Flickr The first of the four reefs in the Straits of Tiran can be reached within a swift 10 minute speedboat ride from the Sinai Blues jetty. Each reef bears the name of a cartographer who mapped the area in the 19th century. In order of appearance from the sea, they are called; Gordon, Thomas, Woodhouse and Jackson reefs. The narrowest strait is the Grafton Passage which is the strip of water between the reefs and Tiran Island itself. It is well indicated on the charts and has lighthouses marking its position. The wider side of the straits lies between the Sinai Coast opposite the town of Nabq and is called the Enterprise Passage. These four reefs are famous for their diversity of marine life and coral formations. Their close proximity to our resort and ease of access with our fast RIBs make them a favourite with our guests.
Flickr Tiran is the gateway to Jordan and the port of Eilat via the Gulf of Aqaba. Hundreds of big ships pass through these straits without incident every year but occasionally things can go wrong. The most prominent shipwrecks in Tiran are those positioned half in and half out of the water such as landmarks like the Louilla wreck on top of Gordon and the Lara wreck at the far end of Jackson reef. These two rusting hulks met their fate in the 1980's but have since affectionately become gatekeepers of the first and last reefs of the Straits of Tiran.
Currents can be strong in some parts of the Tiran reefs, but where there are currents there’s always good marine life and coral. It’s the water movement that provides a food source and attracts the fish. There are many ways to dive each of these reefs, which between them have sandy plateaus, drifts, walls, coral gardens, canyons, drop-offs and wrecks.
Flickr Clustered in the middle of the narrow Straits of Tiran, these reef rising up from great depths constantly being swept by strong currents are all slightly different in their own way and have their own attractions.
GORDON is the only reef out of the four that has a large shallow plateau. It is the most southern of the four reefs and is sheltered from the stronger currents and prevailing swell, making it great for a less challenging dive. Towards the sides and corners of Gordon the plateau drops away and the current increases giving excellent drift diving conditions.
THOMAS is the smallest of the reefs, is famous for its canyon with several arches plunging down to 95 metres and its strong exciting currents on the corners. These currents bring shoals of huge tuna and other preditory species. It is always worth keeping an eye on blue for something big cruising by.
WOODHOUSE is a very long narrow reef with a canyon at the North end. In ideal conditions this reef gives one of the longest gentle drift dives with slowing increasing currents as you approach either end accelerating you around the corners.
JACKSON is constantly being swept by strong currents which explains the vibrant coral gardens it has on display, some of the best in the area. This reef has much to offer and with its spectacular walls, coral gardens and corners with great current, can be dived in many different ways. Jackson is particularly famous for spotting the hammer head sharks which tend to congregate in the blue on the North side, or more commonly known "the back side", in the summer months.