Saturday, 30 May 2009

Sharks a plenty – Day 4

A typical four dive day follows this pattern:

6 am Wake-up
6.30 am Briefing on first dive
7 am Put kit on and enter water
8 am Dive finished, dry off, do log books
8.45 am Breakfast
10.30 Briefing on second dive, kit up,dive, log books etc
12 noon Lunch
2.30 pm Briefing on third dive, kit up,dive, log books etc
7.00 pm Briefing on fourth dive, kit up,dive, log books etc
8.30 pm Dinner
A Beer and Bed

In between the above, the boat will reposition a few times, time has to be found to maintain one’s kit, the crew recharge our air tanks and we then test the gas mix, books are read and you rest as much as possible. Dives last around an hour so during a typical day you spend about 4 hours actually in the water – no wonder we get tired.

Dives 7 and 8 – Gota Soroya

This reef is a large pinnacle reef with a fairly steep drop-off all around

Gota Soroya

(sheer walls with the sandy bottom being below sensible diving depth). The plan for these dives is to fin around the circumference, looking for sharks – White Tips and Reef Sharks.

It is not long before we see our first sharks – they are just getting on with life looking for breakfast which rarely (if ever) includes divers. We have been briefed to treat them with caution and how to behave if they approach but they are not regarded as a threat – there are far more dangerous fish in the Red Sea than the sharks.

Shark 1

Shark 2

Shark 3

In the above pictures (you have to look carefully), the sharks are about 10m away and at best are only curious about divers. Other fish are far more interested in us and come very much closer.

Fish 1

Common Big Eye

Fish and Coral


Puffer Fish

The fish are as interesting and colourful as they always are and it is particularly exciting when  number of Tuna start hunting amongst the shoals swimming around us – the shoals break and regroup very fast, each fish trying to avoid becoming breakfast. Below is a picture of Tuna

Tuna hunting

hunting fish. Sometimes the prey shelter under an overhang and wait for the Tuna to go away (as in below).

Fish sheltering

We see around five sharks and are thoroughly pleased.

Dive 9 – St John’s Woods

The briefing describes this as a very interesting dive with lots of coral

St Johns Woods 

pinnacles to explore with some slight water movement (aka current). The coral is indeed very beautiful and the water is very clear.

Coral 1

Coral 2

Swim Through

Coral 3

Coral 4

The currents however were far more complicated that the briefing had said and everyone found themselves either fighting to fin against the currents or being swept along with them. Fortunately we could shelter behind the pinnacles and with air getting low training and rules took over and we headed back to the boat where everyone agreed it had been a beautiful but challenging dive.

Dive 10 – Paradise

Two hours sailing north takes us to the night dive where we tie up on what

Paradise DIve 10

looks like a peaceful bit of coral. An easy night dive looking for fish etc, nothing spectacular found. There are some caves here but they are not something you explore at night.

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