Best of Wrecks Liveaboard Holiday October 2014
We (apart from one person – don’t ask) arrived safe and sound in Hurghada last night. We were met by our guides Tifa and Lina who seem pretty cool. We set up our kit, had a tasty curry and popped to the pub for a couple well deserved cold ones.
This morning we completed our check dive on a pretty reef just outside Hurghada. A few blue spotted stingrays, napoleons wrasse, nudibranchs and clown fish were spotted.
Some of the techy divers decided to do an 90 minute dive which means we were pushed to get to the next dive site, the Salem Express in time.
The Salem Express is a famous wreck amongst the Egyptians. In 1990 the ferry over loaded with passengers returning from their pilgrimage to Mecca ran in to bad weather. Overloaded and with a careless captain the Salem Express hit a reef and quickly sank with the loss of between 600-1600 people depending on who you ask. As there was no official passenger manifest nobody knows for sure and only 180 people survived.
The wreck is one piece and goes from 14-25m deep. By the time we arrived to the dive site, kitted up and stood on the dive platform, the sun was just disappearing behind the mountains in the distance.
We entered the water and descended to the wreck, the wreck itself is living on its starboard (right) side, so we swam along what would have been the top deck. By the time we reached the massive propellers and rudder the water was turning black and meant we had to navigate using our torches.
The Danes, some of whom have “all the gear but no idea” had lights resembling those found on a rally car. This meant the the silhouette of the wreck stood out. A few of the divers went in to the garage area but decided to swim out when they saw the remains of people’s belongings such as a pram and luggage. I think this shocked a few of them as it brought home the true horror of what those poor victims must have gone through.
Having dived many wrecks previously, I can say that this one is the most eerie.
On returning to the boat we refuelled our tummies with some delicious food and cracked open the duty free.