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Scuba Diving in the Red Sea
Dive Site: Sha'ab Umm Godor
Description: Reef / night dive
Depth: 1 - 12 metres (3 - 40 feet)
Visibility: 25 metres (82 feet)
Umm Godor is a site normally dived from safari boats and makes a good night mooring spot. It is an alternative to spending the night at the much more crowed Bluff Point and puts you in a good position to attempt an early crossing of the Gubal Straights when heading north to the Thistlegorm at Sha'ab Ali. There are rarely more than two or three boats here and the coral quality, relatively shallow depths and usual absence of current make for a relaxing night dive, if you've spent the day diving the wrecks of Abu Nuh‚s.
Like the nearby Sha'ab Umm Usk (located to the East), Sha'ab Umm Godor is a horseshoe shaped reef with the open ends of the horseshoe pointing south. Much smaller than Sha'ab Umm Usk, Sha'ab Umm Godor reef begins just below the surface, with a sand lagoon at around 3m inside the horseshoe. Normal mooring points are on the south ends of each of the horseshoe tips, where the reef wall boulder corals cascade down to around 8m. Here a combination of sand and coral outcrops continue down to a maximum of around 12m as you move a little further from the reef itself.
There is little to see inside the horseshoe in the sand lagoon, so depending on which side you have moored the best dive plan is to head either left or right around the ends of the horseshoe and then in a northerly direction up the outside of the reef. If there is a current running it is likely to be slight and coming from the north to south, so you'll find yourself heading into the current for the first part of your dive and able to drift back with it at the end of your dive.
As with most night dives in the Red Sea, my advice is to stay shallow (say 10m on the way out and 5m on your return) and think small. There's little point trying to cover large distances at this site. There are lots of feather stars, lobsters, hermit crabs, shrimps and a very good chance of seeing Spanish dancers. Higher up the reef, the small overhangs make an overnight sleeping spot for turtles and I've often seen large pufferfish in the reef.
Rik Vercoe, BSAC Advanced Instructor
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