Scuba Diving the Red Sea: Trip Report, July 2012

We’re back from our third liveaboard dive trip to the Red Sea in Egypt and, as usual, the clear warm waters off the Sinai Peninsula failed to disappoint.

When we return next year, we do hope you will join us – this is one dive destination you simply have to visit.  Beautiful coral gardens with colorful corals and incredible fish; walls that plunge to depths of over 750m; historic wrecks such as the SS Thistlegorm and the Dunraven and more recent wrecks of Sha’Ab Abu Nuhas such as the Chrisoula K and Giannis D.

Whether you like chilling out during a dive or always seeking to take your next “best photo ever”, the Red Sea has it all.

The wrecks are teeming with relatively tame fish life and colorful hard and soft corals, offering opportunities for both wreck lovers and underwater photographers.  The wrecks are incredibly “diver friendly” and you’ll get the chance to do penetration dives, but only to areas where there is always an way out in sight.  The dive operators in the Red Sea are very safety conscious.

The wall dives along the Ras Mohammed National Park are really exciting, with huge schools of fish such as unicorn fish, jacks, barracuda, parrotfish and rabbitfish patrolling the edge of the reef.

We had dolphins swimming with us on our try out dive (the first dive where you check your buoyancy) and a huge spotted eagle ray glided past us on one of our dives at the Ras Mohammed National Park – beautiful.  You simply never know what you are going to see – but what ever it is, you will be amazed and entranced.

To get to all of the best reefs in the Northern Red Sea, you need to do a liveaboard trip which lasts for 6 or 7 nights.  During this time, you cruise from amazing dive site to amazing dive site in total comfort.  All you do is sleep, dive, eat, dive, rest, dive, eat etc.  Four dives a day including a night dive.  To go diving, you just do a giant stride from the back of the liveaboard or get taken in small groups by one of the boat’s rubber ducks to the dive site.

Easy diving in clear, warm water.  We don’t even talk about visibility here, you can see as far as you need (and further)!

The dive guides are incredibly professional, some of the best you will ever encounter.  This trip, Tiger and Will looked after us and with input from the ship’s captain, they made sure we really did see the very best of the Red Sea.  We learnt so much from them and they really MADE our holiday for us.

The liveaboard staff are friendly and so helpful.  But it really takes a bit of getting used to – the younger staff (all male) insist on putting your fins on your feet, on helping you into and out of your wetsuits (OK, just your arms really!) and you may not say no, for fear of insulting them.  After each dive, we were handed an ice cold drink and were helped by friendly, laughing staff who sang and danced to vibey Egyptian music.

Spending a week on a boat of friends and probably some strangers can sound daunting.  It’s not – it’s fun.  There are plenty of decks to escape to if you want your own space, and always someone to chat to if you’re feeling sociable.  There’s something about diving that brings people together and, at the end of our trip, we’d made a whole bunch of great new lifelong friends.

Photos can never do the beauty of the Red Sea justice, and telling you about it won’t fully explain the incredible feeling you get diving a boat that was bombed in 1942, or describe the warmth and hospitality of the Egyptians.  Our recommendation – experience it for yourself and find out why we’ll keep on returning to the Red Sea.

Our next dive trip to the Red Sea will be in June/July 2013.  Please contact us for more details and to book your spot, we hope you will!


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