Thursday, 5 February 2009

Clean-up Diving in the Red Sea

Day 1 Thursday February 5th

Today Ben (youngest son) and I (Paul) are setting off to the Red Sea for one week of diving from a Live-aboard out of Hurghada. Although we are doing the standard Northern Reefs and Wrecks itinerary out of Hurghada (which we did last year out of Sharm), the difference this time is that the week has been advertised as a reef clean-up week. This means that the cost is subsidised by the dive company (BlueOtwo) in return for which we are requested to devote some dives to picking up the enormous amount of rubbish which accumulates at popular dive sites when unthinking tourists simply solve their rubbish problem by dropping it overboard.

Although the flight is scheduled to depart from Gatwick on Friday at 1015 am, travel time around the M25 and M23 is so variable and unreliable that we are staying the pre-flight night at a cheap hotel near Gatwick. The weather in the UK has been very snowy in the week before the holiday with numerous disruptions to roads and airports so I feel somewhat relieved that we will be within two miles of the airport when we wake up on Friday morning.

Thursday is spent finishing checking our dive gear and packing the small amount of clothes you need on a live aboard. Divers generally get an extra weight allowance included with their tickets since (as in our case), the weight of all of the dive gear is quite considerable (about 20 kgms). My dive bag contains:

Assorted tablets for various possible ailments

Buoyancy Control Device (BCD)

Depth resistant dive case (for storing small things in)

Dive Computer

Dive Gloves

Dive Knife

Dive Log and Qualification Cards

Dive Shirt

Dive Socks

Dunking sack (for use when rinsing dive gear)

Factor 50 Suntan lotion


Fish Identification Card and Book

Log Book and qualifications

Mask Strap Band

Mask with Prescription Lenses (and case)

Regulator (1st and 2nd Stages etc)


Spare batteries

Surface Marker Buoy and Reel

Torch for Night Diving


Underwater Camera

Underwater Camera Case

Underwater slate

Wet Suit

Wet Suit Hood

The weight of my clothes is considerably less (about 2 kgms)

Three pairs of socks (you do not wear socks or shoes on a live aboard)

Two shirts (one out and one back)

Two T Shirts (most of the day is spent in dive gear or in the sun)

Underwear (sufficient but not to excess)

Winter clothes for wearing on the way to the plane and again on arrival back in the UK.

Sun Hat
Add a few books, mp3 player, noise reducing headphones and other odds and ends and the travel bag itself and the weight gets close to 25 kgms.

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