Saturday, 7 July 2012

Abu el-Kizan / Dedalous

Recent photo of the Lighthouse - Photo by/ Ahmed F.Gad - Copyright © 2010
 Abu Kazan or Daedalus Reef is an isolated coral patch in the middle of the Red Sea. Situated 52 miles from Masa Alam; desolate. this tiny island has got a manned lighthouse - This light station is one of a series established by the French to safeguard navigation in the Red Sea after the opening of the Suez Canal. The lighthouse is still in use because the island is in the middle of the shipping route. Rising up from undivable depths, the reef is roughly circular, with a small plateau at its southern end.

The reef is richly developed with good coral growth from the surface to the depths. Hard and soft coral species are both well represented. Fish life is as dense as you would expect on an isolated reef pinnacle, with the usual reef species complemented by large concentrations of schooling species, such as snapper, longnose unicornfish and a variety of surgeonfish. There is a good chance to meet the pelagics of the open sea such as schooling of hammerheads, manta and all kind of other sharks.

The Lighthouse:
1931 (station established 1863). Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); three white flashes, in a 1+2 pattern, every 12 seconds. 30 meters round stone tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a 2-story crew quarters complex. Tower painted with black and white horizontal bands.

An old post card of the Lighthouse
The present lighthouse, refurbished in 1993, is staffed by the Egyptian Navy. Daedalus Reef, a popular stop for scuba divers, is included in Egypt's Red Sea Marine Park. Located on a reef barely breaking the surface of the sea, about 100 km (60 mi) east of Marsa Alam. Accessible only by boat. Site open; visitors are sometimes allowed to climb the tower.

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