29-Nov-2007 -- We visited 25N 37E during the early part of our 170 km sea journey aboard M/V Dream Island, from the Saudi Red Sea port of Umm Lujj to the shallow reefs and islands of the northern Umm Lujj region, near al-Šaykh Mirbāṭ Island. This is our 3rd visit to 25N 37E.
We departed at dawn from the Umm Lujj Coast Guard station, and as the morning brightened, we gathered on the top deck under a clear blue sky and with calm sea conditions. We enjoyed viewing al-Ḥasāniyy Island and Libāna Islands, before veering west to navigate around the shallows of Ši`b al-Suflāniyy reef. Just north of Ši`b al-Suflāniyy, Captain Levi Hernandiz did his best to maintain a steady course bearing due East along 25N latitude. After about 40 minutes of travel at ~ 7 knots, we tagged 25N 37E, and congratulated the captain on his outstanding navigational skills. We took some quick video pictures of our surroundings, before turning North to continue our journey.
For the next 10 days we made numerous scuba dives along the deep reef margins, reef shallows, channels, and lagoonal areas, and also spent many hours transiting by foot across the islands and coastal areas. Our explorations of this largely pristine and lightly visited area were part of our study of carbonate reef, lagoon, sabkha, and near shore geologic processes. We hope that this beautiful area and many other scenic portions of the Red Sea coast can become protected areas to minimize developmental impact to the reefs and marine life.
On our return leg, we passed within 5 km of the Confluence, but opted to spend our available time paying a visit to nearby al-Ḥasāniyy Island, before returning to the the Umm Lujj Coast Guard Station.
A Garmin MapSource plot of our ship's tracks from our Garmin GPSmap 276C shows that we passed within a few meters of the Confluence, at 24.99985°N 37.00001°E. A still from video of the Garmin GPSmap 276C shows 24°59.991'N 37°00.001'E.