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Red Sea Aggressor :


Log Date: Saturday, May 09, 2015
Entry By: Red Sea Aggressor Crew


Red Sea Aggressor CAPTAINS LOG 09 - 15 MAY 2015

Southern Route

Water temperature: 75 - 79F / 24 - 26C
Air temperature: 72 - 88F / 22 - 31C. Cosy jumper recommended for post-dive/evenings.
Exposure suit: 5mm full length [7mm for those that really feel the cold]. Hood/rash vest underneath recommended.
Visibility: 33 - 98ft / 10 - 30m


Captain: Abdullah
Cruise Directors: Erin; Mahmoud
Dive Guides: Erin; Mahmoud
Chefs: Khaled; Said
Salon Steward: Mido
Seamen/Deckhands: Said, Emad, Ayob, Mostafa
Mechanic: Alla


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
head, and a large Crocodile Fish was lazing about under a Table Coral. The next stop was Abu Dabbab 1. Everyone enjoyed exploring this pretty dive site with its vast hard coral garden. Ezzie saw a juvenile Bird Wrasse, and Jojo continued on a roll with her nitrox course having started bright and early with the manual and DVD! Our third dive was further south at Gota Marsa Alam. We passed an Octopus en route to the wreck of an old safari boat. The wreck was surrounded by schools of Goat Fish and Bluespotted Rays. A Crocodile Fish and a red Scorpion Fish let us take photos of them, and Jojo found two Brown Glossodorids.

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
including Crown Butterfly Fish, Dottybacks and Regal Angel Fish. A big Napoleon Wrasse passed us by at the beginning of the dive before disappearing towards the drop-off. The fourth dive at Sataya was full of fish with many Lion Fish scurrying over the sandy bottom, and Giant Moray Eels and Red Sea Banner Fish at the vertical drop-off. A Torpedo Ray was found next to one of the huge pinnacles at the end of the dive, and an Octopus poked out from a crevice! The Lion Fish were out in full force on the night dive at Sataya! They followed the light from our torches as we scoured the area for exciting marine life. A Giant Moray Eel had coiled itself vertically on the side of a pinnacle which gave us a bit of a surprise as we swam past! Crabs, Shrimp, Basket Stars and Unicorn Fish were also all out in the darkness.

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
of the reef bring our attention to Butterfly Fish, Porcupine Fish, and schools of Snapper. The second dive was also at Habilli Ali. Napoleon Wrasse had come out and Cornet Fish used us as cover while they hunted the Anthias. After lunch and a good helping of apple pie, we went by zodiac to Orug Abu Bassala. Coined Nudi Heaven by Dive Guide, Erin, this place is full of macro life including Gold-Dotted Flatworms, Wart Slugs, Nudibranchs and Glossodorids. The walls of swim-throughs and tunnels are lined in orange Hyrdoids which catch the sun and glow brightly. Many soft corals have grown since the new year during the low season so the passageways between the great pinnacles are all the more colourful and perfect for taking photos. For the fourth dive, we backward rolled off the zodiac at the main reef of Abu Bassala. First we visited a cave in the wall, before carrying on along the reef where we saw a Whitetip Reef Shark, a Porcupine Fish, and a Bumphead Parrot Fish! On the night dive at Abu Bassala, our divers saw sleeping Parrot Fish, Feather Stars spread out on top of the hard corals, a Sea Hare, and the alien-looking Pleurobranch.

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
corals cover this circular reef from the top to the bottom and swim-throughs add some extra fun to the dive. Crocodile Fish live at this dive site, and vortices of Barracuda often hang between the pinnacles. The night dive took place at Gota Marsa Alam. We descended to the sandy bottom where we found many Shrimp and Crab species in the hard coral heads. An Octopus was moving around the reef, and the wreck of an old safari boat was surrounded by Fusiliers. Towards the end of the dive, we checked out the shallow caves for Flashlight Fish, passed a Gold-Dotted Flatworm, and ended the dive taking photos of a huge Scorpion Fish which was sitting incognito on top of a Table Coral!

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...

IRON DIVERS; Steve; Nick; Curtis

Very well done!

We hope to see all of you again. In the meantime...

Safe Diving Always

Your Red Sea Aggressor Crew