Day 37 - Diving!

Hurghada Travel Blog

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Unfortunately, the great visibility of 25m is not done any justice by the camera at this depth

Finally, the day we’d been looking forward to since starting our holidays, the chance to go diving.  Michelle, Zoe and I had chosen not to go on the optional Boat Trip and Snorkelling tour offered by Topdeck and instead arranged through Mahmoud for a day of diving.  After a solid breakfast we left our hotel just before 9am.  The marina wasn’t far from the hotel.  The marina was so full that the boats were moored side by side and our vessel, “Shehab” was the furthermost of the four.  We were amongst the first passengers to climb aboard, which meant a long wait while the other passengers arrived and the vessel was equipped.  When the boat did get underway we cruised for less than half an hour to our first dive site, Turtle Bay.

Michelle and I looking inquisitively at our guide
   Michelle and I were buddied up and Zoe was paired with the other guy in our group of four.  Our dive guide was the owner of the boat, Dr Aladdin Safty.  He gave us a short briefing and a much needed reminder of the signals, procedures and equipment checks and then it was time to don our dive gear and throw ourselves overboard. 

Finally, Michelle and I were going to get the opportunity to use the dive housing we got for our wedding!!  We’ve been getting heaps of use from the camera itself but we have been dying for the chance try it out underwater.  Before we could use it though, we needed to test the integrity of the housing.  So for the first dive, we had to take the housing down without the camera in it.

Zoe posing seductively
  Consequently, we don’t have any photos from our first dive. 

The water was warm and really clear.  We haven’t done a lot of diving but the visibility on this dive was by far the best we’ve enjoyed.  Since we haven’t dived in more than two years, this dive was mainly about shaking out all the rust.  We were a little slow to get underway but when we did we finally relaxed and started to enjoy the marine life around us.  Unfortunately, Turtle Bay failed to show us any turtles, just a big grouper and loads of small, colourful fish.  It was a relatively shallow dive, so it was quite long, allowing us to build a good appetite.  

We returned to the boat and were stoked to learn that the camera housing hadn’t leaked a drop!!  Thus, after a big feed we were finally able to load our digital camera into the housing and prepare to document our dives.

mmm .. octopus

It was 2pm before we were over the side again, this time at a site called “Dolphin House”.  Michelle struggled with her mask for a bit and I had a few dramas equalising but before long we were away, this time to explore a few Ergs (or pinnacles).  Each of them was abuzz with life.  We didn’t see any sign of very large creatures but there were lots of small fish and brightly coloured coral.  After swimming into the current at the start of the dive, we floated back to the boat with the current along a wall.  Our guide spotted an octopus and provoked it into moving about and changing colours a bit but then it was time to head back before I ran out of air.

The boat had us back to the marina in the late afternoon, by which time the girls had befriended one of the dive instructors and arranged to meet up with him for a drink later in the evening.

Since Michelle and I were staying on in Hurghada for an extra few nights, it was the last night we’d be together as a tour group. So, Michelle, Zoe and I insisted that our Guide, Mahmoud head out on the town with us.  As a Muslim, he doesn’t drink but we weren’t letting him use that as an excuse not to join us.  I offered to buy him as many fruit juices or soft drinks he could handle and after dinner in the hotel, we were off.  We visited a couple of bars and had a few drinks, while trying to track down the Ministry of Sound.  There were plenty of posters up around town advertising it, but we couldn’t find a map anywhere.  Eventually, we stumbled across a flyer in a pub which had a map of the venue.  It was, in fact, on the beach, right next to our hotel! Mahmoud excused himself just before midnight and Michelle, Zoe and I kicked on to the Ministry of Sound.  Nice venue.  Its actually set on the beach sand, so it has a casual feel. The DJ was playing house anthems most of the night and although it took a while to build a decent crowd and atmosphere, by 2am the place was really heaving.  We retreated back to our rooms at about 3am (I think), we had to get up for breakfast to wish Mahmoud and Zoe Goodbye!
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Unfortunately, the great visibilit…
Unfortunately, the great visibili…
Michelle and I looking inquisitive…
Michelle and I looking inquisitiv…
Zoe posing seductively
Zoe posing seductively
mmm .. octopus
mmm .. octopus
photo by: maka77