Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sharm El Sheikh ~ Diving Wrap Up

Good morning! This post is the sixth in a series of posts about our incredible trip to Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in 2012! To start over at the beginning, click here!

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Camel ride on the beach (as seen from our dive boat) - such a quintessential Egypt photo!

Last time we were heading for the third and final dive of the day, being escorted by a school of dolphins! (Yes, that does sound like a fairy tale, but I promise it happened - we have video evidence!) The journal entries pick up at that point in the story, so without further ado:

Tuesday 3 July 2012


When we reached the Naama Bay marina, we left with Chris, who walks every night from the marina to his hotel, and we hit the Starbucks! We picked up our Sharm el Sheikh mug - the MOST expensive mug we've ever purchased, ringing up at a whopping 125 £. E. ($24!!!)

Last night we met a cute couple from Hungary while we were attempting to use the Internet in the lobby. They are very friendly, and although I do not remember their names, we may be spending our off day with them tomorrow.


Today was our last day of diving, and we finished our trip on the Shorouk again (really a very nice boat captained by a man named Nasser) with Roger and Ryan as our guides. No one was taking courses on our boat today, so all of the dives were pleasure dives.

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Ryan briefing us on Gordon Reef

We were back in Tiran, and our first dive of the morning was on Gordon Reef. We jumped in the second group with Ryan as our guide. Unfortunately for us, the first group jumped right over a group of eagle rays that stayed with them for about ten minutes. Even though we didn't see that, we still had a lovely dive. There were tons of anthias again, parrotfish chomping on coral, and loads of blue-green, red-toothed trigger fish. Over one section of reef, I saw one of those things that look like muppet lips that close when you wave your hand over them like a clam...I'm not sure what they're called, but they're super cool, and this one was huge! There was a wreck on Gordon Reef in 1981 that dropped a bunch of barrels of tar. They are mostly empty, but a few of them still leak from time to time. It's interesting to look inside the barrels to see what's taken up residence inside them. At the end of the dive, we were over a beautiful coral garden. We saw a crocodile fish resting under a large table coral, and Austin spotted a black-tipped grouper tucked up under a little outcropping.

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trigger fish, crocodile fish, "muppet lips"

There was a gentleman who lives in Switzerland whose name is Stephan on the boat today, and he helped us find the names of most of these fishes in his fish book. I really want a fish book, but I think I'm going to order one off the Internet which should be considerably cheaper. We found out later in the day that he lives between Lausanne and Geneva.

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image credit

Our second dive, and our last dive of this trip, was on Woodhouse Reef (we were hoping to get to the north side of Jackson Reef where the hammerheads have been spotted recently, but conditions weren't favorable). However, Woodhouse was a GREAT last dive. For this dive, we jumped as one big group. It was full drift, so we didn't have to fin hardly at all, and about ten minutes into the dive a huge green sea turtle swam right through the middle of our group! We also saw several of the baby spotted rays. Chris, who has been with us for all five dive days, took a picture of us underwater together, and he's promised to e-mail it to us!

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Underwater family picture ;) - courtesy of our new friend Chris!

After that dive we packed up our crates, and basically lazed around the boat for the rest of the day. Austin's back was really hurting, so while everyone else was on their third dive I gave him a short massage.


When we got back to Naama Bay, Chris made a point to say goodbye to us before he walked to his hotel to meet his daughter.

We checked out and packed up our equipment at the center, then hopped our transfer back to the hotel. We were very satisfied with our Emperor Divers experience, and happy to be done with our first five-day dive trip ever! We're tired, but we had a good time, and we feel more and more comfortable every time we dive! We're also very pleased with how our equipment performed! Everything works like a charm. My BCD is a little smidge big, but it does the job.


Dinner was just like normal. We had ice cream for the second night in a row!

After dinner we came back to the room and hung up all of our scuba equipment. Now everything will (hopefully) be clean and dry to pack for our flight home.

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A view of our hotel from the dive boat!

Entertainment started around 21:00. It was pretty lame. They had a dude that ate fire and laid on broken glass and balanced on the sharp end of swords and stuff. Then at the end they tried to get everyone to dance, and it just ended up being really awkward. The guy with the microphone said "Yo, yo, yo, yo!" and "Sexy!" a lot. Not as a part of a sentence, just "Sexy!"

The "Animation Team" was also plugging a big beach party down at the Melia Sharm, so we walked all the way down there only to discover that it cost $12/person to buy a ticket to the beach party (something the animation folks had forgotten to mention). More lameness.

That's it for the dive logs! The rest of the story is pretty much a polar opposite from diving, but still pretty exciting! You won't want to miss it!


To see a list of ALL of our travel stories, in chronological order, click here!

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