Turtles Galore at Marsa Abu Dabbab
Trip Start Aug 25, 2008
16Trip End Sep 01, 2008
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At 7 am Josefine and I were scheduled to meet the others for a truck dive. Our group was quickly diminishing, though, as Kenneth had gone to far far away Elphinstone, and Joakim and Marie didn't want to go -she was still feeling a bit panicky and stressed from the night dive. Consequently, it ended up being just Josefine and I having our own truck together. There was one more truck though, and it was fully packed with divers and their gear. They were going the same place as us, but we ended up having a guide all to ourselves. It was quite hilarious when we walked onto the beach at Marsa Abu Dabbab, just the two of us and our guide Basem. He had already given us a thorough briefing, so we felt fully confident when we entered the water. Everybody else was jealous of us, -they wanted in on our VIP group
We were set to do the North side of the Reef. Basem told us we would do the South side instead, even though we were going to the same spot in the afternoon. We found it odd at first, but later learned that he chose wisely. The larger group of divers who were jealous of our small group, had been rightly so. They hadn't seen anything interesting at all on the north side, and we three saw almost everything that Marsa Abu Dabbab has to offer on our dive. Well, except for the infamous dugong, which was obviously in hiding!
We had our first of many close encounters with a huge turtle already at 2 meters depth. The big area of sea grass attracts a lot of them, and sometimes also the dugong. The large amount of turtles we met, easily made our day. One of them was close to 1,5 m long as it swam very close in between us.
The calm sea and sunny skies gave us an awesome visibility and some magnificent underwater views of the bay. There is a good reason why this dive site is nick named The Aquarium! At one point when I looked up towards the surface, 15 cuddle fish were swimming along, while a turtle swam upwards in the rays of sunlight beaming through the water. It was quite the sight!
Before the patch of sea grass ended, we turned a bit to the right to get to the reef. In the midst of the blue water appeared a majestic coral reef. We swam around a pinnacle, before we headed back to the beach. There was a garden of eels right before it, and in between the corals connecting the pinnacle to the reef side, was a giant moray eel
During our swim back to shore, we met more turtles followed by their trusty cleaner fish (remoras), and we even saw two male turtles fighting over a female! One male was defeated and had to flee, as the other male got his maid. Josefine and I agreed that this dive was incredible. No matter what the rest of our holiday would be like, this would definitely be the one dive worth to remember! (I had thought that already at the sight of the first turtle!)
It was two happy girls who returned to Marsa Shagra Eco Lodge. Once again we were all alone on the back of the truck. When we were cleaning our gear, Kenneth came to check on us, and to hear about the dive. He had been back at the camp for a while, and had been relaxing at breakfast while waiting for us. Josefine and I still found the entire truck dive terribly hilarious. Not only had it just been the two of us with our own private guide, but the amount of gigantic turtles we had encountered was phenomenal. The only problem we had now, was that nobody seemed to believe us. Mostly because the other group hadn't seen a single turtle at all! -It really just tells us, that Basem was right, when he chose to dive the South Reef instead of the North. We certainly didn't mind that we had to go back again in the afternoon.