Abu Galawa Kebira is one of the most famous reefs in the south of Egypt. Located in the heart of the Fury Shoals 13 km off the coast, this formation of bank reefs is an ideal place for beautiful and varied dives. In addition to its simple diving conditions, Abu Galawa Kebira also offers safe overnight mooring, all of which is why the reef is popular among divers.
The seabed here is found at an average depth of 20 m and consists of the usual sandy seabed covered in coral rocks, and on the western side of the large main reef, a large ‘coral garden A stretches from north to south, which by itself is worth a dive. A small lagoon A connects the reef to its southern side where the moorings are found 1, and near them, on one of the smaller tortas, rests the wreck of the tugboat Tien Hsing A, which is one of the most well known and beautifully overgrown wrecks in the southern Red Sea (see 1-4-3). Its stern and propeller lie at a depth of 18 m, while its bow protrudes from the water at low tide. Right next to the wreck, a small cave A leads into the reef at 3 m, where stingrays occasionally hide. The reef walls are mostly nicely covered with corals, and many interesting sights can be found between the coral rocks around the reef. Also on the torfa’s eastern side, there is a small system of passageways at a depth of 5 m A, which however only lead a few metres into the reef.
Currents seldom flow here, only doing so on the outside of the main reef and during the change of tide in the channel A. They can, however, be somewhat unpleasant. The visibility here is also generally good and only sometimes limited by stirred up sand.
Abu Galawa Kebira is an ideal site for night diving. The moorings are usually near the Tien Hsing, making a visit to the wreck also possible in the dark.
Route A: mooring-wreck (all day)
Duration: about 60 min. Difficulty: * Descend directly from the liveaboard and dive through the channel A towards the smaller reef. It is easy to lose your orientation on the seabed, so take the compass bearing before diving. Once you arrive at the reef, circle around it to the wreck of the Tien Hsing A, keeping the reef on your left shoulder. Take your time to explore the wreck and then continue around the reef keeping it on your left shoulder. Once at the eastern side, gradually ascend to 5 m, so that you do not miss the small cavern entrance within A. Finally, return to the boat 1.
Route B: coral garden-wreck (afternoon)
Duration: about 60 min. Difficulty: ** Go by RIB to the western side of the main reef e. Descend and dive across the coral garden A keeping the reef on your left shoulder. Leave the reef wall behind at its southwestern tip and head across the seabed towards the wreck at approximately 150°. It may be difficult to maintain your course because of the lack of features on the sandy seabed. If in doubt, head more to the left, bearing less than 150°, to arrive at the reef or the wreck. Explore the Tien Hsing A and depending on your remaining air either surface and return by RIB or dive back to the liveaboard 1.
Night dive: same as route A, but you a return to the boat 1 from the shipwreck instead of circling the smaller reef.
Tips / Hazards • Worth seeing: the Tien Hsing A and the coral garden A
Night diving around the wreck is possible • Orientation over the sandy seabed is sometimes