March this year saw 11 iDive members and 2 guests head overseas for some early season diving in the Red Sea. The trip, organised by Dave Grimson, was the ‘Wrecks and Reefs’ week on board the Blue Adventurer with Blue O Two. There was a slight concern when the company went out of business in November of 2021 but relief when shortly after it reappeared as Scuba Tours Worldwide Ltd, trading as Blue O Two. Flying from Gatwick with Easy Jet we landed in Hurghada where we transferred to our boat and home for the week. We joined other divers ranging from a BSAC group from Liverpool, two dive buddies that meet up to go diving and a young couple from France and Singapore.
The first night was spent in port before motoring away to our first dive site. The plan was to do a nearby check dive then move north towards Sharm taking in wreck sites on the way, spend a couple of days on the world famous Thistlegorm before then heading south to The Brothers then finishing at Port Ghalib.
Egypt in March is pleasant but not hot, it was quite windy for our week which pegged the temperature feel back a few degrees so a light jacket or hoody when out on deck was comfortable. When the wind dropped shorts and T shirt was fine. The average air temperature was between 22-25°C, warmer the further south we went. The sea temperature was also in the low 20’s at around 21-22°C. Everyone except the guides where in 5 – 7mm wet suits. Mostly with no gloves and a mix of those with hoods. The most active days saw us making 4 dives. Up at 6:00am for a pre-breakfast dive, another two through the day and a final night dive early evening before dinner. The food was very good and there was lots of it, there was certainly no risk of going hungry!
The dive sites we visited where as follows.
Shaab El Erg reef, the wreck of the Chrisoula K, Giannis D (dived twice), Carnatic, bluff Point reef, The Barge wreck (dived Twice), Thistleghorm (dived 4 times), Ras Mohammed reef and the wreck of Dunraven. Further south we dived Small Brother reef then twice on Big Brother visiting the wrecks of the Numidia and Aida then finishing with Adu Dabab and Masa Shuna.
Below, four images from the Thistleghorm.
The Red Sea is deservedly famous for it’s marine life and wrecks and this trip didn’t disappoint. Visibility was perhaps not as good as it can be but I certainly wouldn’t complain about the 20m+ that we had most of the time! The wrecks we visited where a great mix of large, medium and small in various states of decay but they offered a great mix of things to look around and get in inside.
It was a little too early in season for the bigger fish so there were just a couple of small sharks spotted but we encountered a several pods of Dolphins as well as a few turtles. There was of course masses of other life to see including; Scorpion fish, Crocodile fish, Lion fish, Rays, Butterfly fish, Trigger fish, Emperor fish, octopus, many corals, anemones and little critters such as the Nudibranchs and pipe fish.
It was a great week of diving and a liveaboard is a good way to get out to a varied range of sites in relative comfort. The crew provided brilliant service through out and there was plenty of time to chill out between dives. I can see why people keep going back!