THE FOLLOWING MORNING we moved on to Sindbad Dive Centre, just a few miles down the coast. The facility supplied us with a set of double 12s with 18/45 trimix (bottom mix), deco bottles of 50/50 nitrox and 80%.
After checking our mixes and kit, we strolled down to the pier just 100m away, where we were warmly greeted by the dive-boat crew.
Our plan was to dive the Al Shorouk, a cargo ship sitting in 38-58m at the bottom of Eel Canyon. The cargo vessel was scuttled in 2008 by Aqaba Marine Park
at a planned depth of 60m. As the ship started to sink she drifted offshore into deeper waters, and would have dropped to 100m had it not been for the frantic attempts of the crew to pull her back into shallower seas suitable for technical dives.
We loaded up and made the short journey to the dive-site, just 10 minutes from the dock. We dropped down the shotline through the gloom until the leaders reached the landing-craft door on the bow at 38m.
The wreck sits on its starboard side on a sloping reef that shelves down to 60m-plus. Our four-man dive-team split up, and I made my way along the edge of the cargo-hold with my buddy Khaled.
There was little to see other than a flat hull and an empty hold below us that was once filled with cars and trucks.
In the distance the bridge slowly appeared. I headed down the starboard side to 47m and Khaled moved over to the port side of the wreckage. He got into position and I ran a few shots of him exploring the stripped bridge.
We made our way under the bridge and swam along the guard-rails, where a line of luminescent pink soft corals covered the railings. The superstructure is in good condition, with small traces of paint still dotted over its bare hull.
Khaled signalled, so I followed him down a short stairwell to the barren aft deck. I could see some of the other divers’ torches flickering around the stern, so we made our way over and headed down to the prop at 58m.
We had clocked up 18 minutes, so it was time to head back to the shotline. Khaled took the high route along the top of the hull, and I decided to track over the bridge.
As I swam along the hull, the other half of the dive-team was shadowing me along the seabed. After a few minutes we got back to the bow and rejoined the others before making our way up the line to carry out our short deco.
This wreck is in a great location that allows you to visit other wrecks in the vicinity. It is possible to make a 20-minute swim from here up the reef to the Tank, which sits in just 8m on a sandy plateau.
It’s known as the Tank but is actually an M42 Duster, a self-propelled anti-aircraft cannon. The army vehicle was scuttled as an artificial reef in 1999
by the Jordanian Royal Ecological Diving Society and makes for a great little dive ideal for beginners, snorkellers and any photographer who enjoys something more unusual to shoot.