Yolanda and Shark Reef
Situated at the tip of the Egyptian Sinai Pennisula, in the Ras Mohammed National Park, is arguably one of the top ten dive sites in the world.
The site consists of two small reefs; Shark Reef and Yolanda Reef, which are joined by a saddle with vertical drops on the seaward side, of 750 metres. On the east side of Yolanda Reef between the shore is a tiny reef, known as Satellite Reef. It is between these two reefs that the cargo of the Yolanda can be found. The Yolanda, a Cypriot merchant ship hit the reef in April 1980. It lay in the shallow waters until violent storms in 1987 pushed the wreck into the Abyss to where it currently lays today at about 200 metres. The wreck of the Yolanda is famous for its sanitaryware; Many toilets, sinks and stacks of bath are clearly visible.
This is a really fantastic dive but the strong currents, which feeds the prolific soft corals making the site worthy of its top ten ranking, means the dive is not of the faint hearted.
Generally you start your dive at Shark reef and you let the current take you around to Yolanda reef. The views are spectacular! However, it was not until our fourth visit to this site that we made it to the wreck due to unfortunate head currents. We only saw the wreck on the fourth time because we were dropped in directly on top of it. We have since visited the wreck twice, starting at Shark Reef, and didn't encounter a head current at all, possibly due to the fact that we approached it from deeper.
The life in this area is amazing. Huge shoals of batfish, unicornfish, barracuda and snappers inhabit the seaward side. Out in the blue, if you are lucky, are blacktip, grey tip and hammerhead sharks. By the reefs and on the saddle you can spot morays, scorpionfish and, on our most recent visit, a huge feathertailed ray.
This site is briiliant even if you don't get to the wreck!