Red Sea 2000 Photos
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Sunset from the hotel

A view to the distant Sinai mountains


Sunset from the hotel

Another view at sunset


Me getting kitted up

Me Kitting Up


A typical day on the boat

Me fast asleep after an Egyptian lunch


The wreck on Gordon reef

The freighter on Gordon Reef


The wreck on Gordon reef

Closer In to the freighter


Ras Mohammed

Dive boats in Ras Mohammed


An underwater landcape

Underwater in the Red Sea !


Red Sea 2000 Photos

Well I've finally got round to doing this (it's only taken 6 months !!).

We spent August and September trying to decide where to go on holiday and eventually decided on Sharm-el-Sheik in Egypt. At the Dive Show at the NEC we found a deal with Explorers for a really good price (350) that included; flights, B&B at the Ocean Lodge, transfers and a 5 day dive pack with the Ocean College Dive centre.

So after borrowing some kit and buying a few bits and bobs we set off for Egypt and even managed to turn up at the airport on time (pretty good for us). Upon arriving at the airport in Sharm we immediately found the organised chaos that is the immigration procedure......lots of queues and shouting but after having visas stamped they let us in ! 

We were staying at the Ocean Lodge which is about 10 minutes from Na'ama  Bay and quite close to old Sharm town. The hotel was really good (it had a bar) but did have the coldest swimming pool I have ever been in. So the first night was spent having a few beers and watching the sunset over the Sinai mountains. The dive school was on-site and so next morning after some breakfast we made our way down there and sorted out registration details and what boat we were going to be on etc.

DAY 1 - The first mornings diving was spent around the Sharm-el-Sheik area at TEMPLE this was used as a check dive and it consists of a giant coral pinnacle that rises to about half a metre from the surface, not surprisingly it was a bit beaten up and there wasn't a great deal of marine life but did see some puffers and 2 really big angelfish.  In the afternoon we went to RAS UM SID which was a lot better than the mornings dive, this was a wall dive and we saw lionfish, more puffers, batfish, tuna, a school of bannerfish, and for the first time for me loads of live hard and soft coral. That night into Na'ama Bay on the minibus from the hotel and had a good look around, mad place

DAY 2 - RAS BOB in the morning and RAS NASRAMI in the afternoon. RAS BOB was a nice dive with some swimthroughs. Saw lionfish, Urchins, a big school of fusiliers and more live coral. Spent a lot of time at 5m at the end as everyone else had run out of air. RAS NASRAMI is apparently where they filmed the Cheltenham and Gloucester advert with the pearl diver. Saw a big school of Tuna off in the blue and a large barracuda at a cleaning station. That evening decided to do a night dive (first one!!) at FAR GARDEN, I was well impressed it is amazing how much you can see even at 12m. In particular there were loads of lionfish out hunting. That evening into Na'ama Bay again and to a traditional Egyptian restaurant....mmmmm well nice.

DAY 3 - Out in the straits of Tiran all day looking for Hammerheads. We had a pod of dolphins on the way out there and the first dive of the day was JACKSON REEF, this was a completely different environment, the currents were a lot stronger and there was less smaller marine life, saw the biggest grey puffer I have ever seen and loads of soft coral on spectacular walls. In the afternoon we dived GORDON REEF there was a really strong current here and a lot of surface chop but between 8 and 15m it was quite calm, not a bad dive as I saw a stonefish but that was about it.

DAY 4 - Today was RAS MOHAMMED day, this is a protected marine reserve on the very tip of the Sinai peninsula. The mornings dive was JACKFISH ALLEY this was the best dive so far with some really good swimthroughs that when you looked up there were schools of fish silhouetted in the sunlight. Also saw a Titan trigger, they were quite common in the Maldives but not so here. After lunch we did some snorkelling when everyone else had a rest, the photos are below. 

    The reef  The reef  A small pufferfish     

      Some fire coral and fusilers  Another underwater landscape  A wrasse       

Various Photos taken when snorkelling in Ras Mohammed

In the afternoon was SHARK REEF and YOLANDA REEF, this was definitely the best dive for marine life on the holiday. Dropped in on SHARK REEF and immediately saw a school of 30 barracuda, as we finned along there were large groupers under table corals, gorgonian fans and lots of soft coral. The saddle in between the two reefs was spectacular with really visible thermo clines and quite a strong current but this made for some really excellent diving. As we progressed we came across the wreck of the YOLANDA which has mainly disintegrated but left its cargo of toilets on the reef, very surreal. The best bit though was a 2m whitetip reef shark on our safety stop.......superb.

DAY 5 - Up at 4am to go to the wreck of the THISTLEGORM , a  merchant navy vessel that was bombed and sunk in WWII. 2 dives were planned here, the first to have a look at the outside and the second to explore the inside. The first was excellent, not much marine life apart from a school of barracuda but the wreck was amazingly intact and well preserved. Dropped in on the stern and then along the wreck to the bow, past the bomb damage. When we reached the bow you could look along the length of the wreck......mad. In the afternoon it was off to explore inside the wreck. Entered just in front of the bomb damage after dropping in on the stern again, into the holds and we saw trucks, motorbikes, guns, loads of wellies and tyres. Up through the holds and onto the bridge including the captains toilet, saw the railway carriage and then bank up the line onto the boat.....excellent.

Spent the last day of the holiday de-saturating and then unfortunately it was time to come home. An excellent holiday and a different experience to the Maldives with more people, more live coral, more nightlife but less pelagic fish....definitely worth going though and would recommend it to any diver. I would like to go back at some point as I am so sure there was loads I didn't see both under water and above it and there is certainly enough variety to keep gong back for more.

 

 

This page was last updated on 25 April 2005