We were going to do two dives and they asked us if we had a predilection for doing
something special or going to a specific point. It was clear to me, I wanted to go see Cedar
Pride. One of the most famous dive spots in Aqaba is this sunken ship, which is also
accessible to divers of all levels, whether you have an Open Water certification (the basic
one), as if you are doing a Discover Scuba Diving or what is the same, you do not have any
certification. Normally the wrecks are usually deeper, being only accessible to divers in
possession of a higher certification such as Advanced Open Water. In this case, the maximum
depth, where the helmet rests, is 25 meters (to reach that level, you need to have an Advance
Open Water) and the top of the mast is only 7 meters from the surface.
One of the peculiarities of diving in Aqaba is that it is normally accessed on foot from the
beach, it is not necessary to take a boat to go to the dive sites. And that’s what we did, the
instructors, a couple of other girls, and us, we got into the van from the dive center and went
to the dive site. On the beach, we began to prepare all the equipment and receive the
instructions, although in our case it was more like reviewing them.
With everything ready and the lesson reviewed, our instructors (Juan Carlos and Fox) and the
two of us, got in the water. Before diving completely we were reviewing some movements,
everything was great, so we partially deflated the vests and began to descend. The beginning
of this dive runs through some scattered corals. They are nice, but nothing compared to
other dive sites. The good is yet to come.
After a little time diving, you suddenly see a kind of "mountain" in front of you. No way! It’s
the helmet of the Cedar Pride! The arrival to the sunken ship is something really impressive,
that is enormous. This Gijón-built freighter measures neither more nor less than 74 meters in
length. It was sunk by the King of Jordan Abdullah II in 1985 to form an artificial coral reef
off the coast of Aqaba and thus become one of the main diving attractions in this country.
We continue up the side of the ship’s hull until we reach the edge. That’s when we looked
down and saw that. What beauty, what amount of fish and coral … What amount of life! It is
incredible how the ship has been colonized little by little creating an entire ecosystem. We
had never seen anything like it and we did not think, far from it, that it could be seen without
having a diving certification. Luckily, Cedar Pride can be visited by newcomers.
After enjoying the deck of the boat, and seeing the instructors that we had good buoyancy
management, they told us to follow them. We pass under a large metal plate until we reach
an air chamber inside the ship. Yes, when the ship was sunk, an air chamber was created that
is still preserved today. Amazing! In fact, we take off our mouthpieces and breathe air under
the sea. What an experience.
We submerged again and, this time, we went through a room inside the ship, to exit through
another area of the deck. It was being an unforgettable experience. The Cedar Pride had
exceeded all expectations, and they were very high. After leaving the boat behind we returned
to the coast in a quiet walk among corals and colorful fish.