Water temperature: 75 - 79F / 24 - 26C
Jojo; Cathy; Roane; Dennis; Steve; Curtis; Jen & Nick; Ezzie & Linda
We welcomed our awesome Aggressor guests on Saturday afternoon for a chilled out week of diving on our Southern Itinerary. With plenty of space on the boat, everyone picked a tank, set their gear up, and had a good look around the boat. The Welcome Briefing was commenced in the salon with guests and crew getting to know each other ahead of the week. We then settled down to a delicious steak dinner prepared by Chefs Khaled and Said. The evening was spent chilling out on the sun deck with a beer or glass of wine, and taking a stroll around the beautiful Port Ghalib Marina.
DAY 1 - Sunday 10 May
As we waited for our permissions to be sanctioned, we enjoyed a continental and hot breakfast on the boat at the marina before untying the lines and heading south to Marsa Shoana. This first dive site boasts a huge variety of marine life, and many different ecosystems can be found here. We descended to the shallow, sandy bottom where a Moses Sole lay camouflaged on the white sand. No sooner had we made it over to the main reef, than a beautiful Glossodorid was spotted. We continued along the reef ever so slowly keeping our eyes peeled for cool critters! A very juvenile Torpedo Ray had half-covered itself beneath a coral
DAY 2 - Monday 11 May
After a very smooth overnight crossing we awoke to flat waters and a bright, sunny day in Sataya. Today was a special day... Happy Birthday, Curtis! First up was dive site Shaab Maksour. The north plateau was bursting with marine life early in the morning as we descended. A school of Barracuda hung in the blue, and Tuna and Giant Trevally passed by the sloping reef and hard coral heads. Malahi was our second dive site and everyone loved weaving though the corridors and passageways. It really is like an underwater maze! A little coral head had three Pyjama Chromodorids sitting on top of it, and schools of Black Snapper and Goat Fish were nestled between the great pinnacles. A Giant Moray Eel surprised us at the end of the dive by snaking round a pinnacle and making its way along the outer reef. A short distance from Malahi is Gota Sataya. We all felt so relaxed during this sive, we could have dozed off underwater! Crystal clear water meets pure white sand, and the reef slopes gently down to meet it. Many small fish gather at this dive site
DAY 3 - Tuesday 12 May
We woke up to an idyllic day in St Johns. The water looked like a mirror, and there was no wind at all. Our first dive at Habilli Ali was spectacular and so very relaxing. Before we had even got in the water, the briefing was halted as a large pod of Bottlenose Dolphins swam slowly past the boat. With the water as calm and clear as it was, the dive felt like we were in a huge aquarium! At the beginning of the dive, a Grey Reef Shark passed us by on its morning patrol of the reef. Large Dragons and Purple Flabellina could be found all over the walls. The shallows were the place to be, however, as the morning sunlight lit up the top
DAY 4 - Wednesday 13 May
A rare cloudy day started our day on Wednesday and a gentle breeze cooled the air. The first dive was at Gota Soraya - a circular reef in the area of St Johns. Here, the soft corals are a photographers delight, and larger pelagic life can also been seen. Barracuda hung in the blue, Tuna passed, and Sailfin Tang congregated beneath the boat. The reef wall slopes down steeply into the blue, and Nudibranchs and Wart Slugs are found in abundance. A very grumpy looking Stone Fish with green algae growing all over it came out looking surprisingly good in photos! The sharks were out for the second dive at Gota Soraya; this time in the west. A large crack in the reef is where a juvenile Whitetip Reef Shark can be found and it was there today resting on the sandy bottom. Continuing along the reef wall, we saw Scorpion Fish, Bluefin Trevally, Nudibranchs, and a school of shimmering Silversides underneath a shallow ledge. The famous St Johns Caves were our third dive of the day. Big Eye and macro life can be found along the corridors, and schools of Snapper, juvenile Lion Fish and large Red Sea Coral Groupers inhabit the shallow lagoon at the back. Dart Fish can be seen here, and today, a Whitetip Reef Shark was spotted as well. We explored the giant pinnacles on the outside of the reef for our dusk dive. Another Whitetip Reef Shark was seen as the light faded and the atmosphere changed ready for the night shift. A friendly Napoleon Wrasse cruised past and Bluepsotted Rays swam over the sand between the pinnacles. Linda caught sight of an Octopus in a crevice in the rock, while Curtis alerted us whenever he came across a Nudibranch!
DAY 5 - Thursday 14 May
After travelling overnight, we arrived in Wadi Gemal at dive site Shaab Sharm ready for an early morning wall dive! The reef disappears almost vertically down into the deep blue with schools of Fusiliers being hunted by Giant Trevally, and curious Tuna checking us out. Wart Slugs could be found almost every few metres along the wall until we arrived at the plateau where we spread out looking for Turtles, Scorpion Fish, and Bluespotted Rays. Thousands of Anthias add an injection of colour to this already beautiful reef, and Dolphins were seen playing on the surface. We explored the west side of Shaab Sharm for the second dive. There is an exceptionally big Table Coral here and underneath it you can find Porcupine Fish, Big Eye, Squirrel Fish and more. Groupers and Coral Hinds hid in the Fire Coral as we swam past only to pop out again once we had reached a safe distance. Jen and Nick found an Anemone with some tiny Clown Fish inside. After an afternoon nap on the way to Marsa Alam, we got into the zodiacs to dive Habilli Marsa Alam. Hard
DAY 6 - Friday 15 May
Our first dive of the day was at glorious Elphinstone! This is a long reef with a plateau in the north and south and its covered in hard and soft corals! Cornet Fish and thousands of Anthias cover the walls of the reef, and Redtoothed Trigger Fish flit about on the plateau. Unicorn Fish change colour from silver to dark grey as they are cleaned by Cleaner Wrasse, and the wall disappears into the deep blue. As the weather had become much more windy, we unmoored and headed the short distance to Abu Dabbab 3. This was where we made our last dive of the charter. We spread out over the sand and looked for Bluespotted Rays, Lion Fish, Surgeon Fish and plenty of tiny critters in the coral heads. A large Napoleon Wrasse kept us company for a while as we swam along before we turned around to swim back to the boat over the hard coral garden. The evening was a lot of fun with Mido making cocktails for everyone, and the Chefs sushi treats. Thank you to all of our awesome Aggressor guests; its been a really great week!
Join us in congratulating...
NITROX DIVER: Jojo
Very well done!
We hope to see all of you again. In the meantime...
Safe Diving Always
Your Red Sea Aggressor Crew