紅海深潛太空漫遊 Red Sea Diving Adventures

  
提起紅海,不期然想起摩西《出埃及記》這個令人心醉神迷的故事。這片介乎東非與阿拉伯半島之間的海洋,實際上是印度洋的陸間海域,
早於埃及發展旅遊時,已有酷愛刺激的潛水員前來探索。近年具規模的潛水公司愈開愈旺,尤以船上住宿的潛水方式最為吸引。若有意
計劃一趟紅海潛水之旅,這裡有專業潛水家的推介,選擇適合自己的路線,為闖此神秘海洋作好準備。
The Red Sea brings to mind the Exodus. Lying between East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, the Red Sea is an inlet of
the Indian Ocean. Before Egypt started developing tourism, divers had already been exploring the area. In recent years,
more and more established diving companies have set up, with liveaboards as an attractive option. For those planning a
diving trip to the Red Sea, here are recommendations from diving professionals.

潛水愛好者可探索二戰時沉沒的軍火船藍薊花號。 Divers can explore the WWII Merchant Navy ship SS Thistlegorm.

兩大經典線 北面看沉船

紅海是世上七大最美麗的潛點之一,關於它的潛水區域,大致可細分南、北兩大路線,當中發展得較早是北部,最大特色是潛點多元化,有適合初學者的珊瑚礁,亦有具挑戰性的沉船潛區。沙姆沙伊赫是埃及西奈半島著名度假勝地,亦是較早開發的北部潛點,沿海可尋找到不同的珊瑚礁牆,以及軟珊瑚保護區穆罕默德角國家公園等,當中最引人入勝的便是一艘於二次大戰時沉沒的軍火船藍薊花號,探索此船真是充滿歷奇感,有如闖進了泰坦尼克號的世界,船隻總長度達128米,如今深入水深達32米的海底,最淺水處距離水面約16米。從水面下降至發現船身一刻,有種恍如在太空漫游而突然降落月球地表一樣震撼。由於沉船保留着很多二戰時的遺物,潛進去可望見摩托車、坦克車及步槍等各種配件,期間一群海狼魚在甲板穿過,甚有深海歷奇之氣氛。這海域常出現暗流,因此亦要求潛水員擁有高級潛水牌或以上經驗,如擁有特許的船潛牌的話,更可深入船艙探險,感受畢生難忘!
The Red Sea ranks among the world’s top seven most beautiful diving destinations, and can be divided into northern and southern itineraries. The Northern part is more developed and offers a variety of dive sites such as coral reefs that are suitable for beginners as well as more challenging shipwreck sites.

Sharm El-Sheikh, a well-known resort destination on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, offers wall, reef (such as the protected Ras Mohammed National Park), and shipwreck diving.

The 128-meter World War II Merchant Navy ship SS Thistlegorm is a one of the fascinating shipwrecks that can be explored at a depth of 32 meters, with the shallowest part at 16 meters. A lot of WWIIera artifacts can be seen including motorcycles, tanks, and rifles. The currents require an Advanced Open Water Diver certification.

藍洞是達哈卜著名潛水熱點。 Blue Hole is a popular dive site in Dahab.

訪沉船墓地 探危險藍洞

北線另一新興的熱門潛點是洪加達,名氣僅次於沙姆沙伊赫。從洪加達海灣出發,可抵達鄰近的潛點吉夫通群島,沿島探索隨時會遇上有趣的珊瑚魚,如好奇的小丑魚、顏色鮮艷的蝴蝶魚等,這兒是學習潛水的好地點,適合初學者來上潛水課。若從洪加達港口往北進發,則可抵達一處沉船墓地阿布格萊布,海域有多達四艘沉船,平均深度約18至25米,能見度屬於一般至清晰,是潛水愛好者的歷奇天堂,除了船身清晰可見,魚類種類豐富,包括海狼魚、獅子魚及藍點魔鬼魚等。

北線尚有個潛點達哈卜,擁有令各進階潛水員趨之若鶩的「藍洞」,洞口鄰近海灣,從沙灘游至水深7米的入口並不遠,因此常有徒手潛水員想挑戰洞穴。參加水肺潛水的話,路線由另一端的大鐘洞入口下潛,穿過迷你拱門後約於32米沿岩壁上升到7米洞口。然而這藍洞又被稱為世上最危險之洞穴,原因是缺乏經驗的潛水員或泳客,常試圖下潛到水底大拱門出口,此處水深達52米,容易令人產生氮醉,引發酒醉感覺甚至喪失活動能力,未能及時察覺會斷送性命。因此,想潛探此藍洞最好跟隨合資格的潛水公司前往。

In the north, divers will also find Hurghada the latest diving destination, from which Islas Giftun, an ideal beginner dive site with a variety of marine life, is easily accessible. Abu Nuhas, with four shipwrecks, is also nearby.

Dahab is another destination in the north that is known for its Blue Hole dive site, which is considered one of the world’s most dangerous. Some divers have missed the tunnel to the Blue Hole at 52 meters and developed nitrogen narcosis.Likewise, El Bells is an advanced entry point to the Blue Hole.With a depth of seven meters accessible from the shore, Blue Hole also attracts freedivers.


南線多變化 住船看大魚

紅海南線最大特色是人流少,相對觀賞大魚的機會高,包括海豚、俗稱「美人魚」的儒艮,以及不同品種的鯊魚如長尾鯊、鎚頭鯊、遠洋白鰭鯊等。最熱門及新興地點是馬薩阿拉姆,自2001年政府在該區附近興建機場後,交通方便吸引大量想南下探索的潛水員,沿岸有大量保存良好的珊瑚礁據點。從這裏出海大多數會到埃爾芬斯通礁下潛,距馬薩阿拉姆約30公里,生態系統完善,能見度達40至50米,有機會碰上遠洋白鰭鯊、虎鯊、大型的鬼蝠魟與海龜等,大型的珍鰺也經常出沒。

如欲繼續南移,最好還是住船,因最美的潛點都集中於較偏遠的地區,例如代達羅斯礁、兄弟島及馬薩阿拉姆礁等。其中兄弟島又分為小兄弟島及大兄弟島,兩個島嶼被喻為紅海最佳潛點,擁有最美的原始珊瑚群,前者是欣賞珊瑚牆最佳地點,後者是觀看大魚的好地方。兩島附近還有兩艘沉船,整個潛點可玩足一天。

至於代達羅斯礁主要以放流潛水為主,潛水員隨水流在深海的珊瑚礁壁移動,是有趣的體驗,住船可算是唯一的交通工具。這種潛點需要潛水員較高的技術,但相對可碰見大魚的機會更為提高,好運的話會遇見各種大鯊魚以及海豚。

There’s fewer divers exploring the southern part of the Red Sea.It is a great chance of seeing big sea creatures such as dolphins, sea cows, and a wide variety of sharks here. Marsa Alam is the latest hotspot. Since the government built an airport in 2001, Marsa Alam has been a lot more accessible, and it attracts divers keen on exploring this new diving destination with its well preserved coral reefs. Elephant Reef, 30 kilometers from Marsa Alam, has a visibility up to 40 to 50 meters. Divers might run into whitetip sharks, tiger sharks, manta rays, sea turtles and more.

Staying on a liveaboard is a great way to explore the area further south, because some of the most beautiful diving areas such as the Daedalus Reef, Brother Islands, and Abu Dabab Reef are rather remote.The Brother Islands offer pristine coral (Big Brother Island) and lots of big sea creatures (Little Brother Island). There are also two shipwrecks nearby.

Daedalus Reef is known for its drift diving among coral, and it’s more suited to advanced divers. Liveaboards are pretty much the only way to reach the area. The chances of diving with dolphins, sharks and other big sea creatures are high here.


自備小工具 住船最划算

旅客若要前往紅海潛水,最好先聯絡潛水公司或旅行社代辦。一般埃及的潛點治安良好,潛水公司亦會打點接送。在紅海住船潛水愈來愈普遍,有意住船更建議預先安排,船的規模一般是中等至大型,設備齊全,裝飾帶有中東色彩,三餐全包,而相對發展成熟的住船潛水勝地馬爾代夫,紅海住船仍屬潛水界保留的小秘密,其實潛點一樣繽紛。

潛水旺季為年底九至十二月,不妨考慮於八月或一月稍為避開人潮。每年一月水溫最低,約為24度,四至五月因水流關係能見度降低,但這時則可望遇見鯨鯊。針對個人裝備來說,最好自備潛水錶計算個人的潛水檔案,另外南線的潛點水流較大,故自備流勾及浮力袋,可保障個人安全。

For those planning on diving in the Red Sea, it’s best to have a diving company or specialty tour operator organize and arrange the trip. Liveaboards are fairly popular in the Red Sea, early booking is required. Most liveaboards are well equipped and all meals are included. The diving season runs from September to December. It’s worth going in August or January to avoid the crowds. The water temperature is lowest in January though, around 24C. Visibility is low in April and May due to the water currents, but there’s a chance of spotting whales during this period.

東南亞推介潛點
Diving in Southeast Asia

馬來西亞詩巴丹

位於東馬沙巴的東南部、舉世知名的潛點詩巴丹島,海底有多達過百種珊瑚及3,000種魚類,叫人著迷的包括隆頭鸚哥魚及玳瑁等,被國際潛水機構評為一級潛水地帶。自2009年詩巴丹島劃為國家公園後,島上的度假設施一律被移除,最方便的住宿就落在附近的小島如馬布島。

如今欲前往詩巴丹島潛水都要申請許可證,每日限批120張,可透過特許的酒店申請,另自2013年起,許可證只准予高級潛水牌或以上資格,若初級潛水員則必須擁有下潛20次以上的經驗。

Sipadan, Malaysia has over a hundred kinds of coral and 3,000 fish species including the humphead parrotfish and hawksbill turtle.The best place to stay is the nearby Mabul island. As it’s a protected site, only 120 Advanced Open Water Divers or entry level divers with a minimum of 20 log dives are permitted a day.

印尼美娜多

位於印尼北蘇拉威西省的美娜多,東北面有個著名的潛點藍碧海峽,海床主要由深啡色的火山泥組成,讓它成為獨一無二的泥地潛水地點,表面上水底像是充滿微生物、能見度低的渾沌海,但只要細心研究就會發現微距的世界,包括樣子醜陋的帶紋躄魚、只有數厘米大的豆丁海馬、懂得偽裝其他海底生物的擬態章魚等。

在藍碧海峽的海底沒有繽紛的珊瑚,反之可往美娜多西面的布納肯島,珊瑚品種多,更有機會遇上有驚無險的鯊魚群、海龜等大型生物。

The Lembeh Strait in Manado, Indonesia is known for its muck diving where smaller marine critters can be seen such as the hairy frogfish, pygmy seahorses of only a few centimeters long, and other creatures that are adept at hiding in the sea floor. To the west of Manado is Bunaken Island where divers will encounter lots of coral varieties, sharks, sea turtles and other large marine animals.
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