Log Date: Saturday, Jun 06, 2015
Entry By: Red Sea Aggressor Crew
Log Date: Saturday June 06, 2015
Entry By: Red Sea Aggressor Crew
RSA CAPTAINS LOG: 6 – 16 June 2015
Best of the Red Sea (10 Nights)
Water temperature: 75 - 80F / 24 - 27C
Air temperature: 80 – 86F / 28 – 30C. Cosy jumper recommended for post-dive/evenings.
Exposure suit: 5 - 7mm full length.
Visibility: 33 - 98ft / 10 - 30m
Dive Guides: Amr, Gorana, Ahmed
Chefs: Khaled, AbdelSattar
Salon Steward: Medo
Seamen/Deckhands: Sayed, Emad, Mostafa, Ayoob
Stephen – Vaughn – Drew – Sylvia – Allison – Bruce – Raymond – Cathy – Jacklyn – Bruce – Alexandria – Jean – Melinda – Casey – Amy - Scott
The crew of the Red Sea Aggressor welcomed our excited divers from Colorado, U.S. aboard the yacht for ten days of our best of the red sea itinerary. Once all of the divers had arrived and had been checked in we then covered the safety & welcome briefing; after which dinner was taken in the well-appointed dining room. We spent the evening in the marina at Port Ghalib. Many of the passengers grabbed an early nights rest however some ventured onto dry land to explore the marina area and its various shops and bazaars.
Day 1 – Sunday 7 June: After having the morning coffee and breakfast, and once we got the permission from the costal guards, Red Sea Aggressor started sailing in the choppy waters taking a southern direction to our first dive site Marsa Shoana; a perfect place that offers a relaxed check dive with its sheltered bay that offers a beautiful northern and southern tips in addition to, of course, the large sea grass bed in the middle. After checking buoyancy and adjusting the equipment in our first dive, we spent the second and third dives exploring the whole site starting with the northern tip of the lagoon, and then the southern tip. Even though we had a bit colder water and much less visibility than we hoped for (thanks to the choppy weather), With the plenty of pelagic marine life this site presents we were able to spot schools of red eye snappers and goatfish, plenty of blue spotted stingrays, a huge free swimming moray, green turtle, hawksbill turtle, and two magnificent eagle rays. It was a great opportunity to take plenty of great photos and everyone enjoyed a pleasant first day diving. Later everybody enjoyed a wonderful dinner and soon started to get ready for the first night dive of the week. Again another beautiful dive in the bay, we spotted lion fish, parrot, stingray, school of goat fish, and moray eels. After a beautiful day diving, everybody needed their rest; and Captain Abdullah slipped the Red Sea Aggressor for an 8 hours overnight trip in strong winds to find the oceanic white tips in shallow water welcoming us in Big Brother Island.
Day 2 – Monday 8 June: We arrived safely at Big Brother in the early hours of the morning after a rather bumpy ride! To ease ourselves into the day we dove the south of Big Brother, giant-striding off the back of the boat and descending onto the plateau where we met oceanic white tips who came too close to the divers checking them out, also barracudas and a gray reef shark. There were also Scorpion Fish, playing Unicorn Fish, as well as the ubiquitous Red Sea Anthias. For dive two we took the zodiacs out to the north of the island to dive the wreck of the Numidia, which ran aground here in July of 1901. This is a fabulous dive where the wreck disappears at a steep angle, leaning onto its starboard side down into the blue. Big Eye and Squirrel Fish can be found inside the wreck as well as Christmas Tree Worms that are growing out of the metal structure. Continuing the dive with the reef on the left hand side to the wreck of Aida, which crashed into the island when attempting to offload its cargo during bad weather in 1957, we were met again by the oceanic white tip that did an 8 shape in right between the divers. This wreck photographs beautifully, especially in black and white, and remnants of the bow structure can be found further along the reef, now covered in hard and soft corals from the years beneath the sea. For the third dive we explored the beautiful eastern plateau with a variety of hard and soft corals, and finally met with the elegant fox shark.
Day 3 – Tuesday 9 June: Early morning our skipper Abdullah made the small crossing to small brother and we were ready for our day. The north plateau is the place to be in small brother early in the morning as the sun is not yet high in the sky meaning that many fish are still in hunting mode. Schools of Red Sea Banner Fish swam slowly up and down the reef by the plateau and Unicorn Fish passed by in the blue. Returning with the reef on the right hand side on the west wall enjoying one of the red sea’s most beautiful walls, the western wall of small brother. You can admire the beautiful over hangs with a huge variety of soft and hard corals plenty of micro life, purple flabellina, dragons flabellina, and pyjama chromodorids. Also you can observe near in the blue lots of cleaning stations for barracudas while being accompanied by Cornet Fish all along the dive. We revisited the north plateau for the second dive and were this time rewarded with a sighting of an oceanic white tip Shark, huge tunas, and a single hammer head swimming in the nearby blue. Giant striding from the boat on the third dive and heading to the gorgonians on the south eastern side of the reef and the amazing variety of soft and hard corals and getting rewarded with a unicorn, barracuda, and a huge moray eel. Going one more time to the western wall for the last dive and enjoying more of the beautiful coral formation, barracuda, big tunas as well as the micro life in the over hangs.
Day 4 – Wednesday 10 June: A long overnight trip from Brothers Island to Daedalus, thanks to our skipper who got us their only one hour later than planned despite the rough see conditions. Early Morning dive we did the northern plateau. As soon as we got dropped in the water we adjusted our eyes to look out for hammerheads. Just within a few minutes a group of five hammerheads passed us as they were coming from the reef near the reef to meet us in the blue. Minutes later the same group came back and swam through the divers. After our quick get-together with the hammerheads we continued our dive on the eastern wall checking out the beautiful coral formation and were rewarded with a nice gray reef shark and lots of barracudas. Continuing the dive we reached to the white tip nursery cavern where we observed a baby white tip shark. The zodiac dropped us on the southern eastern side of the reef. In this dive we explored the eastern wall enjoying plenty of coral formations between soft and hard corals, gorgonians; and a nice green back turtle who came in the scene in the middle of the dive. The Anemone city at the north western side of the reef is where the zodiac dropped the divers for the third dive. Enjoying the western wall swimming back towards the boat we saw a big number of yellow fin tunas, lot’s of barracudas in their cleaning stations and a beautiful napoleon that was very calm while swimming close enough to take some nice photos.
Day 5 – Thursday 11th June
Since the weather was much better and the site was much less crowded, the captain decided it was okay to spend one more day in Daedalus. Another three dives on this beautiful reef we did the north plateau, the south plateau, and the anemone city. We were lucky enough to see more hammerheads, gray reef sharks, lots of yellow fin tunas, moray eels, and lots of fun on the western wall at anemone city. After the third dive the divers visited the light house on Big Brother Island that was constructed in 1863. Once divers were back, dinner was served and everybody was relaxing. While everybody was trying to get some good sleep while our captain took us on a 10 hours trip to “ELGABAL” and that would be Rocky & Zabargad.
Day 6 – Friday 12th June
Two dives in Rocky covering the eastern & western side of the reef. We got to see more hammerheads, gray reef sharks, moray eels, sting rays, and nice big green turtle. After we crossed for about 1.5 miles to Zabargad and after having lunch our captain saw the tide was high and he announced that we can make it to the island. Once we got on the island we were welcomed by the army costal guards. And we decided that to play a soccer game; in which we won 4-2. Once we made it back on the boat we saw two flying manta rays doing acrobatic styles on the surface, it was breath taking. The dive in Zabargad was highlighted by the 2 huge green turtles, and the abundance of huge morays. At dinner, the captain announced the he got us a special permission to do the night dive in Zabargad (one of the most amazing night dives in the red sea). The two huge green turtles were around again and the abundance and variety of soft and hard corals.
Day 7 – Saturday 13th June
Two and half hours sailing to the west until the Aggressor brought us the Small Gottaa in St. Johns. Beautiful first dive; we did a nice drift around the reef. As soon as we got in the water, two white tip sharks could be seen in the blue, as well as plenty of jackfish. We continued the dive admiring the beautiful coral formation and the magnificent gorgonians while the napoleon and the hump head parrot fish swam calmly around us. When we reached to the southern side of the reef we visited the beautiful arch formation in the reef that makes a convenient nursery for white tip sharks and we observed a baby shark sitting inside the arch which allowed the divers to take plenty of photos. The rest of the day we spent it at St. Johns Caves; Interesting shallow reef that can be beautifully penetrated through shallow caves. The reef allows the sunlight to penetrate the reef and of course creating one of the most colorful reefs in the red sea. Two day dives and a night dive allowed us to take plenty of amazing photos and videos. We also enjoyed the famous napoleon that seemed to always come close to make sure the divers were okay. End of the day the captain took us 6 hours north until we reached to our next destination and dive site.
Day 8 – Sunday 14th June
Morning dive at Shoab Claudio, this is a cave like reef similar to the caves in St. Johns. Finning through the entrance and into the main chamber, divers clicked away on their cameras making the most of the sunlight penetrating through the cracks in the top of the reef. Once having visited each corner of the caverns, divers popped out of one of the exits and enjoyed the gorgeous hard coral garden for the remainder of the dive before the short swim back to the boat where they were met by a Napoleon wrasse. Heading next to Sataya Dolphin House, the divers spent two hours snorkeling with the beautiful spinners. Again, there were lots of photos, lots of fun, and lots of dolphins. Moving next to Malahi, a small reef that seems like as if it was formed from densely packed panicles. A special atmosphere created from the solar rays dancing in the darkened spaces of these underwater galleries. The reef is very rich with corals, plenty of marine life and the napoleon passed us by as well. Last stop of the day we did at Gottaa Abu Galawa Soghayar. We enjoyed the beautiful lagoon with plenty and variety of corals, also visited the sail boat wreck with a lot of glass fish in and around it and coral formation also on the wreck itself that gives a fantastic view. Another 11 hour trip at night the captain took to reach our final destination and dive site.
Day 9 – Monday 15th June
Elphinstone is a large isolated reef around 350m long and 70m wide. We did two dives on the reef; the north plateau and the south. Drifting next to this magnificent wall we saw lots of barracudas, tunas, jackfish and of course the never ending anthias. On the south plateau the oceanic white tip was dancing between the divers and allowed us to take plenty of photos and videos. After these two beautiful dives we finally head back to land arrived at the marina at around 4pm. Now that we had a lot of fun, it was time for us to celebrate this fun. All the divers enjoyed the cocktail party on board the Red Sea Aggressor Sushi bar, fine drinks, and lots of music and laughter.
Amazing group of divers, thank guys for giving us this opportunity to show you our part of the world. We look forward to diving with you again on board of the Agressor.