Trip Start Oct 14, 2004
Trip End Nov 02, 2004

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Sunday, October 24, 2004

The bus ride was hell. It ended up taking 18hrs, and stank of piss the whole way, presumable from the broken toilet onboard. That aside, it was great finally being here! The weather was great and the water looked fantistic. Dahab is a small town which hasn't been hit by the full effects of tourism yet, although it won't take long till 5 star hotels start popping up around the place. It reminds me of Koh Tao in Thailand, very chilled out with beach front restaurants and cushions to chill out on. There's heaps of dive shops around, and pretty much everyone's here for the same thing... to dive, snorkel and chill on the beach! Perfect. I bought myself a new mask and snorkel and hit the reef straight away. The good thing about Dahab is all the diving, snorkelling is done from the shore, so no need for boats like everywhere else! The majority of the coastline is one big reef. First day was spent snorkelling, followed by eating fresh seafood and drinking :) The next day, we had our first dives booked. the first one was done at a spot called the lighthouse. It was good being back underwater! Saw heaps of Lionfish, which I've never seen before, and are a rarity in most waters, but obviously not here. The corals were good, although alot of it was dead. The reef still teamed with fish life. After this, had some lunch then went for the second dive. This was at a place called Eel Garden. Appropriately named as it has a large sandbed with heaps of Eels living in it, popping up their heads trying to catch themselves a meal. It was a cool site to see. Then continued around the reef, seeing heaps more fish, eels, etc... and that was that! That night was a quiet one as the next day we were diving the famous Blue Hole, Bells and the Canyon, all deep dives, so we weren't allowed to drink beforehand. I tried to sneak one in though, but got caught by the Divemaster... she wasn't happy! So it was one beer, and off to bed.
The next morning was an early one. We set off at 8am, firstly to the Canyon. This was a good dive. It's a lush coral garden with a large canyon going through it. We dived down into the Canyon, which is about a meter wide, to the bottom at a depth of 35 meters. It was quite an eirie feeling being down there, but great all the same! Then swam back out and continued over the reef. After that one, it was time for the Bells and Blue hole. The Blue Hole is a famous site, but probably for all the wrong reasons! It's a large hole, about 50mtrs in diameter which is over 100 meters deep, and you can step right into it off the shore. The entire wall surrounding it is covered in coral. It is here that many divers lose thier lives as they go down too far without realising it, and then suffer from oxygen toxicity, which occurs at around 65 meters. Once this happens, it's all over. they say about 10 or so diver die here each year. Anyway, we start our dive at the Bells, which is about 100m north of the Blue Hole. From here, we dive down to 30m's, under a cravisse, then out to the outer wall of the reef, which is basically a wall of coral, dropping to a depth of over 200 m's. This was awesome as all you can see is this wall of coral disappearing into the depths. There were heaps of fish, and a few larger ones like Mackrell, stalking it's dinner. We drifted along the wall until we got to the Blue hole, the swam across the top of the outer wall into it. Checked out the inner wall, then swum across it and out again. Definately my favourite dive! I'll probably do it again before i leave. Last nite was spent drinking up and chilling on the beach. I love this place!
Today is a day off as we're going up Mt Sinai tonight, a 2500m high mountain where Moses received the 10 commandments. We start hiking up there at about 11pm to watch the sunrise, then back down again. It's going to be a long night!
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