The Gang Gets Stuck
Trip Start Jun 03, 2009
86Trip End Ongoing
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When traveling, we never book accommodations as it is hard to predict when exactly we will arrive in the location
We checked into our hotel and Sarah Brittany and Tom signed up for a Scuba open Water Course. The course consists of 5 confined water dives in which you practice skills such as removing your mask, recovering a regulator and emergency breathing and surfacing techniques. There is also a book and DVD series that we had to watch. After the confined water dives you move on to 4 open water dives where you descend up to 15 meters
Our instructor was Mohammed, a Jordanian man who had been living in Dahab for 5 years. Someone had a secret crush on Mohammed, we won't tell you who. The second day Mohammed sold us out, and we had Awie, a South African, as our teacher. Mohammed had been working at various scuba diving places around Dahab. He met a British girl named Vicky who was on a week long holiday in Dahab. After her week was up, she tried to leave, but ended up staying in Dahab. She has now been there one year. Looks like Dahab sucked another person in. We were certain this would not happen to us. Although we would enjoy the phone call to our parents saying "I fell in love with a man named Mohammed from Jordan and I am staying in Egypt."
Our course was four days long. For those four days we "read" the book (Sarah actually did), watched the hilarious DVDs (with beers in hand, yes you can buy alcohol in Dahab), and scuba dived around the Red Sea. We saw lionfish, clownfish, scorpionfish, masked angelfish, parrotfish, seahorses, octopus, and blue-spotted ray. The red sea is an amazing place to scuba dive. Mohammed had a rule for his students. Every time you left your scuba tank standing up more than an arms distance from your body, you had to buy him a beer. At the end of the course Sarah owed Mohammed 4 beers, Tom owed 2 beers within the first 5 minutes of the course, and Brittany owed none until Lindsey tricked her the last day in Dahab.
Since Lindsey is already a certified rescue scuba diver, she went on various independent dives around Dahab
The next day Lindsey went on an overnight trip to Thistlegorm and Ros Mohammed. Thistlegorm is a World War II wreck in the middle of the red sea. Sunk by German bomber planes, SS Thistlegorm has lain at the bottom of the sea for over sixty years. Much of the original cargo still remains, such as tanks, motorcycles, jeeps, bombs, steam engines, and even a room full of boots. . Measuring over four hundred feet long, SS Thistlegorm often requires several dives to complete an extensive coverage, inside and out. Ros Mohammed is a national park in Sinai that has some of the best diving in the red sea. She had to take a bus to Sharm el Sheik to get on the boat to stay for the night. They arrived there at 1 in the morning, and then told to set up their equipment. In her sleepy haze, Lindsey dropped the screw holding the regulator to the tank into the water. The whole crew of the boat had to jump in with flashlights to search for the screw. The search took a good 15 minutes and needless to say they pretty much hated Lindsey for the rest of the time on the boat.
The next morning they arrived at the wreck and were woken up at 6 am to eat breakfast and then get ready to get in the water
When we were not in the water, we could be found at a few places in Dahab. During the morning we either had Egyptian breakfast (which Tom was not a fan of) or German Bakery pastries (which Tom was a fan of). During the afternoon we could be found chasing down the Kushary cart man who walked along the waterfront. We also frequented the many cafes and laid on the pillows feeding our milkshake addiction. We had a milkshake every single day, sometimes two, and Brittany was in a fowl mood until she got her daily fix. In the evening we could be found sampling the fresh seafood which was put on display outside the restaurants or at the delicious Thai restaurant above our hostel. So basically, in Dahab we ate and went scuba diving. There were also several bars along the waterfront that we enjoyed beers at with our new scuba diving mates. Upon arriving in Dahab a bright yellow boat bar named "TOTA" immediately caught our attention. We were very disappointed when we found out it was the best bar in Dahab and had shut down due to unknown reasons.
After the four day course, Tagalong Tom left us. He had a lovely 48 hour trip home that included an overnight bus from Dahab to Cairo, a lovely day in the Cairo airport, a flight to Istanbul, a comfy slumber in the Istanbul airport, a flight to Chicago with a screaming child next to him that hit him with bottles, and a flight to Detroit
At this point, Lindsey, Sarah and Brittany were supposed to leave Dahab for Jordan. But Dahab lured us in with its comfy cushions, liberal atmosphere, milkshakes, scuba diving, and Thai food. We tried to leave but we simply could not bring ourselves to do it. In all fairness, we were warned.
We booked a trip to Mt. Sinai with our hostel. The bus left at 11pm. We recruited Lloyd from Lindsey's diving trip to be our sherpa for the climb. He is a high altitude climber and adrenaline junkie that was happy to carry our gear. We asked our hostel what to bring and they told us we only needed water. We asked about a flashlight and they told us we definitely did not need one. We were skeptical about this answer because we knew we were climbing up the mountain in the middle of the night, but we listened to their advice anyways. The bus arrived at the base of Mt Sinai around 1am and we started the trek to the top. We were given a guide to help us get to the top, he hiked barefoot. We quickly discovered we did need a flashlight to navigate around the pitch black rocky path and steep steps. Luckily, sherpa Lloyd brought two. Otherwise we would have ended up falling off the edge
Sarah decided to get her advanced open water, which would certify her to dive down to 30 meters. The advanced course is 5 more dives, each with a special angle. She decided to do a naturalist dive (looking at fish), a navigation dive (navigating using a compass under water. Much more difficult than on land, but Sarah was a natural), a night dive (she saw a squid ink!), a deep dive (at the canyon) and a drift dive (diving with the current, she did this at the blue hole)
Her instructor was Rob, a Welsh man. They got along quite well, and he even invited her to stay with him for the rest of her time in Egypt, which was very tempting considering the free air conditioning. The night dive was very cool and we saw coral extending their feathery tendrils that recoiled from our flashlights, glowing fish and other animals, and the squid. The deep dive was Sarah's first time diving to 30 meters, and she expected to feel drunk at the bottom. When she didn't, she decided she wasn't narced and happily swam after Rob. Unfortunately, she was narced and had forgotten what Rob looked like and followed someone else. Then, she had some serious problems reading her air gauge and got very excited when she saw a sand dollar and pulled Rob back to look at it. Rob was less than excited by this find, but she thinks he was just jealous that he didn't spot it first.
Her last dive was the blue hole, which was very cool. She did not go past 10 meters on this dive, so no need to worry about her happily swimming down to the bottom after the wrong person.
We planned on spending 4 days in Dahab, but we got stuck. After 8 days, Lindsey and Brittany left for Siwa
Glums and Glows:
Glum: Mask removal exercise
Glow: Squid ink during advanced open water class
Glum: Meso said we didn't need a flashlight causing near death experience
Glum: Thomas leaving
Glow: Milkshakes, Thai food, and being the #1 student
Glum: Leaving Brittany (and Egyptain breakfast)
Glow: Scuba diving