Israel has three “seas,” as we like to say -The Red, the Med (as in the Mediterranean), and the Dead. Recently, Israel broke through the “world rankings” and is now considered having one of the top 10 beaches in the world. Israel’s beaches are both beautiful and unique. While the Dead Sea is the sea you “float” in (33% salt and minerals), and the Med Sea is the sea you surf in, the Red Sea is the body of water you dive in.
Speaking of the Red Sea, it was in January, 1982 when Karl (a felllow student, from Westmont College) and I took an Egged bus (Israel’s public bus company) all the way to Jerusalem to Sharm el Sheikh located at the very tip of the Sinai Peninsula. This was a time when half of the Sinai was still Israel’s (they would give it to Egypt in June, 1982). Today Sharm is now a huge beach resort run by Egyptians (my April, 2017 Israel/Egypt tour will go here) and is one of the leading coral diving locations in the world.
But back Sharm was a just a desolate southern southern tip of a barren land called the Sinai. But after being dropped off literally “in the middle of nowhere,” Karl and I began our backpacking trip 100 miles, hugging the coastline as we hiked north. We would hike, snorkel, eat our pre-planned diet (primarily of PJ sandwiches, apples, and Oreo cookies), snorkel some more, and sleep. We even ran out of water for two days (one of the oasis we were counting on was dried up). In fact, while cleaning out my church office last week, I came across my Red Sea Diving Book, complete with the location of spectacular coral reefs. We used it as we explored some of the various shipwrecks along the way. About a week later, we returned to Elat, Israel’s Red Sea port city, for some relaxation and real food.
The Red Sea is a spectacular place. The water is clear and the coral and fish alike are amazingly colorful. Geographically, the Red Sea is located between Asia and Africa. At its most northerly point forms the Sinai Peninsula and stretches over 1,000 miles south to join the Indian Ocean, between Ethiopia and Yemen. Below its surface, there are over 1,000 species of invertebrates and around 200 recorded coral types to be found. Additionally, the Red Sea boasts over a 1,000 species of fish, more species than any other proportional body of water. Not surprisingly, therefore, the Red Sea is considered by many to offer the very best diving available in the marine world.
Some breath-taking video of the Red Sea has been posted recently. The underwater world of the Red Sea declares God’s majestic creation. The Psalmist speaks of God as “the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them. (Psalm 146:6).”
Enjoy this video of the underwater world of the Red Sea.