare room in Aqaba - Jordan: Princess Haya Circle
Other emergency telefoon numbers:
Police emergency tel: 191
Ambulance and Firefighters tel: 199
Traffic accidents tel: 190
highway Patrol tel: 194
Tourist Police tel: 196
Average climate of Aqaba - Jordan on the Red Sea
| ||max temperature ||min temperature ||hours sunshine/day ||days of rain ||mm rain ||seawater temperature
|January ||19 ||8 ||8 ||4 ||0-5mm ||20
|February ||21 ||10 ||8 ||3 ||6-30 mm ||20
|Mars ||23 ||13 ||9 ||3 ||6-30mm ||21
|April ||28 ||18 ||10 ||2 ||0-5mm ||22
|May ||32 ||20 ||11 ||1 ||0-5mm ||23
|June ||35 ||21 ||13 ||0 ||0-5mm ||24
|Juli ||37 ||22 ||13 ||0 ||0-5mm ||25
|August ||37 ||23 ||12 ||0 ||0-5mm ||28
|September ||34 ||20 ||11 ||0 ||0-5mm ||27
|October ||30 ||18 ||10 ||0 ||0-5mm ||26
|November ||25 ||15 ||8 ||2 ||0-5mm ||24
|December ||20 ||10 ||7 ||3 ||6-30mm ||22
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