Last week i had an invite from a good friend and former student to go and visit the cave up in Ras Mamlah. As i had a spare day in between courses i set off for Dahab early the next morning to meet up with Rifat and was pleasantly surprised to find Johan (also an ex student) and AM (another ex student) also on the trip. As i had dived with them all before it was going to be a good day out.
We drove north up to Nuweiba and then headed south along the coastal dirt track for another hour and a half getting battered and bruised in the back of the Land Cruiser. As Rifat was the tour guide for the trip he had the pleasure of the front seat that had padding on it so was nowhere near the same level of discomfort. Eventually we made it to the dive site and set about unloading the truck and getting everything ready.
Once all the kit was prepped Rifat gave us all a dive brief and drew a map on the cave so we know what to expect. We kitted up, waded to the cave entrance before putting the stages on and then descended down into the cave entrance. It looks just like a crack in the reef full of rotting mangrove leaves and silt, so the first impression i got was not too favourable. Once we descended past 15m the roof closed in, the floor fell away and we were left in the middle of a long corridor winding slowly down. It took around fifteen minutes of a slow descent before we hit the 60m mark where the cave opens up and you can see the light blue from the hole in the reef shining inside. From here you can drop down to 108m where the cave then winds its way out to sea and drops slowly down to 130m. As this was only a recce dive for future trips we stayed around the 60m area for a few more minutes and then slowly made our way back up. Our total dive time was around one and a half hours but we extended the last stop time just to be on the safe side.
Eventually we finished the dive and found our Bedouin driver had prepared lunch for us. Just what we needed. After lunch we rested for a bit and then had to pack all the kit back into the truck for the long drive back to Dahab.
We will be going back soon to have a look deeper and further as this cave has far more potential than the caves in Ras Mohammed.
I will let you know how we get on in due course.