One of the most famous dive sites of not only the Red Sea, but the World over is the Blue Hole off the Sinai Peninsula coast a few miles north of Dahab in Egypt. Known among diving circles as one the ‘World’s Most Dangerous Dive Sites’ its inky blue depths have claimed a number of lives, but the Blue hole has several aspects that make it special as it continues to draw divers from around the World to it.
Accessible from the shore just a few meters from the rocky shoreline, entry directly into the Blue Hole pool is one option, but better preferred, is entry through ‘The Bells’ – a dive site formed where a deep groove cuts into the reef top just north of the Blue Hole at Dahab. ‘The Bells’ being so close to the Blue Hole it is often overlooked, in favor of its big brother. However, for the not so macho diver infact any diver so to speak it is a spectacular way to ease yourself into the complete dive experience. Entry into the Bells is like that of a chimney and often done head first. It’s a 27-30m descend into a completely vertical drop off into a clear stunning blue waters. The sight is breathtaking and the coral growth as well as marine life spotted has been described by many a diver as a lot more impressive than the wall of the blue hole itself.
Gradually ascending up to 15m after exiting the Bells is where all the reef life is, the usual fishes and corals. Swim south to the external walls of the blue hole which is the best place to spend most of the dive. The inside pool has very little left in the way of coral. End your dive by entering the inside of the pool and doing your safety stops there before exiting at the small wooden jetty.
The other way of going about diving the Dahab Blue hole is starting at the ‘easy entrance’ marked at the beach. The Blue Hole cave walls go down to a depth of around 100meters and is bottomless with unfathomable depths. ‘The Arch’ starts at around 56m with the base of the arch at around 120 meters and it connects the Blue Hole to the open ocean. The abyss Blue Hole and Arch is beyond the limits of recreational diving which some of the most experienced divers ignore while testing their limits. The cliffs around the dive site bearing lost divers epitaphs serve as a somber reminder for all to respect the limits and realities of the sport.
Dive responsibly and the Blue Hole is a dive of a lifetime and is guaranteed a dive site you will never forget. One image which will be etched in your memories for all of time if you’ve dived the Hole will be the shimmering sunlight on the coral above you and the deep blue fading to black below…
Dive Site: The Blue Hole / The Bells
Location: North Dahab, 28°34.367N; 34°32.207E
Description: Reef / shore dive / drop-off
Depth: 200 metres + (600 feet)
Visibility: 30 – 40 metres (100 – 130 feet)