Red Sea Aggressor
Log Date: Saturday, 1st of Oct, 2016
Entry By: Red Sea Aggressor crew
Itinerary: Brothers Daedalus Elphinstone
Our guests arrived on Saturday afternoon raring to go, eager to set up their kit, and have a good look around the boat before leaving the next morning. Hussein, our chef, had prepared some beautifully presented snacks to compliment a cold refreshment in case anyone was hungry after their journey to the boat. We then checked everyone in, guests got unpacked and settled into their cabins, and the Welcome Briefing was commenced. As the sun set over Ghalib turning the sky a burned orange and hazy pink, our guests took a walk round the boutiques and shops in the bazaar, or round the pretty grounds of the marina.
Water temperature: 80 – 82F / 27 - 28C
Air temperature: 80 - 86F / 27 - 30C
Exposure suit: 3mm - 5mm full length
Crew: Captain - Abdullah,
Cruise Director - Mahmoud,
Dive Guides - Katya & Rashad
Chefs - Hussein & Sherif,
Engineer – Mostafa
Seamen - Said, Emad, Ayob, Hussam ,
Stewards - Hegazy & Ali
Guests: David, Kathryn, Scott, Leesa, Fergal, Anaita, George, Christopher, Carrie, John, Evelyn, Robert
This week we went north to The Brothers and Daedalus before looping back round to Elphinstone and then Ghalib. What a week we had! The sound of the engines on Sunday morning meant only one thing - time to go diving! Our guests bustled excitedly around the boat with their mugs of tea and coffee as they took photos of The Red Sea Aggressor pulling away from the dock, and exchanged diving stories on the sun deck.
We decided to dive Marsa Shouna for our first dive as this site is packed full of marine life and a mixture of hard and soft corals. There is also a chance here of seeing Turtles (one of which is gigantic!), and a Dugong, so we started off in the north of the Marsa. Slipping beneath the azure blue, divers saw many Scorpion Fish, Anthias, Damsel Fish, and a Frog Fish! This Frog Fish are a delight to see, especially for photographers. As predicated, the large Turtle that can usually be found hanging out in the south of the marsa was there today. We were able to get close enough to have a really good look without disturbing this gentle creature. Turning into the bay, Giant Trevally swam past the reef in the blue, and large Grouper retreated back into crevices in the rocks. Bat Fish can be very curious and a few of them took it upon themselves to escort us further into the bay! With our escorts in situ, we passed an enormous Table Coral the size of a car, perfectly horizontal and pristine, and then up into the shallows to complete our safety stops.
Marsa Moubarak is a dive site further north that can be good for spotting Crocodile Fish and Lion Fishes. We did our third dive of the day here, and found Turtle, Giant Moray Eels, Scorpion Fishes and a Crocodile Fish resting incognito on the sand. Staying here for the night dive meant that our guests had one Electric Ray, Cat Fish! Lion Fish followed our lights as we ventured a little further from the boat to make the most of the true darkness, and Giant Moray Eels watched usclosely as we swam overhead. Back in the glow of the boats lights at the end of the dive, and a squad of Squid put on a show for us darting this way and that as they caught their evening meal.
We woke up on Monday morning feeling refreshed after a good nights sleep to find ourselves at Little Brother, the smallest of the two islands. The Brothers are a divers dream year-round, but this is one of the best time of year to dive them. Shark sightings are plentiful, and dive one at Little Brother definitely did not disappoint! Giant Moray Eels were found in the cracks in the reef. A Napoleon Wrasse checked us out as it swam by, and Cornet Fish stayed close to the reef all plucking at Anthias every now and again for breakfast. And two White Tip Oceanic sharks were waiting us below the boat. Conditions were optimum with superb visibility and current. As the sun had moved round in the sky, we moved with it and dived the west side of the island for our 3d and 4th dive. Our sightings on this dive ranged from very large to very small... From Scorpion Fish in the shadows of overhangs on the reef wall, to the Grey Reef Shark. Our guests with cameras were able to take some stunning photos of the Longimanus and Yellow Fin Tunas in particular as it confidently swam past our group.
Started in the Big Brother. Giant-striding off the back of the boat and descending onto the plateau adorned in yellow Broccoli Coral was a refreshing start to the day. A Grey Reef Shark was quickly spotted on its morning patrol. Not long after this, two Oceanic white-tip sharks came cruising in from the blue at about 10m. There they remained for the majority of the dive, much to the delight of our happy divers. Our sharky streak of luck continued for the rest of the day. For the second dive we headed to the west and saw Grey reef shark , Tuna, Scorpion fish, Napoleon Wrasse and three friendly Oceanic White-tip sharks again! The wreck of the Numidia came to rest in the north of Big Brother. It is home to many fish and colorful corals that are draped over her structure. Scorpion Fish and schools of Sailfin Tang swarmed further up in the shallows, and then a Turtle came to greet us. Another wreck lies in the north of Big Brother; this one is the wreck of the Aida. Her bows broke off and debris can be found at varying depths on the reef, also covered in soft coral. After having a look around, we headed back to the main reef where we saw Tuna.
Wednesday morning arrived, and we were moored safely and ready to go at Daedalus. Up in the north, we saw school of Hammerheads gracefully making their way through the blue towards us, as well as Tuna, Barracuda, and Giant Trevally. As all the action seemed to be happening in the north, we returned for dive two. This time, we saw three Hummerheads and Barracuda. Anemone City is a section of the reef wall covered in magnificent anemone. There are so many of these Anemones, that each diver can easily have their own. Finning extra slowly along the wall at the south of Daedalus always pays off as many smaller creatures can be seen here. Wart Slugs, Glossodorids, Pipe Fish, and Yellowspotted Scorpion Fish make their homes here. Lion Fish and Napoleon Wrasse were also added to divers logbooks afterwards.
2 Hammerheads got our second morning at Daedalus off to a sterling start! They hung around us as we filmed them and snapped away on our cameras, and once back at the reef, we passed a school of Barracudas in theshallower areas of the reef. The Tuna always look like they are on a mission somewhere as they hurry past, never sticking around for long. We got a hattrick for our second dive... Hummerheads in the deep blue… Add to the mix more Barracudas and Tuna, and the chitchat in the zodiac on the way back to the boat was peppered with laughter and squeals of delight. The Magnificent South plateau was waiting for us on the third dive. Lots of small fish were seen on this dive, including the slightly larger Emperor Fish. Back to the south for the last dive of the day, and the Giant Murray eeland Scorpion Fishes said their goodbyes to us along with the Napoleon Wrasse.
As the week drew to a close, we dived the Northen plateau of Elphinstone where we saw Redtoothed Trigger Fish, Butterfly Fish, Angel Fish, Lion Fish, Scorpion Fish, Pipe Fish, Cornet Fish, and the obligatory clouds of Anthias. With no current, we are able to explore the reef wall, and the plateau, weaving our way down and back up again before finishing with our safety stops. Close to the reef at 5m Surgeon Fish, and Rabbit Fish passed in front of our faces, the top of this glorious reefjam-packed with life.
Then we went to abu Dabab 3 and we did our last dive of the week . Our guests opted to go for ultimate relaxation, and so swapped the last dive for reclining on the sun deck with a beer and a book! The landscape ofdesert meeting the brightest blue water is quite spectacular, and meant that our guests were able to get some above-water shots on their cameras, too. All too soon, the bell was rung, and it was time for an authentic Egyptian lunch!
It has been another fabulous week in great company both above and below the water. Thank you to our lovely guests, and thank you Red Sea!
Iron Diver- Dave
Until next time, safe diving.
Your Red Sea Aggressor Crew