The Canyon is Dahab’s second most popular dive site, after the Blue Hole. It is a relatively accessible dive site, typically conducted from the shore and suitable to divers of various levels. The itinerary starts on a colourful shallow garden populated with many unique and elusive creatures, such as seahorses and ghost pipefish. The dive site’s main attraction is the Canyon itself and the Fish Tank, a gorgeous geological formation accessible even to the divers without specific cave-diving training. Dahab’s Canyon offers stunning plays of light and shapes, a distinctive fauna, and a varied diving environment suitable to most divers.
The canyon in Dahab is second in popularity only to the Blue Hole. Just like many other dive sites in Dahab, this stunning canyon is easily accessible from the beach, where divers gear up before entering the water to start the descent. Just a few metres out from the shore, the beach gives way to a vast sandy bank that gradually slopes down to a depth of 45-50 metres.
The itinerary starts at a depth of 10-15 metres on the sandy bank, used by the divers as a reference point to navigate towards the Canyon. The group of divers proceed to the deeper waters on the right, admiring the stunning coral pillars scattered at the sandy bottom. The white sand reflects the sunlight and brightens the environment, and it is not uncommon to encounter unique and elusive species, such as nudibranchs, ghost pipefish, and seahorses, alongside familiar moray eels and stingrays.
After roughly 15 minutes depending on the pace (try not to spend too much time in the shallow garden to avoid compromising your NDLs in the second part of the dive), the divers will be able to spot some bubble streams rising from a crack in the seabed - running on a diagonal from a depth of roughly 15 to 25 metres. The streams of bubbles are coming from pockets of air left by the exhalations of divers that already swam through the Canyon: slowly, the air will find its way through the porous rocks and continue toward the surface.
At this point, the divers get ready to enter the canyon. The most common way to do this is to spot a large coral boulder located at a depth of approximately 15 metres, where the shallow entrance to the “belly” of the reef is located, and swim through the canyon going toward its deeper section.
The canyon is rather narrow at first, wide enough just for a single line of divers, but well lit: an underwater light could be useful but it is not indispensable. The tricks that the light and shadows play, as well as the shape of the rocks, are gorgeous - worth a few moments of contemplation. The divers proceed slowly inside the canyon, paying attention to the equalization of the ears and the buoyancy, making sure not to hit rocks or stir-up silt.
At a depth of 25–30 metres, the divers reach an area called the “Fish Tank”. Here, the canyon widens to form a cathedral-shaped structure able to accommodate an entire group of divers at once. The Fish Tank is stunning; however, due to the depth, it is not possible to spend too much time here. There is, to be precise, a tunnel that from the Fish Tank leads right to the outer wall at 55 metres, but this is a topic for tech divers only.
For the recreational divers, it’s time to ascend along the walls of the Fish Tank and make their way back to the entry area of the dive site for the mandatory safety stop.
It’s also possible to swim through the canyon from the Fish Tank upwards. This is probably the wisest choice for several reasons, above all the fact that all decompression and scuba-diving protocols suggest it is safer to descend to the maximum depth relatively quickly at the beginning of the dive and ascend for the rest of the time underwater. However, it might be harder to manage a reverse block in the narrow part of the Canyon rather than in the Fish Tank, so airspace equalization is a primary factor to consider if you are planning to swim through the canyon from the Fish Tank up.
This text is for information purposes only. It has been written by members of the website and can be inaccurate. Always contact local professional divers before diving.