Hurghada Travel Blog› entry 2 of 4 › view all entries
I had found work a couple days after my arrival, at a diveshop based on the dock of one of the major hotels. Also found a cheap place to stay nearby, and then one of the guys taking his divemaster course needed a new roommate, so I had an apartment. It was a bit of a trek to work, on the other side of town, so had to take a bus, but it was a really nice place. The first few days were unpaid, just going out on the boat to get familiar with the sites, and helping out a bit. The reef was about a 2 hr boat ride out, so it was an all day trip, lunch was served out on the boat. There was a pool at the hotel, where students would do their confined water training, and then they'd come out on the boat for their dives. We also had quite a few resort divers: where they'd just do one dive to try it out, without taking the full course. One of the instructors that I worked with, Ali Baba, was Egyptian, and deaf (he had an hearing aid, but very minimal hearing, and he kept forgetting to take it out when he hopped in the water, so he kept wrecking them). His lipreading skills were amazing (you had to watch what you said across the room at a bar!). What a fitting job for him: underwater, you rely on all hand communication, so he was in his element! The other staff was a mix of nationalities: British, Italian, Greek. The students were mainly European.
After I'd been there about 2 weeks, an opening came up on the liveaboard that shared the same dock. A liveaboard is a boat that takes on guests for about a week at sea, so that they don't waste travel time getting out to the dive sites, and get to some of the sites too far to reach by dayboat. For the dive enthusiast, it's an excellent way to go: 5 dives a day, you just dive, eat and sleep. The boat had a capacity for 18 guests, and there was about 10 crew. It was a Peter Hughes, which is a 5 star chain of liveaboards, mainly with clientele from the United States.
I had worked liveaboards previously, in Australia, and wasn't sure if I wanted to again. There's no end to your day: even if you have some free time, someone will find you wherever you are, eager to make conversation and ask the same questions you've been asked a thousand times before. Even for a social person, you sometimes just need to switch off! But the money was better, and no costs (all meals were on board, and our one night in town when we switched passengers, you still stayed on the boat). We were to work 8 weeks on, 2 weeks off, so I figured I could check out some of the rest of Egypt on my weeks off (which was not to be!). I gave up my apartment after a couple weeks on board.