Getting back in the water
Trip Start Oct 08, 2010
13Trip End Ongoing
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Anyway, I figured I'd try and make up for it a bit now. So, I've been very excited this month as I finally got a dive in after 6 months out of the water! It was freezing, the visibility (unusually for here) was abysmal but I spent 45 minutes underwater and it was great!
The first dives back in were on March 31st at sites to the south of Dahab called the Moray Garden and Golden Blocks. I have to thank my wonderful friend Sameh Sokar (who runs excellent dive trips through Scuba Seekers) for getting me back in.
So, what did we see? Well, the first dive, as I mentioned, wasn't exactly great. The water was cold (for here - 21 degrees) - I can hear all my UK diving buddies laughing at that and calling the temperature positively tropical, but I can assure you that diving for an hour or so in a 5mm wetsuit is not warm! And the visibility was only around 5m thanks to a plankton/algae bloom. I would describe it like diving in the UK, but with a greater number of pretty fish!
But I didn't care. We saw nothing of interest on that dive and I still enjoyed it - even when I was sitting in a hoodie wearing arm warmers and holding a cup of coffee after we got out in a desperate attempt to get the feeling back in my fingers!
My second dive was much better though - it wasn't any warmer and you couldn't see any further but within 5 minutes we'd found a Spanish Dancer (an awesome, large red nudibranch for anyone who doesn't know). A bit further on and I found a lovely reef octopus who was obligingly sitting on a coral head, so we spent a while watching him. I found a couple more nudibranchs and a rather large scorpionfish, so all in all, I was happy.
Despite the chilly water temperature and bad visibility, I went in the following day as well, with a friend (Kimberley) who works at a dive centre over the road from me. We had a lovely dive at the Eel Garden, where we found 2 snake eels hiding among the garden eels, a couple of nudibranchs, a gold spot flatworm and a really cute little fish that turned out to be a juvenille razor fish.
I had another dive at the Eel Garden with Kimberley the following Sunday and last weekend, I spent two days out on a boat diving a bit further out of Dahab (again thanks to Sameh). We spent the Saturday at Ras Abu Gallum, which was lovely, although I think with better weather (it was quite cloudy) and vis the vibrancy of the corals will be amazing, so I need to go back!
The Sunday we dived at Gabr El Bint, which is one of the first sites I did when I first came to Dahab, amazing wall dives. lots of stunning corals and we saw another octopus and a glossidoris nudibranch too! These were also the only dives I've done so far where I haven't got out and been freezing (again, I can hear the laughter of my UK mates) - so it seems the sea is finally heating up, always a bonus.
I'm heading back to the UK next weekend for a short break, so I'm hoping by the time I get back the water will be clearer and warmer. I'm hoping for a good summer of diving and plan to jump in with my camera soon too - it's been far too long since I took any photos underwater.