This last week we had Darren & Debbie revisiting for a weeks adventure exploring more of the Red Sea underwater world. Keen to show them the Sinai we love or just a little bit, we planned a week full of Diving & Snorkelling. Let the FUN begin.
Sharks Bay – Sharm el sheikh a return trip to a familiar place, this time as qualified divers excited to do their first Red Sea dives. Ahmed meets the instructor Waleed at ‘Umbi Dive Center’ & our divers get ready. Apprehension, nerves, briefing done! Kitted up ready to plunge in! Don’t forget camera. All smiles as exiting the water a quick signal ok. That was brilliant! saw a moray. An hours rest then second dive off you go, hope you get a selfie with the Napoleon fish. Some 40 minutes later, oh yes! the Napoleon Darren had to chase for that selfie that’s why less air than Debbie, LOL we know its girl power no excuses. Debbie always comes up with more air obviously relaxes more in the water. Not a bad start to the weeks adventures, all ready for tomorrow snorkelling in Dahab.
After a detour to retrieve forgotten divers licence from sharks bay yesterday we exit Sharm on the empty road to Dahab. Third visit to Sharm but first time these guys have travelled out of the resort area. Young divers curiosity, had been googling ‘Blue Hole’ & now know why its famous informing Ahmed & myself that Blue Hole is “World’s Most Dangerous Dive Site” and has the nickname “Diver’s Cemetery”. True its a place that has an allure for divers & free divers eager to explore the coral lined natural sink hole.
The Sinai landscape doesn’t disappoint the winding 100 km road has some spectacular views, towering rocky mountains as far as you can see on the horizon & colours today so vibrant, after last weeks downpour, the air is clear perfect autumn day. Chatting away about Free diving at Blue Hole & the different laid back attitude at Dahab, the road ends for us after a quick check of passports we head north of Dahab driving down the track to ‘Blue Hole’ hugging the narrow coastline road driving next to the Red Sea. Taste the salt on our lips, so keen now to jump in!
We park up head for ‘Fanar’ cafe, to get a nice seat for the day. We love the view from here right at the end looking back at blue hole with canyon then Dahab in the distance. Lots of Free divers practicing for the competition starting Thursday, well Blue hole is like one of natures natural deep pools, sheltered from the current perfect all year. Although the weather maybe too hot for some in the summer. Love being here early with like minded people around. Ahmed does the briefing the currents fast let’s drop in at ‘El bell’ & drift down to entrance saddle lip at Blue hole, great.
Jumping in it’s a bit colder than Sharm glad for the full suit. El Bell is more interesting than the hole, snorkelling past the divers bubbles as they explore the bells below. The blue abyss is memorizing, vivid colours & contrast between the wall & blue bottom breathtaking. For most the Red Sea is like jumping into an aquarium, such a beautiful coral garden teeming with life, entering the blue hole the waters warmer here and visibility clear no current, avoiding the raining free divers you feel like your experiencing one of natures unique geological structures, almost like being in a cathedral. Ahmed does some free diving following a free diver with no fins, the free diver drops deep into the blue. To be fair Ahmed had no weights & 7 mm full suit, although 25 meters I’d be happy I’m useless. Darren got a good photo shot he said.
Lunch time the view now a full of white 4×4’s & mini buses, not the local Bedouin pick ups or camels we saw earlier, the tourists arrive we watch the water fill with bodies, we relax, eat lovely food & fed the local cats; well they are so cute you have to.
Waters so full now no matter we are going on a snorkel safari just a little walk up & over that hill LOL. We head round the corner past El bell, follow the camel track for 30 mins. & the sea’s getting choppy its a hazy afternoon here you can’t see Saudi Arabic but the phones think we are in Saudi!!! We enter after the wave break & snorkel the coral wall heading back to El bell. So many Butterflyfishs & Angelfish, soft coral some hard coral mantles, but for me young in comparison to Ras Mohammed, I will remind myself in a couple of days when we are there. Walking back we have a laugh taking Desert Shadow Selfies our passion.
So back to our cosy seats to dry off, relax laugh & enjoy the laid back peaceful aura of Blue hole. Sun set soon & its quiet now time to leave, off to park up at Lighthouse & find a pub. I had seen one near by last week when Ahmed & I escaped the humidity of Sharm for a day. Spotted ‘Churchill’s’ a gem full of divers, free divers watching underwater videos shot that day, some getting ready for a night dive outside. But its a small world a fellow traveller from Darren & Debbie’s flight spotted them, quick banter about kids learning to dive & how great it was to dive again after so many years, these young divers totally want to return & dive in Dahab next year once qualified Advance divers. As the sunsets we chill out before driving back to Sharm. Flashes of lightening illuminate the night sky towards the mountains over St. Catherine’s, looks like more rain. The darkness of the desert delights the eyes just look up, heads bent staring out back window looking for shooting stars. Sharm on the horizon now the road opens out from the mountains & we are back Safe no problems at all.