Over the next weeks we will be giving you the insight into our recent Exploratory trip to the most southern point of the Egyptian waters. Join us on our adventure and make sure that next time you don’t miss out!…..
After months and months of looking forward to and planning our exploratory trip, things did not start in the way we would have expected. We can thank the Volcano on Iceland for this! Unfortunately, the timing of the Volcano eruption coincided with the flights from guests leaving various parts of Europe. No flights from UK, Belgium and Sweden meant that 5 guests were not able to make the trip. Of course, all guests are important to us, but one of these guests was slightly more special in my eyes, it was my fiancé. He was due to fly back to Egypt from UK but ended up amongst those guests that could not make the trip!!
I was due to teach the TDI Advanced Nitrox and decompression procedures course with three students but ultimately ended up with one!! Oh well, on the bright side it was now easier for me as I would have less tanks to fill each day. There is always a silver lining somewhere.
After six hours of traveling by a comfortable micro bus down to Hamata from Hurghada we finally make it to the boat. For those of you that know the port of Hamata from years ago, you would be amazed how much it has changed… I know I was! Believe it or not there is now an actual marina! No more climbing down into zodiacs. The marina even has a sign post labeling it and an entrance gate. Civilization has finally reached southern Egypt!
Once on board we were greeted by Emperor Divers guide Sonia. Sonia has been a safari guide in the Red Sea and many other places for decades, the perfect guide to have on board and work with. After a welcoming dinner, we then had time to go onto the now very spacious dive deck (due to the absence of most other guests!) and go through equipment configuration, before sitting back and relaxing before heading to bed.
At 5am we were semi woken to the engines being started. The captain had managed to get the coast guard permissions the previous night, so we were able to make an early departure and began the first leg of our journey heading to Sirinaka island for dive one. For the recreational guests, they made their check dive, for my student it was skill circuit time. My student James, was an experienced PADI instructor and so took to twin set diving very easily and the skills that were presented to him. I needed to think of how I can challenge him more!! We were in the water for around 70minutes and well deserved our lunch that was awaiting for us when we came out.
Shortly after lunch the engines rolled into life and we were on our way down to St Johns for a late afternoon dive. The weather was being very kind to us and we managed to get a dive in on one of my favourite reefs in the St Johns Area, Habili Jaffa. This relatively small stunning habili was covered in life; Jacks, tunas, barracudas, snappers, surgeon fish, damsel fish, stonefish and all the pretty other colourful stuff! It was the perfect place to make our first Advanced Nitrox dive. James in his new equipment handled the small current we were presented with very well and we made a nice profile touring around the habili.
Taking it off is easy, putting it back on is fun!
The boat then moved to Dangerous reef for those guests wanting to make a night dive before shooting off on the longest leg of the journey heading towards part of the Elba Reef system.
The one large bonus of making any courses on a liveaboard boat is the amount of time that you have to get everything done. It is very relaxed. After our dinner we then settled down in the comfort of the saloon to make the Advanced Nitrox course presentation and look into gas planning. Before heading to our beds and hopefully waking up in Elba.
But for now, we leave all other safari boats behind in our wake with just open water in front and maybe a few fishing boats. Now the exploratory begins…
Join us in a few days for the next installment of our exploratory trip.