Introduction to Marsa Shagra Eco Lodge & Reef

Trip Start Aug 25, 2008
Trip End Sep 01, 2008

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Flag of Egypt  , Red Sea and Sinai,
Tuesday, August 26, 2008

We had gone snorkeling on the House Reef the previous afternoon -we simply couldn't wait to get in the water, and it was too hot to stay on dry land! Still it seemed like an eternity before 9 am when we were supposed to meet and get our equipment and instructions. It took forever to get all of us settled and ready in the diving shade (the covered area where all the equipment and tanks are kept during the stay.

The Diving Shade is the heart and soul of the camp. This is where the equipment is kept and where all the dives take place from. The equipment assigned to each and everyone of us, are kept in our very own separate box -either rented gear or our own diving gear. It would be our sole responsibility to keep it cleaned and proper during the stay. In the end, if anyone would fail to clean their equipment properly, they would be risking their own life.
The Diving Shade is "open" from 6 am to 9-ish pm (depending summer or winter). They have a really neat and well-functioning system:  You find a buddy to dive with, write you names on the big white-board, along with your entry time and estimated exit time from the water, and also if you plan to dive the north or south part of the house reef. Then you get onto a zodiac to take you a bit out from shore or you just dive directly from the beach.
Another option is to go on truck dives, these have to be booked the previous afternoon at the latest, though. We had the possibility of two truck dives per day for 5 days, and also unlimited diving on the house reef during our stay. The truck dives sounded complicated and odd to me at first, however I was soon to learn that it couldn't be easier, and also very entertaining when you think about it: A truck dive means that you are driven on the back of a truck to a different dive site up to 20 minutes away. You bring all your gear, and a guide goes with you as well -no divers are allowed to go to a different dive site than Marsa Shagra house reef without a guide.

Our first dive on the Marsa Shagra House Reef was basically a test to see if everyone really knew how to scuba dive. All of us newly arrived entered the water at the same time with just one guide. He didn't say anything, he just started diving, and then we all followed. It seemed very strange that he didn't give us any kind of briefing at all, nor did it seem like he kept an eye on anyone of us. Luckily, we discovered in the next couple of days, that this particular guide wasn't their standard guide- the other guides that I went with, were all very good at briefing before the dive and to keep an eye on all of us during the dive itself.  -It is definitely safe for divers of all levels to visit the Marsa Shagra.
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