Monumental dive week in the Red Sea

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Monumental dive week in the Red Sea

Postby Ken » Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:29 pm

Another good trip from Blue O2 on board Blue Horizon.

We all managed to meet at Gatwick airport in plenty of time and board the plane with no problems, even Popstar. On board and the usual exciting plane food and enough leg room if you are 5 foot nothing. Sue and Donna were fine, leg room to spare !

On arrival we were soon whisked away by very efficient Blue O2 staff, but Gary then decided he had left something on the plane, that was the start of Gary leaving things in strange places. During the week he managed to suggest someone had stolen his speedos, god knows why they would want to do that, someone had moved his undersuit, his wetsuit , his boots and most of his other dive kit, but it was all found later exactly where he had left it we suspect. The last night was a bit worrying when we thought he had managed to even lose himself. Anyway eventually on board and it is now like coming home. Settled straight in with a welcome from Elke the shark project organiser and our guide for the week.

Now it did feel like someone had turned the heating off in Egypt as there was a strong wind and this curtailed our diving with sharks as we were restricted to the inland sites until wednesday. But we managed a good few reefs with plenty of good pictures of the wildlife being shown around. A close encounter with a turtle feeding on the soft corals, it bit off a piece and then dropped it in front of me, I managed to catch it and proceeded to hand feed it, superb. Sue being her usual self, debated every point of her dive equipment before getting in and every point of the dive after getting out. We managed a dive on the Salem Express which has a tragic history and is a respected sea grave to the locals, so Sue felt it was hardly right to run around saying whoopey that was my 200th dive. Another milestone was passed by Lucy with her 100th dive during the week. But the biggest, mounumental milestone of the week was when Sue managed to be silent for 20 minutes over breakfast, yes I know, unbelievable.

Anyway tuesday the wind drops and overnight we had a very bumpy ride out to The Brothers for some sharks. So first dive and we drop down on Little Brother and almost straight away we were treated to a grey reef shark and by the end of the dive everyone had had sightings. 2 more dives and sightings of grey reef and thresher sharks. Then an encounter with a large humphead wrasse which enjoyed a little stroke down his side as he passed by so much that he just closely circled me for a minute until we were swamped with other divers.

Part of the trip involves daily talks from Elke on sharks and their lives, again brilliant and very informative, but a struggle at the end of a days diving to stay awake as one or two found out. Food all week was again plentiful and good, but it was a bit worrying that Mitch, with his strange OCD behaviour, having been too many times to count, would recite what each meal was before it appeared.

Back into Hurghada and a final night out, this time we headed in to The Marina, well the taxis are an experience, bad driving at it's worst. But into a couple of bars for a few beers. Some of older ones headed for home around 10 and a couple of nightcaps sat on Blue Horizon. But most stayed on for a few more hours of dancing and drinking to the early hours. Looking at them in the morning I was glad I turned in early. Friday found us lying around the pool at The Marriot relaxing for the day. Lunch and a massage and then back for the flight home to Gatwick.
Photos to follow.

A great week with good company, roll on next year and hope for a bit better weather.
I'm sure there is plenty I have forgotten, so please feel free to add your memories.
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Ken
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Re: Monumental dive week in the Red Sea

Postby SueB » Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:49 pm

Wow!!...it was a fantastic week..with wonderful company - thanks Ken! :mrgreen:

Very good report- although you missed out the bit about you being at the front of every meal queue, even before the bell went sometimes! :D
..and you forgot Mitch's excellent knowledge of arabic, and his tireless attempt to teach us all!! - I think I need notes for next time!

The 18 minute silence was over a lunch I think, not dinner - and only started off as a attempt at 5 mins! But Mitch's look of amazement s he timed me, kept me going even longer....even though the rest of you stopped amongst yourselves at times! I sooooo nearly did the full 20, but I think I now can look forward to the challenge of improving my PB next year and maybe attempting 30 mins!!! :mrgreen:

It was shame about the weather - but at least we dived safe, and the reefs of Safaga are engrained on my mind forever ( and of course noted in detail in my log book!)

Blue O2 looked after us perfectly - and you are spot-on saying it felt like home straight away....it really did! Elke and Leo were great guides, but the crew were just fantastic- the dive-deck, the meals, the cabins - coudn't fault a thing!

Fantastic trip.....amazing to dive with the reef sharks, and the beautiful Napoleon..and we were treated to dolphins by the boat too!

Ken also forgot the 'domestic' between him and Mitch under water,....really funny to see him laughing so much underwater.....= massive mask clearing!

Thanks to everyone for making it such a wonderful week, ! :mrgreen:
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