Diving the Blue Hole in Dahab, Sinai
From your first open-water dive, the exploration of the underwater world can become addictive. Some divers are happy simply surfing drift currents and enjoying the otherworldly peace, while others of us want that and more.
The Mt. Everest of Diving
The Blue Hole in Dahab, Egypt offers the advanced diver an opportunity to experience both the wonder and beauty of the dive site, while at the same time challenging themselves in a way that forces divers to exercise all of their underwater skills. Diving the Blue Hole has been described by many as the “Mt. Everest” of scuba diving. However, unlike Mt. Everest, divers don’t have Sherpas to carry their gear and lead them safely to the summit. When diving the Blue Hole, you must take full responsibility for your own experience and safety.
The Blue Hole is located in the southwestern region of the Sinai, about 8 kilometers north of Dahab. The rugged solitary beauty of the location captures your attention even before you reach the exquisite blue water. The arid brown desert is hot under a relentless Middle Eastern sun, making the azure blue waters of the Red Sea all the more enticing.
Egypt’s Most Famous Dive Site
The Blue Hole is Egypt’s most famous (or infamous as the case may be) dive site. It has been given the dubious title of the Diver’s Cemetery due to the number of divers who have lost their lives exploring the mysterious depths. A prepared diver with strong technical skills can safely experience the excitement of a deep dive, followed by a tunnel swim-through that finishes in the open water of the Red Sea. It is an experience so awe-inspiring that I am sure it captures a small touch of the wonder the ancient Israelites felt when they traversed the Red Sea by foot after being liberated from slavery in Egypt.
A Dangerous Dive for Unskilled Divers
Diving the Blue Hole is really all about diving The Arch. It is a matter of sportsman’s pride to successfully “pass the arch”, no small feat and one at which many have failed and/or lost their lives trying. Divers enter the Blue Hole, which is about 80 meters wide and estimated to be some 130 meters deep, from the shore. The goal is to reach the tunnel, the so-called arch, which lurks at a depth of 65 meters. Once at the tunnel, you can swim through from the Blue Hole until you exit into the open water of the Red Sea.
In order to successfully complete this dive, divers need to be in full control of their buoyancy as well as their speed of descent and keep a vigilant watch on their air consumption. This is a beautiful dive that simply requires careful planning and flawless execution. It is well worth the effort.
Some Things in Life Never Get Old
The magic of this dive is found both in the mastery of your dive skills and the beauty of the blue waters of the Red Sea. I have had the pleasure of diving the Blue Hole in Egypt and passing the arch on several occasions. It is a dive well worth repeating as often as time permits.