Day 1 – 15/11/13
An early start was had by the eleven intrepid divers meeting at Gatwick at 7am, with the exception of Jess and Trey who decided that a 7.30am start was more palatable.
The flight to Hurghada went pretty quickly, Jen and Mel decided to make good use of the inflight bar. On arrival we were met by our rep who took us the 10 minute bus ride to the Marriott Hotel where our boat for the week, Blue Melody, was moored for the night.
On arriving on the boat we were met by Elka, the founder of the Red Sea Shark Trust. A very welcome sight as last year she made our trip even more interesting and insightful
After a boat briefing and some chicken curry we went to the sun deck to enjoy a few sips of duty free rum. Mark, Jeremy, Alex and Akvile nipped ashore for a cold beer and a shisha pipe. On returning to the boat Jen & Nat (aka the Light Weight Twins) were already in bed, Raj and Mel had polished off most of the rum. After a few more drams we made our way to our cabins to catch some zzz’s (except Mel who lay listening to the sound of a snoring Walrus – Raj).
After our dive briefing we entered the clear blue Red Sea waters for our check dive. Most people decided to go off in their own buddy groups and explore the reef of Ras Disha. This was a relatively shallow dive and was ideal for checking that we were weighted properly and all the equipment was in good working order.
As far as the Red Sea goes there was nothing spectacular to report but having not been since our last trip in February it was enjoyable none the less. Colourful corals, loads of antheas (like gold fish) and schools of pipe fish were the main hilightes.
After a 60 minute dive we climbed back on the boat for some lunch of fresh fish, rice and salad. A quick snooze on the sundeck aloud the food to digest which gave the boat time to manoeuvre to the next dive site to Tobia Arsa (7 Pillars). This site was far more interesting with scorpion fish, stone fish, lots of lionfish and a torpedo ray all being spotted.
After the dive we stayed at the same site for a night dive. I decided to stay on board and spread the gossip….