Daedalus Reef rises towards the surface from a depth of about 450 m, 100 km southeast of Marsa Alam in the middle of the Red Sea. There are no other reefs far and wide leaving it exposed to the wind, waves and currents. However, because of its considerable length of 1070 m and width of 300 m, it provides enough shelter to moor at to the south near the lighthouse piers, even overnight. It is however too dangerous for night dives. Just as at the Brother Islands, chances are good to find sharks here, which is why it is always well frequented. It occasionally even gets crowded underwater when several boats come for the same dives at the same time, despite the reef’s considerable size. Daedalus Reef is surrounded by densely overgrown reef walls A that drop to a depth of 20 m and then slope outwards to 40 m before plunging to the depths. Their upper part is full of crevices and niches and is covered with hard and soft corals, whereas their lower part becomes increasingly sandy. Jacks, barracudas and sharks can often be found all along these walls. The current usually splits to the west of the northern tip A and often attracts hammerheads to the reef at a depth of 40 m. Steel beams—the remains of the cargo of the Zealot, which lies below at 90 m-can be found here on the reef wall A. Directly under the moorings to the south 2, a large plateau A stretches out at a depth of 30 to 40 m. Soft corals grow on its sandy bed, and among them lie the remains of a pier that used to lead to the lighthouse, and unfortunately a lot of rubbish too. Curious oceanic whitetip sharks often circle here beneath the boats in search of food. Further away, the western wall features another highlight: a large colony of anemones A populated with anemonefish grows here at a depth of 5 to 10 m. Although the southern side of Daedalus Reef occasionally provides easy diving conditions, divers should be moderately experienced before venturing here.
Duration: about 45 min. Difficulty: *** Go by RIB to the northern tip . Descend to a depth of 40 m and look for sharks. Because of the strong current, it is difficult to dive towards the western side. Dive along the reef on the eastern side keeping the reef on your right shoulder. The reef is so large that you cannot dive back to the boat, so return by RIB.
Route B: western side (afternoon)
Duration: about 50 min. Difficulty: ** It is difficult to find the exact point of entry here. If you enter the water too far to the north, you will have to dive along the eastern side because of the current A. Keep a lookout for a clearly visible, long indentation in the reef and dive at its northern end to a maximum depth of 10 meters, so that you do not miss the anemones A. Dive with the current along the reef A to the south keeping the reef on your left shoulder. With a favourable current, you may even make it back to the mooring to the south.
Route C: eastern side (morning)
Duration: about 50 min. Difficulty: ** Enter the water from the RIB here and dive along the reef keeping it on your right shoulder. Sharks may be found here in the blue.
Route D: southern plateau
Duration: about 45 min. Difficulty: ** Enter the water directly from the liveaboard. The plateau A starts at 30 m and drops off at 40 m. Explore at will, but be sure to check your bottom time. Then ascend along the south wall and make a safety stop before surfacing.
Tips / Hazards
Occasional hammerhead sightings at the northern tip A Giant colony of anemones on the western wall A • Steep walls watch your depth • Check the current before diving, especially when