Having arrived nice and early on the Saturday afternoon, our guests had plenty of time to relax before dinner. They set their equipment up and unpacked before taking a seat in the comfortable salon for introductions and the Welcome Briefing. After dinner some guests cracked open a cold beer and others enjoyed a nice glass of wine before chilling out upstairs on the sundeck as the stars began to shine down on Port Ghalib Marina.
Our permissions were sanctioned early the next morning so we unmoored and left Ghalib, on our way to Marsa Shouna. Seas were pretty calm, wind was minimal, and visibility at Shouna was great. We all had a fantastic first dive spotting Scorpion Fish, Cornet Fish, Bluespotted Rays, Pipe Fish, and Lion Fish.
The sandy bottom gave divers a good opportunity to refine their buoyancy, and the rest of the dive site with its sloping coral reef was the ideal place to get up close and look for smaller marine life. The second dive we spotted many Scorpion Fish again, different colors and different sizes. An Octopus was found as well as Stone Fish, two Wart slugs and huge Moray eel.
South we went to Abu Dabbab 1. Pretty hard coral gardens awaited us as well as the Scorpion Fish, Butterfly Fish, Parrot Fish, and Giant Moray Eels that are found there. On the way back to the boat, guests were lead through a fun swim-through in a crack in the reef before completing their safety stops and popping up by the boat ladders.
For the first night dive of the week we stayed put at Abu Dabbab 1. Spreading out across the sandy bottom and finning over and around coral bommies we saw sleeping Parrot Fish, four Cuttlefishes swimming over the sand, Shrimps shyly backed into crevices in the rocks and one Panther cowrie was spotted under the coral.
After dinner, we unmoored and headed south overnight to Daedalus reef.
Again, conditions were lovely as we woke in the morning. A very gentle breeze, calm seas, and plenty of sunshine. There are so many dive sites at Daedalus reef and we began from the north part. We dived there two dives and we saw a few hammerhead sharks below us, a schooling Barracudas was hovering in the blue, a school of trevally and a Napoleon Wrasse.
After lunch we visited our pretty Anemone City, which always very attractive for divers, especially for photographers and videographers.
Flashes of cameras surrounded the anemones and we continued our dive, slowly finning along the beautiful wall. Such a relaxing dive.
Dive four we dedicated to the south plateau. Giant Moray eel was spotted as well as Scorpion Fish and a Napoleon Wrasse.
Shaab Maksour was how we started our day.
This is a long reef that has a long, wide plateau in the south. Hard and soft corals are all over it, and two huge pinnacles can be found closer to the main reef. Twinspot Snapper moved in schools and a Giant Moray Eel suddenly appeared moving in its sinuous form across the bottom. Rainbow Wrasse, Red Sea Coral Grouper, Tuna and Sail Fish were also sighted by our divers. Down in the south to Sataya reef, there is a dive site that offers a bit for everyone in terms of topography! What a lot of life we saw on this dive...! Ehrenbergs Snapper, Titan Trigger Fish, Butterfly Fish, schools of Goat Fish and Pilot Fish, Red Sea Banner Fish, and a Bluespotted Ray on the sand.
In the place of dive number three, we went to the west of Sataya Reef to snorkel with the Whitestripe Dolphins that rest there during the day. This week we were lucky once again as visibility was fantastic and the Dolphins were very relaxed around us with their young. They also seemed very playful gathering speed as they swam before launching themselves out of the water, turning a half twist and splooshing back in! With smiling faces we came back to the boat and we moved to Gota Sataya, there we spent remainder of the day.
The last day dive we swam around colorful pinnacles where so many Anthias fish, butterfly fish and Masked Puffer fish. A hawksbill turtle was found next to the main reef and big Bluespotted Rays were already tucking into its meal on the sand. On the way back to the boat we saw Spanish Dancer’s eggs and we expected to find this Dancer at night.
Our expectations were met, we saw three Spanish Dancer! Plenty of basket stars, feather stars, Grouper and lots of sleeping Parrot Fish in their mucousy cocoons were also found.
Next up was a very special dive site called Shaab Claude. This place is incredibly atmospheric with its huge coral and rock structures, winding paths, and swim-through tunnels. There is an amazing variety of hard coral, and round almost every corner schools of Goat Fish and Ehrenbergs Snapper. Bluespotted Rays can be found resting on sandy patches, and Sulphur Damsel Fish hide beneath the Acropora (Table Corals) as divers swim overhead. Big Eye loom in the shadows of overhangs and our old friend, huge Napoleon Wrasse waited us below the boat. We completed two dives there and after lunch we moved to the next destination, Small Abu Galawa. The coral at Small Abu Galawa is absolutely beautiful. So colourful, and such variety. A wreck (private yacht) has been lying on the sand since 1995 and it is home for school of glassfish and transparent cleaner shrimps. We also saw a White tip Reef Shark, Anemones, Moray Eels, Grouper, Octopus, Pipe Fish, and Lion Fish.
The last dive of the day we went to the south part of the reef by zodiac.
Swimming over the coral garden our divers saw Giant Moray Eels, Scorpion Fish, A Blackmouthed Sea Cucumber moved across the rubble in its undulating motion, looking for something to eat, and a big Bluespotted Ray was already tucking into its meal on the sand.
On the night dive, also at the north of Abu Galawa, one of our guests found two Spanish Dancers, a Crown-of-Thorns in a crack in the rock, Crabs, and in shallower water plenty of Basket stars and Feather stars.
Overnight we began travelling north to the area of Wadi Gemal. For the first dive of the day we jumped in at Shaab Sharm. The reef wall offered many sightings of Giant Moray Eels, Cornet Fish, Scorpion Fish and Blennies in the shallows. Once round the corner at the plateau a Turtle came to say hello to us as it surfaced for air. We moved south to the Habili Radir, which can be visited only when sea is flat. Butterfly Fish, Damsel Fish, Wrasse, Parrot Fish and Barracuda were all spotted as we cruised along the reef wall that disappeared into the blue. We had a great dive at Habili Marsa Alam for the third dive of the day. The reef has many recesses and pinnacles. Following the reef round we saw Flagtail Blanquillo hovering above the sand, and a cute little juvenile Lion Fish. The night dive, at Gota Marsa Alam got us sightings of three precious anemones, a reef hermit crab and many lionfishes.
Our last day and a refreshing start to the morning at Elphinstone reef. Here our guests were able to get a good look at the north plateau. And we met a Hammerhead shark there! We continued our dive along the east wall and we spotted a Masked Puffer Fish, Box Fish, Parrot Fish, Anemones and Butterfly Fish make this site their home.We went to the south plateau for the second dive. After the dive our staff was ready to rinse off all gear and we tuck into a delicious Egyptian lunch.
# Iron divers
Thank you to all of our lovely guests for a wonderful week.
Safe diving always, and see you again soon.
Your Red Sea Aggressor Crew