Abu Galawa Soghayr lies in the western part of the Fury Shoals. 12 km from Wadi Lahmi on the mainland. The site is not part of the large main reef, but rather a nameless approximately 100 m wide remote reef to the west. The site is popular, so there are usually one or two boats mooring here. Because of its shallow depth, excellent visibility and weak current, it offers perfect conditions even for beginners. Only in the channel between the main and secondary reefs does the current sometimes become stronger, which must be taken into account when planning the dive.
Abu Galawa Soghayr features several highlights: to the southwest lies the wreck of a 16 m long sailing yacht A. Its name, origin and date of sinking are unknown. However, it is believed that the yacht might be of American origin and might have sunk in 1982–a theory supported by the coral growth. The wreck is often mistaken for the Australian sailing yacht Endymion, which sank in 1998. However, this cannot be correct because there are underwater photos of the wreck from before 1990. Another of the site’s highlights is the fairytale canyon covered in corals A that runs through the middle of the reef at a depth of 7 to 10 m. At its northern end lies a coral garden full of boulder corals and surrounded by reef walls, which grows from the seabed at a depth of 17 m up to just below the surface.
Because of the reef’s orientation, it is superbly lit all day long, except for the canyon, which is at its most beautiful at noon. However, as interesting as the dive site is during the day, it is not suitable for night dives because only the large main reef provides sufficient shelter to moor at overnight.
Route A: Wreck-coral canyon
Duration: about 60 min. Difficulty: * The moorings I lie above the wreck of the yacht letting you dive directly from the boat’s diving platform. The wreck A rests at the foot of the reef wall at a depth of 16 m, and you can enter its hull, which is teeming with sweepers, through a large opening in the deck. After exploring it continues further to the east, keeping the reef on your left shoulder. Note that a strong current may flow through the channel, but you will only briefly be exposed to it on your way around the reef.
After about 50 m you will reach a recess in the reef with a large coral rock A in its centre. Here at a depth of 7 m lies the entrance to the coral canyon A, which is not visible from the seabed. In case you miss it, you will come upon a massive staghorn coral A just a few meters ahead, which you cannot miss. At the latest, ascend from here along the reef wall to the entrance of the canyon A and dive through it A to the north. There is only one path, so you cannot get lost. Once you exit the canyon, you will reach the coral garden A, which you can leave by diving over the boulder corals to the west at a depth of about 5 m, since it has no other exit close to the seabed. Then, with the reef on your left shoulder, dive back to the boat.
Tips / Hazards
Beautiful and easy dive site The entrance to the coral canyon A is hard to find if you do not ascend to 7 m in the right place Only a few divers should penetrate the wreck at once it is best to enter in small groups