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Doyen of the Dodgy Dances, whilst being too legit,
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Being the diving advocate that I am, I was approached today by a friend at work who is looking to do some day boat diving whilst in Eqypt this year. Unfortunately I haven't been to the Red Sea yet, I tend to find myself immersed in the green murky stuff over here, so I thought I would open the question to the YD collective.

Recommendations are required for
Good dive sites (reefs and wrecks) suitable for some one with OW certification (or PADI adventure diver) with less than 50 dives.

Day boats only (no liveaboard)

and good accomodation for when not diving.

My friend had mentioned shark reef, but this isn't a site I am familiar with.

Thanks
Mark
 

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Hi Mark,

When I went to Sharm I dived with Ocean College and found them jolly good.

They do the usual Sharm stuff 1st day local dives (Ras Katy and Ras Um Sid) then you get to go to Tiran and Ras Mohammed. Shark Reef usually features on the itinery at least once - drop in at Shark carry on round to Yoldana with bits of the remains of the cargo there. You usually get Jackfish Alley, Shark Observatory, Ras Ghozlani in Ras Mo as well. Tiran gives you Thomas, Jackson, Woodhouse and Gordon. All of these can be done as an OW diver.

I enjoyed it so much I went back and did my AOW with them a couple of months ago.

Wrecks - not to sure if there's too much in OW range with the dayboats - Dunraven goes down to about 28m - can't remember the name of the wreck in Tiran that's quite shallow.

Accommodation, in Sharm, depends on budget really. I went cheap and stayed at the Ocean Bay which was clean and the bars were nice. Camel looks good as well and heard good stuff about the Hilton Waterfalls.

Bestest

Allie

Edit: There's a map of dive sites at http://www.cameldive.com/images/Tiran-Ras-Mohamed-map.jpg
 

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Dunno really........ thinking about it
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Emperor divers treats the Tiran reefs and Ras Mohammed as needing an AOW minimum qualification due to depth and currents.

Shark reef, often dived with Yolanda, is at the tip of ras Mohammed and has a max depth potential of 800m (not a typo), Vertical as well as lateral currents often at the same time. Bouyancy control and confidence are, err, useful :) They will probably not see a shark there. Brilliant dive though.

I would persuade your friend to do AOW.

OW with an 18m limit is a bit of a waste and he would be limited to the gardens (various) temple Ras Um sid etc. etc. Nice dives but not very challenging.

We use the Hilton Dreams hotel (4th visit in July). Nice and not too expensive for its standard. Also well within stagger range of Camel bar, Pomadoro etc etc. Also very close to Emperor Divers.
 

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I guess I got lucky with the currents at Ras Mohammed and Tiran when I was out there really, every time we were on the big wall sites there was no discernable current.

IMHO doing an AOW while on hols is a good idea. I got my done over two days and with no classroom time it doesn't cut into your enjoyment of your holiday. Gives a couple more "supervised" dives and probably get a night dive without paying extra (other than the course fees of course), actually I really enjoyed my PPB dive.

Bestest

Allie
 

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I went with Emperor last year. I was a newly-qualified Sports Diver so didn't want anything challenging. We did all the usual day-boat stuff out of Sharm. Ras-Mo, Tiran, Dunraven etc. I found that conditions on most of the sites can change depending on what time you get there. As an example, I dived Shark and Yolande 3 or 4 times and it can be a nice relaxing dive. But the one time we got there later than planned and the current was ripping. I didn't enjoy it that much. We jumped in at Shark reef and were whipped around to Yolande in no time at all. By the time we reached the pile of toilets we had to fin really hard up the slope to get out of the current and I almost couldn't manage it. I had visions of being swept away from the reef into the blue and having to ascend solo on my DSMB (which most people don't bother carrying by the way). For an inexperienced diver it was quite scary. Back on the boat the guide commented "Well that was a rollercoaster wasn't it ?"
I'd recommend Emperor though as they look after you. My point is .... choose a good operator and let them sort it all out. Many of the dive sites can be susceptible to currents especially at Ras Mo and Tiran. I saw a snorkeler at Jackson who had to be rescued by another boat because of a strong current, but then...who goes snorkeling without fins ?
I would do the AOW out there tbh. Your mate won't find many people that will be too pleased about buddying an OW diver. The only OW diver on our boat was there with her bloke, and he was an SSI instructor. I doubt she would have been allowed on most of the dives without him looking after her.
 

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Gizmo - get yourself out here!! You'll love it!!
As for your friends trip if they are heading to Sharm, Hurghada, Marsa Alam or Nuweiba Emperor would be happy to look after them! If it is Shark Reef he/she wants then it will have to be Sharm. As some of the others have suggested it is a good idea to have AOW before hitting some of the bigger sites but this is merely a recommendation. An Open Water or Adventure diver with sufficient number of logged dives and who is comfortable and confident in the water can tackle most of the Sharm dive sites. Sure, Shark & Yolanda can be subject to some pretty strong and unpredictable currents but the less experienced divers would be asked to stay with the guide who would make sure they didn't get into difficulties and can even offer a tow if you find yourself having to work too hard like Steve!! Hotels near Emperor (to avoid hotel/DC transfers) Hilton Sharm Dreams, Hilton Fayrouz (bit pricier but right on the beach), Novotel, Marriott and Rosetta.
Feel free to get your friend to contact me ([email protected]) if he/she has any questions or give them the website info below. I was in Sharm guiding and teaching for 5 and a half years so should be able to help with most enquiries!
 

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I have always found Oonas to be very, very good and would not hesitate in recommending them. They have accommodation at their school and run on day boats out of Sharm and Sharks bay to visit all the usual sites.
 
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