View Full Version : How Cold Is The Red Sea In Winter? Serious question, not a joke!

30th Nov 2006, 20:06
Not really sure if this fits in here but didn't know where else to post it. Am just fishing for any info anyone has.....

I know I can look this up on the internet and I have managed to get some figures but what I could really do with is someone who has actually been there.

I am choosing a holiday with my family for February. I want to actually dive, so will have a wetsuit, but my wife and daughter will just be snorkelling in fairly shallow waters. All the internet stuff talks about scuba diving, for 40 minutes at a time etc. I just can't find anything that says something like "water is great for snorkelling for short periods of time" or "sea is too cold to swim without a wetsuit"

Anyone with any opinion or advice - even just "great Aunt Susan snorkelled in January 1982 and loved it", I'd really appreciate it.

30th Nov 2006, 21:06
Aunt Susan gave great snorkel in 1982...and she loved it.

30th Nov 2006, 21:14
Thanks Jerricho, Knew I could rely on you! :ugh:

Any sensible answers please.........

30th Nov 2006, 21:34
I understand the average winter water temp in the southern Red Sea is 23C (73F). Your wet suit might be comfy if its at least 5-7 mm, but it could be a tad chilly without one.

You might also experience some rough seas.

Check out the weather charts on the excellent Go Red Sea (http://www.goredsea.com/en_travelguide-weather-1-1-redseatravelguide.aspx)website.

In any regard, happy diving! :ok:

Buster Hyman
1st Dec 2006, 00:01
You can do what I do. Jump in & if the waters cold, make yer own little warm patch!:ok:

1st Dec 2006, 02:47
(Buster - I think the idea is to do that inside the wet suit ;))

1st Dec 2006, 07:10
Thanks Howling for a sensible reply, but I also knew it would be a risk posting a question in JB! :rolleyes:

It's not me I am really worried about, it's my wife and daughter who just want to snorkel so they won't have wetsuits. We were thinking of going in Jan/Feb next year so maybe it will be a little too cold for them. :cool:

Anyone else?

Buster Hyman
1st Dec 2006, 07:56
Even better ESG...even better!:ok:

(But...I was being serious!):*

Tricky Woo
1st Dec 2006, 09:24
I had a winter holiday in Eilat (Israel) years ago at the northern tip of the Red Sea. I used to go out snorkling without a wetsuit, and the sea was ok enough. Don't expect summer mediterranean levels of warmth, but it's a hell of a lot warmer than say the seas around Britain on a blazing hot summer's day.

Don't go touching the lion fish.


1st Dec 2006, 09:44
If your diving through a school they will have wetsuits for hire.

I would wear one purely for protection getting in and out and incase anything decides to have a taste to see if your edible. And make sure they both have decent footware otherwise the rock will slash thier feet on the way out. There is also alot of fire coral quite near the surface which you don't even need to touch to get burn't by.

Just watch it though with snorkeling off the boats. Some of the drivers arn't very good. Our boat had to go in and rescue 6 snorkelers off shark point, they were getting battered off the inside and they were caught in the current so were struggling to escape out, thier boat had followed the divers around the corner.

Also as well on the busy reefs its mayhem on the surface with boats going all directions and they all look the same.

This was all at Sharm so it maybe abit less manic at the other resorts. If you are in sharm get an Italian phrase book.

Required phrases

"shut up you noisy bastards"
"leave my daughter alone she is only 12"

1st Dec 2006, 11:18
According to my ''dive the red sea'' book the expected air temp in the Sharm area in December if around 21C. The sea, they say, is around 19C. I'd recommend a wet suit if you want to spend any time in the water. I'll let you know - I'm going on the 17th Dec.

1st Dec 2006, 12:49
5-7mm sortie or 3-5mm full sui for that time of year at average PADI open water depths. I usually dive in shorts and rash vest but it is a bit chilly in the Red Sea at that time of year.

tony draper
1st Dec 2006, 12:55
19c? jeez! we hardy northern types don't even have our bath water that hot,one has actualy splashed around in the red sea,at a place called Massawa in Ethiopia,or it was in Ethiopia then, prolly changed hands six times since,must have been the winter because the chaps unloading our ship wore army great coats and balaclavas which supprised us a tad,we concidered it quite warm one recals it as a very pleasent days plodging.
One recals hacking off some lumps of coral from the bottom with the intent of bringing same home,but it commenced to honk summat awful and one was obliged to fling it over the side alas.

1st Dec 2006, 13:02
Go to the Maldives instead, water temperature 30C great snorkeling and diving spots and nobody pestering for Baksish!

1st Dec 2006, 13:39
Thanks for all the replies so far. :)

Looks like we might have to have a rethink, or else all invest in a wetsuit.

We had thought about the Maldives but it's a bit above the budget of a lowly Flight Instructor. :uhoh:

1st Dec 2006, 13:49
True, the Maldives are more expensive than Egypt and February is of course high season. Kuoni might have some special offers for March-April when it is normally significantly cheaper.

2nd Dec 2006, 14:43
Hi I stayed in Taba Heights from 24th Feb - 3rd march this year. The weather was really great very warm with a breeze. Sea was cool but OK.
Just booked again for Sharm 18th DEC so hope its alright.

3rd Dec 2006, 08:40
Can thoroughly recommend a shortie for typical PADI open water dive regime in environs of Gulf of Aqaba, December - March. Clearly if you are diving the Blue Hole something a little more suitable. Expect surface temperatures for snorkelling about 18 20*C and thermal lapse rate according to your own depth requirements nitrox is generally available but you will have to bring your own rebreather if you are interested in more technical deep dives.

Watch out for expeditions to far-flung shore dives. The Jeeps and their drivers can be lethal. Apparently passing the Egyptian driving test just requires the interchange of money.

Personally would avoid Sharm the new Middle Eastern Blackpool and recommend areas like Assala, Massbad, Maschraba and Madena.

Agree with Mr Woo Lionfish are feisty critters and do not respond well to prodding.