Egypt: Red Sea - Dive Sites - Gordon Reef

Gordon Reef



By Boat

By swimming

By Live-aboard

All Divers







Southernmost of the Straits of Tiran reefs


By local or live-aboard boat from Sharm El Sheikh or other ports

Average Depth:

15m (50ft)

Maximum Depth:

35m+ (115ft+)

Average Visibility:

20m (65ft)

The Gordon Reef is located in the middle of the Straits of Tiran, between Tiran island and the Sinai mainland, and like Jackson Reef to the north, is marked by the wreck of a large commercial freighter. At the southern end of the reef, there is also a light beacon to keep other ships off the reef. A permanent mooring point lies just offshore near the light.

The reef rises to just below the surface of the water at high tide. The area between the Sinai mainland and the Gordon Reef is the western side of the Strait's main shipping channel. This channel is very deep and is very close to the Gordon Reef.

The wall of the reef is sheer and is covered with many fan corals and soft corals. There are many open ocean fish that can often be seen in the blue waters around the reef. There is a current that will carry you at quite a fast pace, up to 2 knots, along the reef and will deposit you in a sandy flat area 40 feet deep that has many small coral heads and reef fish.

The dive site encompasses a wide, oval sloping patchy reef which extends to the south and east of the shallow circular reeftop, rather like the sloping brim of a baseball cap. The reef composition is quite varied, with patchy sections, sand beds and full-fledged coral gardens. In the center of the reef slope, a 'shark amphitheater' or bowl dips 20 24m (78ft). A variety of shark species can be seen sleeping on the sandy bottom.

The site boasts a very good range of corals, with lots of branching varieties. All of the corals are well preserved, in densely grown patches that often show a remarkable mix of different species.

Fish life is not the most profuse in the Straits of Tiran, but there are some notable surprises including a huge moray eel with a body as thick as a small diver's waist. Triggerfish abound while surgeons and jacks swim in moderately large schools, and angels, parrotfish and small wrasse are all present in good numbers. Large Napoleon wrasse can often be seen along the reef.

The reef slope is suitable for relatively inexperienced divers while more experienced divers will enjoy the incredible experience to be had at the shark amphitheater.

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Last Updated: May 29th, 2011