Another enchanting report from dive guide, Sonia Goggel
Fab photos by guests Mirek, Agnies, Fabio and Thiago - thank you! You can see a big album of their photos on our Facebook page here.
A chatty group from Brazil and an enthusiastic group from Britain, some old returning friends and some newcomers, ruled the scene on Superior this trip. There were also some old friends from Norway, as well as new friends from Poland, Australia and France. We all had a blast enjoying the beautiful wrecks and reefs of the northern Red Sea.
Even though the weather was not ideal, we had a great dive on the Chrisoula K. Underwater, life is invariably better than above … clear water and lots of light created a beautiful atmosphere on the wreck. The field of garden eels seems to be growing and they seem less shy, as they all stayed out for us a generous half a metre or more above the sand. They must be getting accustomed to our admiring visits.
Shark and Yolanda Reefs were magic, as usual. Everybody asked to go back, so we did towards the end of the trip. I never say no to a possibility to dive the Ras Mohamed reefs, it always is world class diving at its very best! This time, too, the large school of snappers was very friendly and the colorful soft corals were all puffed up. The little school of batfish also came by for a visit, as did a few dogtooth tuna. With the current coming from Yolanda, we could get all around the stunning reef, making our way through dense clouds of anthias, marveling at large napoleons, crocodilefish, morays and the various bathroom appliances left behind by Yolanda ;-)
The very packed and huge school of glassfish at the Dunraven was still the highlight of this dive. The Brazilians loved the wreck, especially the scenic bow with its copious soft corals.
Our Old Lady, the venerable wreck of the Thistlegorm is, and always will be, one of the world’s greatest diving legends. No matter how many dives one does on her, she invariably inspires awe with her majestic presence, interesting goodies and magnificent fish life. Especially the two morning dives were big winners as the current was mild and the visibility crystal clear, allowing an overview of the whole wreck on descent and ascent along the mooring lines, as well as a full appreciation of the myriad of fusiliers being chased about by packs of jacks, pushing them into the wreck in dense clusters amongst us … a beautiful feeling! With the current coming bow to stern, it is always a Zen experience to hover just off the impressive bow and winch, looking back onto them, enveloped in clouds of fusiliers … a whole new interpretation of the Kate Winslet Titanic impression :-)
Returning to Ras Mohamed, we dived Ras Gozlani before heading off to the Tiran reefs for the night and next day. I had not been to Ras Gozlani for a while and was impressed by the beautiful pinnacles on the drop off, covered in fans and lush purple, red and pink soft corals, bathed in large schools of glassfish and populated by many manicuring Cave cleaner shrimps. The ascent across the sandy slope with gorgeous pinnacles covered in soft corals and a little anemone city was beautiful, as was the bimble along the shallow coral garden wrapped in chocolate dip chromis, anthias and fusiliers, with jacks and napoleons cruising by.
Day four was highlight day. Jackson with the huge school of schooling bannerfish hovering by the reef amongst us, lush soft corals and fans, clouds of anthias, black damsels, red-tooth triggers, fusiliers and snappers … Thomas with almost no current, soft corals, reef fish and anthias galore … and then the cherry on the cake: the combination of Anemone City, and shallow Shark and Yolanda Reefs is the Red Sea at its most magnificent and producer of big smiles and shiny eyes of our enthusiastic divers. It simply has it all: schooling fish, the best rainbow coloured soft corals in all sizes, fans, schooling fish of many species, large dogtooth tuna, turtles, all the reef fish and more anthias than any heart can possibly wish for … This is one of those dives that invariably makes me feel completely privileged and blessed to be a dive guide.
Then it was time to get back to the other side where we did a night dive on Abu Nuhas reef while a huge orange full moon was rising by Shadwan Island … Luckily, the weather OK so we were able to dive not only the scenic Giannis D, but also the soft corally Carnatic, enjoying both very much.
Congratulations to Joseph for his Advanced and Nitrox certifications and for doubling his number of dives during this trip. Congratulations also to Wayne, Alan, Julio and Mirek for reaching or closing up onto the big 100 and to Marcus and Robert for getting to 200 while on Superior.
A great thank you to our dear guests for sharing the glorious wrecks and reefs of the Red Sea with us with such great enthusiasm. Your smiles made the magic dives just so much better! Thank you very much as well to our photographers, who contributed such superb photos to our Facebook page.
Working with gentle and very experienced Captain Sayed Dousouky, visiting from Emperor Elite, was easy, comfortable and a great experience. Nothing was too much effort and he made all our diving wishes come true. Thank you for navigating us around safely in quite rough seas. Our superb Emperor Superior Crew took very good care of us again in and out of the water, thank you so much!
It was brilliant seeing you again and meeting you!! Please do visit us soon again soon! Safe travels home and always happy bubbles!