One fish, two fish, red fish, a moray thiiiiis big

Trip Start Nov 03, 2004
Trip End Nov 23, 2006

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Flag of Egypt  ,
Saturday, May 6, 2006

Obviously, no Egyptian seaside break (or any other touristic experience) can be complete without a camel ride. At the Hurghada Hilton Resort where we awaited our boat, a camel in a flouro-pink pareu was drumming up business on the beach - to avoid upsetting the punters he also sported a lime green flowered diaper.

And so began our seven day live aboard dive cruise on the Red Sea. We shared the boat with 13 other divers ranging from Jeremy (USA) who hit 30 dives on the trip to Vera (Germany) who clocked up her 400th, there were nitrox divers (and more by the end of the cruise) and Janos (UK) used a rebreather. Our two dive masters were English. The boat (chef, maitre d' and dive) crew were Egyptian. I'm glad I wasn't a vegetarian (there were three) and I can't decide whether the dive crew man-handled the women into their gear because they genuinely thought women were frail and shouldn't be diving anyway or whether they thought it was worth copping a feel through a 7mm wetsuit (it's not).

As is usual with diving, all injuries occurred above water: tanks and weight belts dropped on toes; knuckles stripped raw struggling to drag wet wetsuits back on; head butting dive crew while falling into the zodiacs; fins in the face; scrapes and bruises being hauled and hefted back into zodiacs; fingers in doors; getting hit in the back of the head (after surfacing under a warning bouy) by a moron-piloted zodiac. Those are just my injuries.

David developed a cold on Day 2 and was encouraged by 13 other divers to steer clear of the salon.

We were offered a total of 22 dives over six days. We dived wrecks, reefs and walls. There were drift dives and night dives. Lionfish and stonefish were so common you stopped pointing them out. We saw batfish and crocodile fish, a cargo of toilets and one of Italian marble, there were bannerfish and clown coris, at least one 3m moray glided passed. The USS Thistlegorm holds have aircraft sections, 16" shells, BSA motorbikes and Ford pickups still strapped in place. Mark (UK) and Ryan (Ireland) claimed to have seen dolphins (unfortunately they had photos). The sharks, mantas and rays stayed home but there was a tour of the Thistlegorm's toilets.

The weather turned rough, cold and miserable but the water was always stupidly warm and unreasonably clear. The diving was everything everyone says it is - stunning.

On Day 5 David gave me his cold.

Like injuries all our photos occurred above water so we have borrowed some of Ryan and Janos's underwater ones for appropriate atmosphere.

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