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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok then, I'll try and split this up to save bandwidth or ozone or something.

I know it’s been done to death, but if anyone has an insomnia problem, here’s my account of my first ever week in Sharm. I’d been looking forward to this for ages, and it lived up to the expectations.
First diving holiday sort of, although Mrs endo and two small endo’s came along as well.

We were at the Hyatt in Sharm and it was an outstanding hotel. I had pre booked diving through their on site Red Sea Waterworld a branch of Red Sea College, and after I took my kit down first morning put it in a box, I never had to worry about it again.

First day onto boat and find a cylinder and get kitted up. Boat left jetty at Naama bay and it wasn’t too busy really. Found a seat upstairs, and listened to a dive brief in French! This being my first time I ventured into the smoky downstairs, smoke from divers not the engine, and found some Brits. I was assured there would be an English brief later so I went back upstairs and tucked into more water.

Got the brief in English from a French guide who was to be my buddy. I explained I had done mainly UK diving, and was unsure about my weighting etc, and I could only find an Ali 80 tank and not the Steel 15 I had requested. Any way we jumped in, Ras Katy was the site, two other boats there, and I was back to the boat for a bit more lead. Once I could sink we were descending, I was expecting a nice gentle bimble to get used to things, but we were straight down to 30 metres! Deepest I had been before was 23. Plus I knew there was no bottom, so I was pretty awe struck with it all.

Was nice to be in warm water, and the vis and life was amazing, saw a blue spotted ray and lots of parrot fish. Started a gentle ascent after about 15 mins, ( was on nitrox) and was soon aware that I was guzzling air! No drama but I slowly ascended over the next 15 minutes and did a safety stop for a total dive time of 37 minutes. Back up the ladder, which wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, and found a couple of guys with twindies on the boat who had been doing a deep dive but had inflator bother and were cobbling together a repair. Seems like I was the baby in the group of Brits.

Lunch next then off back to Naama to drop off / collect others and I got a 15 L onloaded.

Went to Fiddle Garden next, and I felt a lot comfier with the steel tank dropped a bit of weight, and managed a nice 64 minute dive this time. Saw a huge Moray which nearly swam into the dive guide, and made an insta / underwater buddy as others ran low on air. Did a weight check at end and dropped 2 K more for next day.

Left box on boat, got bus back to hotel, went to pool etc etc. The box would be moved to the correct boat or back to the hotel depending on where I was the next day, I was amazed that nothing went wrong with this, but there seemed to be method in the madness.

Next day similar, but dived with the same buddy as in the afternoon which was nice, both dives saw the guides having to use their octos to people low on air. One was a German bloke with a huge video rig who was smashing into coral all over the place and had no idea how much air he had as his gauge was bust. Different guide to today, Scottish chap, Frankie, quite a character as I’m sure some here will know. We had some interesting hand signals to describe Jorgen. Took camera out for first time in afternoon, it’s not that easy is it :) Both dives around 55 minutes.


Rave On





Frankie and Jorgen


Near Garden

 

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next bit

Day 3 was Ras Mo, and the family came on the boat. First dive Ras Ghazlani, nice drift, 30 metre max and again about 55 minute dive. Lots of life here, nice in the shallow bits, and one of my favourite dives of the week. Had new buddy for the day, we were similar on air, so had no troubles underwater. Next to Shark and Yolanda after a quick chug along the coast, and I realised that one of the guys on the boat was from my club / shop back home. He’s working over there now as a DM or instructor I guess, hi Paul.

Shark reef was lovely and the thought of the drop beneath quite spooky, a decent current running and soon we were at Yolanda. We saw schooling Snapper, Unicorn fish, and lots of other “ fish fish” I discovered my camera had fogged, so gave up with that. After a battle against the current to get over to the Yolanda wreck we all had a bit of a breather, I was knackered as it was a real effort to get past a particular bit of coral and all the group struggled. Other groups on the boat turned back before the nasty bit. We then drifted back over the wreck and to the reef with the current our friend. Despite the current I really enjoyed this dive, and would jump at the chance to do it again if I ever get fitter. It was also dive number 50 for me and a pretty good place to do it I reckon.


Me







Lunch on the move and a third dive at Ras um Sidd on the way back. Nice drift but not as much to see. Did see a scorpion fish though.

I had got the next day off diving, so I could at least have a few beers that night, and the free cocktail 2 hours in the hotel was not wasted J Spent the next day by the pool, but was pretty bored to be honest. I went snorkelling off the hotel jetty which is at Middle Garden, and pretty decent.

Day 4 was Tiran, and I was hoping for Sharks. We had heard reports that there may be some. First dive was Thomas Reef, lovely drift and tons to see. Got quite excited when the guide motioned at us to look and swim out into the blue, but it was just ” fish fish “ again.



Follow me, Shark!







fish fish again
















Back on the boat and a plan was hatched to go look for Hammerheads at Jackson. We were going to go to the back of the reef, but the guide decided to try a new plan. Drop in at front of Jackson, down to 25 metres then swim over the saddle to Woodhouse in the Blue. Well Jackson wall was lovely but out in the blue it was a finning competition, and the sea won. Lots of current, and me going now where, puffing like I don’t know what. Once the guide had given up as well we were swept back onto the back of Jackson and continued the drift. I had a banging CO2 headache by then, caused by my puffing and crappy breathing I know. Any way, safely ascended with stop etc and back on the boat. Took a couple of ibuprofen, plenty water and the head started to clear up. I didn’t bother with the third dive though.




The Hotel

 

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Last bit I promise

Last dive day was the Saturday, and I chose to do a couple of dives from the jetty on the house reef so Mrs Endo knew I was there during the day. There was only the guide and me so it was pretty cool. Sadly a lot of the coral at middle garden is dead, but there is some good stuff if you look around, and the highlight of the week was a huge Manta which came very close. Didn’t get a decent picky but a couple of wing flaps were captured on video. That one sighting was worth the whole week.




















More beers, packing etc and off home on Sunday pm.

All in all an excellent week. Would have been nice to have the same buddy for more than a couple of dives, it was much easier diving with some one you had dived with before. Couldn’t fault the dive company, and it was nice to go from Naama which was pretty close to the Hotel. What is it with that daft road? Have to drive 2 miles past then come back on yourself, bonkers. Needed a bottle of water for the bus drive alone. It was hitting mid forties every day, and I got a piccie of my computer by the pool, fortunately the pool chap came round with drinks all day, and cold towels etc, and also cleaned your sunglasses for you, yep, honestly.




We were so cosseted in the hotel that we never went into Naama Bay other than to get the boat. We had different food every night and the kids really enjoyed the hotel, played chess/ cards with us at night etc. really relaxing. Until 14 year old borrowed the camera to take a picture of his domino creation. Ah well, kids eh :embarassed:








I had planned to do Thistlegorm, but really couldn’t face the 4 am start, so there’s an excuse to go back

I’ve tried to put some pictures in at the appropriate points, and if you’ve got this far, pour another drink, you deserve it!

In the words of Arnie, I’ll be back! Maybe a liveaboard next time. It’ll not be soon though, as I’ve just found out I’ve put my passport through the washing machine! Looks a little worse for wear!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
No Jessica, best I got was 18 stone Roland the German who was at least 20 yards ahead of me at all times and never looked round. I made a threesome with a nice English couple I met on the boat and waved to Roland as he had to go up early for his stop.

Kit in box left me plenty time for fiddling with other things :angel:
 
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