I lived in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia for fifth and sixth grades. On many weekends, we’d go to the beach on the Red Sea. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to scuba dive in the Red Sea. Snorkeling and swimming wasn’t enough. I wanted to go deeper, see more, and hang out under the water. I finally got my wish.
We just got back from a week-long dive trip on the Red Sea, leaving from Port Sudan. (We flew on Emirates from Nairobi to Dubai and then on Fly Dubai to Port Sudan. This avoided having to go through Khartoum.) The trip was great!
The marine life was abundant. The reefs were healthy. The boat, the M/Y Voyager, was nice (review to come soon). The people we dove with were super nice and we made some new friends.
There were just a few glitches. There was not a lot of current, and so there were not as many sharks as I would have liked. We did see some though. I even saw a hammerhead – my first! Of course that happened on the dive when our GoPro flooded. Actually, this was the dive trip where a few things went wrong:
- The GoPro, which was human error. The housing is still fine but we need to buy a new camera.
- The fogging of my housing was an issue. I shot mostly with a universal lens and the port dome for that lens large, which means more air and more risk of condensation and fogging. It was pretty bad this trip. We are going to modernize our camera equipment for future trips. It’s time for something more streamlined and less error-prone.
- J.’s regulator malfunctioned, which was quite scary. The air connection where the regulator connects to the tank (the first stage, the mouthpiece is the second stage) sort of blew out and air started to leak rapidly. It happened twice. Luckily, we caught the error above water both times. If it happened at depth, it would have been a serious and life-threatening problem. We were able to rent a regulator from the boat for the rest of the trip.
- One of the dive masters got very sick and we had to go back to Port Sudan to drop him off. However, we went back out again and resumed the trip.
Overall, still a really great trip. Highlights for me include that first hammerhead sighting, diving the Umbria wreck (separate post on that to come), and playing with the macro lens. (There was no fogging problem with that lens and port dome combination: smaller lens, smaller air space, less condensation.) Here are some shots I took with it.
Another highlight was diving on the site of the Precontinent II. This was the second of a set of projects by Jacques Cousteau. The project was to see the effects of living underwater on the human body. The site we saw is near Sha’ab Rumi. Here are some shots from that.
Overall, it was a fantastic dive trip. We can’t wait to dive again with with group.
Video from this trip to come soon!