Week 2 - Diving

Dahab Travel Blog

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People i met here who contributed to, and improved my trip: Julia (Russia), Matt (USA)

Week 2 in Dahab began in the same way as Week 1 had finished, namely looking for Chinese teaching vacancies, pigging our faces in 'Quickly' restaurant and going for a short stroll down the promenade. In the evening we went out ot watch Newcastle 3-1 Middlesborough with Matt and another couchsurfer, otherwise it was an uneventful day.

Tuesday was the first of three days of diving, as both Julia and I were feeling relatively healthy and energised enough to want to get in the water. Dutch divemaster Vincent took us to 'The Islands' dive site, where we enjoyed a very relaxing dive, and Julia completed her 'naturalist dive' for her Advanced Open Water course.
On the dive we saw lots of nice soft and hard corals, Lionfish, Bannerfish, giant clam, Black masked/Seal pufferfish, Goatfish and a school of Yellow fin barracudas.

We opted for a half day trip South of Dahab on Wednesday, to the 'Moray Garden' dive site. Once again Vincent was our divemaster and i was really happy about this as his dives were a lot more relaxed, gave me more opportunity to take photos and always lasted the allocated 50 minutes. Two dives were scheduled as it is such a large site and we were lucky enough to see an octopus, Bannerfish, Butterflyfish, Lizardfish, Blue Triggerfish, Black Masked Pufferfish, Moray Eels, Porcupine Pufferfish, Cornet/Trumpet Fish, Lion Fish, Giant Clam, Pipe Fish and loads of Jellyfish. Interestingly we saw other fish eating the jellyfish, which i had never seen before.
And another first was seeing a cornet fish following us for about 10 minutes. It stayed really close to us, with the aim of concealing itself in our bubbles, and then darting out to catch fish in the corals. It missed almost every time, but it was great to watch and a very surreal experience.

Thursday was the end of Julia's Advanced Open Water course, and culminated with visiting two of the best dive sites in Dahab. We were taken out by Rose today and also accompanied by an Aussie guy called Ashley and the dive sites were located a 15 minute drive North. Diving the Canyon was good fun, dexcending down a narrow crack to 35m, but other than this, the coral was in far worse shape than most of the other sites. We did see some anemone (clown) fish, Lionfish and a tiny Moray Eel, but it had been more about the canyon itself, than the fish.

Having taken a 90 minute break to let our nitrogen levels decrease and grab a spot of lunch, we headed further up the coast to El Bells, where we would start the dive, with the aim of drifting down to the Blue Hole. Before getting into the water we met some free divers and one Russian woman had just descended to 96m on one breath of air, incredible! Crazy Russians!

This dive started with an awesome descent down a chimney like formation to around 30m, where you swam through a small opening and out into the deep blue abyss. The wall to our right dropped down to 110m, whilst to our left, there was nothing except for Saudi Arabia, about 20kms away! Its a fun feeling to feel so small and insignificant. Once again we were joined by a couple of cornet fish who were hunting from our bubbles, and we also saw the usuals like lionfish and pufferfish.
Near the end of the dive, we were at 15m when we stopped to watch the free divers come racing down a rope and descending into the dark depths of the sea. I hold the upmost respect for these people, but that doesn't mean that i dont think that they are completely bonkers! And don't get me started on their outfits, clearly fashion isn't big in their community ;)

In the evening i found a bar to watch Leeds vs Millwall in the play off semi final. I hadnt seen a Leeds game for 3 years, so i was really excited to find somewhere screening it. Sadly the night would end in misery as we missed a penalty and could only draw 1-1, which meant that we lost on aggregate 2-1. Having been a Leeds fan for 22 years, i must admit that i have grown all too used to getting heartbroken!
Deats says:
Its good you geordies have a sense of humour! I was cheering them on against boro, you are too good to go down - well the fans, the players are under performing arses! Good luck at Villa mate!
Posted on: May 18, 2009
sylviandavid says:
What an exciting blog about diving.... Julia: congratulations!!!! It really sounds so wonderful! I loved the descriptions of what you saw... and looking forward to the pictures later.... What the heck with the Russians????? Julia...don't do that! It sounds risky.... Take care! xoxox sylvia
Posted on: May 15, 2009
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photo by: TamaraSimons