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What I love about wreck diving

Rob King Scuba Diving smiling near a wreck underwater.

The sun is beating down on you, you’re relaxing on a bean bag on the top deck of your Egyptian Red Sea Liveaboard. The bell rings, 20 people with one thing in common dash to get the best seats in a darkened, cramped, airconditioned saloon to listen to the dive brief. Entry points, exit routes and safe passage, the history and what to look for all pops up on screen in a neat presentation. Smiles from ear to ear fill the room. Dive parameters, max depth 30 metres, 60 minutes, 50 bar, go go go.

A few minutes later the dive deck is a hive of activity, divers preparing kit, buddy checks, boat hands assisting divers with donning wetsuits and grabbing fins. All divers laughing and joking with an excited urgency to get in the water.

Gentle swell meets the rib as it bounces toward your entry point, the sun is in your eyes, salt spray on your face, bliss. Fins are on, masks are in place. 3-2-1 go, as 6 eager divers lean back and hit the surface in perfect synchronisation, finning down to avoid the rib and swell.

As bubbles disperse and buddies unite, there it is… a magnificent shadow of a man-made structure resting peacefully on the seabed, ready for exploration by those privileged enough to see this amazing part of our planet.

Wreck in Egypt

Scuba diver near a wreck underwater in Egypt

From first sight of the wreck, heart rates increase, fin kicks quicken as eager divers race to be first on deck. The ruggedness of this structure decaying on the seabed is joined by nature, with beautiful hard and soft coral everywhere and marine life making a new home.

As parts of the wreck come into focus, points from the dive brief become visible. Huge feats of engineering normally hidden from sea travellers are put on display as if just for you to explore and enjoy up close and personal.

With only bubbles disturbing the surreal atmosphere as you float over a vessel that was once inhabited by sailors and travellers, the dive brief story runs through your mind: size, age, sailors lost, or stories of heroic adventure and survival.

Your eyes widen as the penetration point comes into view. This is it, exploring the inner depths of the vessel and remembering the dive brief points, entry, exits, space and sounds. Your heart skips a beat as you stow your camera and reach for your torch.

You’re in. Plunged into darkness as you pass through the twisted outer shell of this magnificent structure, your buddy's torch illuminating objects beneath you. Where people once stood, you now float weightlessly over their long-gone footprints.

Scuba diver inside a wreck, light beaming through  hole

The sun breaks through port holes and cracks in the deck and light streams over objects bringing a story to life. Boilers and engines sit resting, cargo as it once was but now teeming with life, workshops with machines and tooling, living quarters with bunks and baths, all as it was when the mighty ship went down, all now in the hands of the ocean.

photos of inside wrecks in Egypt scuba diving

The end is in sight, you can see the bright light of the sun calling you to the exit, this journey through time is about to end. Did you get that picture you wanted? Will this one rank in your top ten? There will be much to discuss once back on deck.

As you leave you stop to reflect, rest for a few seconds, take a photo or two, enjoying this magical experience that only the few can see.

Black and white Rob King scuba diving through a wreck in Egypt

You let go, as you start to drift off to your safety stop you turn around for one last glimpse. This incredible structure looking back at you, the only thing taken was photos, the only thing left behind was bubbles. The odd diver finishing off their dive, all objects reducing in size and focus as you say your final goodbyes.

What did those 20 people have in common? A love of diving and an even greater love of exploring amazing wrecks.

black and white wreck photos

Whether it’s the adrenaline-fuelled deep and murky cold waters of the UK to see the M2, a WW1 aircraft carrier sunk off the coast of Weymouth, or the crystal clear, warm waters of the Red Sea to see the sheer scale of the mighty SS Thistlegorm that was bombed by the Germans in the second world war and the beautiful Giannis D cargo ship that veered off course and hit the reef spilling its cargo of sawn timber, each wreck is unique in shape, size, and beauty, all with its own story to tell and for the diver to enjoy.

What do I love about wreck diving? What’s not to love.

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