Best of Wrecks – day 2

Best of Wrecks Red Sea – Day 2

The 5.55am wake up call wasn’t well received by those who had been on the sauce the evening before. Over night our boat made its way over to the Brother Islands. These 2 small islands lie around 60 miles from the nearest shore. On the imaginatively named ‘Big Brother’ is a crumbling lighthouse with a few old shacks. The island is inhabited by 3 people who are given fresh supplies once every few weeks. The Aida was one of he supply ships that crashed into the reef in 1947, all of the supply ships are called Aida and the current one is Aida IV.
Once briefed we entered the Zodiacs and made our way over to the wreck. A negative entry and a few fin kicks took us to the top of the wreck at 30m – except for Ric who had left his weight belt on the boat!
Luckily I was teaching Kara and Wendy their deep spec so we continued down to 40m. There isn’t much left of the wreck except frame work which is heavily encrusted in colourful corals and is now home to a variety of pretty marine life.
Having spent a few minutes exploring the wreck we slowly made our way back to the reef wall where giant Gorgonian fan corals hand over the side, and we were surrounded by millions of golden antheas. The reef at Big Brother is generally considered to be one of the best in the Red Sea and is often home to many pelagics such as thresher sharks, tuna, barracuda and grey reef sharks. Unfortunately today was their day off, so thankfully we’ll be back here next year for the ‘shark special’!
For the next dive we took a break from the wrecks and did a nice gentle bimble along the reef wall to the south plateaux. Here you find lots of soft corals wafting around in the gentle current and in the blue some peckish looking tuna. Above us the snappers darting in to the crowds of antheas for their lunch time feed.
Back on the boat the nicknames continued to be dished out, Akvile is now known as ‘egg white’, Andrew is ‘belt’ – I’d best let him explain that one and Melvin is minion.
Our third and final dive of the day was to the Numidia, the larger of the 2 wrecks on Big Brother. Melvin had been looking forward to this one as it’s such a pretty wreck.
Numidia Facts:
Built 1901
137.4m long
6,490 tonnes
Sank July 1901 aged 6 months on it’s way from Liverpool to India via the Suez Canal
Approx 67 fatalities which led to the Captain being jailed for gross misconduct for sleeping on the job
The top of the wreck starts at 14m and descends downwards to 80m+. On reaching the wreck the main framework is still in tact but with the skin long since gone. Like a latte you could swim in around the structure which provides shelter for its inhabitants from the circling predators above. Due to its age the wreck is covered in a thick multicoloured layer of coral. The wreck is home to beautiful angelfish, butterflyfish and clown fish. Having spent 10 minutes or so exploring the wreck me then slowly made our way along the reef wall back to the dive boat.
Showered and back on the sun deck we were provided with freshly cooked donuts, popcorn and crisps while we watch the sun slowly set in the cloudless sky.

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