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Coral Garden & Lighthouse, Strasse von Tiran

Jackson is the most northerly of the reefs of Tiran. It is marked at its northern end by the remains of a wreck Lara, and to the south by a large military mooring buoy. All around it are steep buttressed walls and to the south a shallow plateau at around 10 m. This leads to a saddle that joins with Woodhouse Reef at a depth of 30 m. Most boats from Sharm el Sheikh moor close to this saddle where they are protected from both waves and current. There are a number of good dives here, all very different. be first of these starts at the moorings on the south end of the reef and can be done in all but the strongest current. Leave the moorings with the reef on your right shoulder and head out towards the plateau. Beneath you is a steep blue wall of buttresses and gullies to a depth of 50 m. The plateau has a huge diversity of different corals and sponges and is alive with all kinds of fish. Clouds of red toothed triggerfish ride the current. Coral trout hide in the jungle of corals and all kinds of boxfish can be seen. Out in the blue, tuna and jackfish cruise. On the top of the plateau is an area of sand and fire corals. This area is one of the best for finding stonefish and scorpion fish. Jackson also has a resident population of turtles. At the end of the plateau is a security line tied from 27 m to 16 m. Beyond here the current can pick up very suddenly carrying you away from the reef. Be warned. Return to your boat along the shallow reef, it is extremely beautiful. The second choice of dive can only be done in calm weather and on a rising tide. It is the classic Jackson drift. Jump in close to the moorings and put your left shoulder to the reef, heading northwards. There is a shallow ledge at around 15 m. The deeper wall beneath is the most likely place to find grey reef sharks cruising on the thermoclines. At the corner the current pulls away from the reef. Take care not to be swept into the blue. If you are good on air then you may continue along the northern end of the reef as far as the wreck. If you remain shallow, you may well encounter turtles. Over the months of August and September, if you are really lucky, you may see hammerheads. This area is probably the best in the Sinai for spotting these graceful creatures.

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