After the dive safari last year we had decided, to make a similar one in 2013 and therefore together with Rainer and Kerstin chosen our this desired tour.
Unfortunately, we had had the idea to book with Sun Express the flight to Marsa Alam , a decision that we would better rethink the next time. Drinks are optional here, for Example 2 euros for 1 Coke, there is on this medium range flight to Egypt only a tiny bun with cheese, plus 0.1 liters of mineral water, not much for a 5-hour flight, as we find.
The airline could of course not be held responsible for the strike of ground staff at the airport of Marsa Alam, which left us being grilled for another 2 hours in the blazing sun at noon standing on the ground, but at least one complimentary drink like mineral water could have been offered to us during that time. The crew was called every so often , but felt unable to react, you should just buy drinks!
Eventually the horror then came to an end and at about 15 o'clock we were finally on board the MY Independence II and felt eased. One after the other divers arrived and off we went with respect to the writing, setup and several briefings for the ship as well as the dive operation. Dive guides were Daniel and Melissa, there were 14 divers on board, we had cabin # 7 on the dive deck.
The tour started the next morning exceptionally early at 9 clock with light waves. Our first goal should be a check dive at Abu Dabab, the next dive was at Shaab Marsa Alam. This was followed by the crossing to the Fury Shoals. There was the next morning with a not so early "Early Morning Dive" at 7.00 o'clock at the drop-off of Shaab Sataya with Napoleon, Barracuda & Co.
Only just out of the water before breakfast, we went right back into the Zodiacs, as the first dolphins had been sighted. Snorkeling with spinner dolphins in the lagoon of Shaab Sataya is always a matter of luck, depending on how many boats are on site. We were only a few Snorkelers there, the other two zodiacs were soon gone again, and we had it all to ourselves, the group of about 40 animals. It was just fantastic to swim with the dolphins at especially at the end where the came close and we even got their pups presented.
We had a hard time separating, but the next dive spot waiting for us, Malahi, the beautiful coral garden with the light gimmicks. The night dive at Gotha Sataya was more of a disappointment, except feather stars and shrimp it was hard to see anything. Unfortunately, we had the same experience in the past years in the Red Sea.
The third diving-days was also the last day at the Fury Shoals, we dived Shaab Maksour and Shaab Claudio, the night dive was also held with Claudio. At night, we went north to Daedalus Reef (Abu el Kizan). This reef rises from a depth of more than 600 meters to a few centimeters under the water surface. Since it is located right in the waterway, a large lighthouse is located on the Reef. We anchored on the south plateau, where the reef starts at a depth of 25 meters, here you will find wonderful Soft corals and anemones carpet.
Day 4 and 5 we spent with 3 dives at Daedalus, along with 3 or 4 other Boats, in a rather favorable situation , as yet mostly divers arrive at the same positions. At almost every dive we were able to watch individual hammerheads, which now and then led to a right mess underwater, divers were lost and then there was also the occasional decompression dive without sufficient air left. The guides have been kept quite busy by us. However : The absolute blast was the second dive on day 5, we simply wanted to know all again and headed back to the northeast and immediately after the descent they were already with us, a group of extremely curious hammerheads (6 in number). For all of us, rarely or not at all experienced, began quite a long lasting interaction, the sharks at the beginning only had circled us, then swam through the group, some came close enough to touch. The whole nightmare was unfortunately over after about 15 minutes and of course all divers were happy, including the guides.
On the evening of the penultimate day there was again a long drive to the coast at the usual Swell. The Early Morning Dive at Elphinstone was not quite as eventful as hoped, due to the very strong current on the northern plateau, there was a driftdive back to the ship. At the end of the dive it got funny, because a young Napoleon had decided to join our group and started to get a bit pushy. The final dive then was at Ras Shona, a larger bay close to our goal of Ras Ghalib, here you meet with a lot of luck a very rare Dugong, this time we did not find any. After about 30 minutes travel time was finally concluded we ran into the harbor Ras Ghalib. Then the great dismantling, cleaning and drying of the equipment began.
A few information on the MY Independence II: The food was sensational, varied and always sufficient (the freshly baked bread in the morning we enjoyed very well, thank you for that). The whole crew was very attentive and helpful, had the Zodiac driver a particularly difficult job because of the sometimes very high waves at Daedalus Reef. On board there is plenty of room for everyone, seating, chairs, etc. are really plentiful. The cabins are very spacious, also the associated baths. The beds and Mattresses were very good, which is not always a given. Little criticism was here only the air conditioning, which did not always work and was quite noisy. The dive guides Daniel and Melissa made their job very well, the briefings were very detailed and informative.
We will definitely come back in any case, this was now our third dive safari with Blue Water Safaris and hopefully not the last. Click here for Hammerhead-Cinema