Fascinating report from dive guide, Sonia Goggel, on Emperor Superior
Every time I am fortunate enough to submerge myself in the magical waters of the Red Sea, I am overwhelmed by the quality of the light and visibility. Like no other diving in the world, the beauty of the dive sites is enhanced greatly by the huge amount of sunlight, the clarity of the water and the often more than fifty meters visibility. Better even, we have these conditions on at least 350 days a year. How much better can it get?
The Carnatic was the perfect expression of the above. As we descended on this 19th century underwater gem, we could clearly see the whole wreck and way beyond. The atmosphere inside is magnificent with the shafts of light penetrating the portholes and rib system and reflecting on the large school of glassfish and very lush soft corals in all shades of purple and pink.
The Emperor Superior was home to eighteen British Wreck lovers last trip, and to Get Wrecked was our quest. We even had Flash Gordon visits and The Green Man on board; unbelievable but true :-)
Mike’s better half, Karen, preferred to enjoy the sun and have the boat all to herself while we were diving.
On the Chrisoula again, we enjoyed the beautiful light shafts amongst the piles of tiles in the bow and in the work shop.
The Giannis D is the most scenic of all Abu Nuhas wrecks. Great visibility and midday sunlight showed her at her best. The dense school of copper sweepers and glassfish in the engine room provide a most stunning backdrop to a photograph towards the hatch.
We were grateful for the good weather, as the Ulysses was next, gloriously covered in dense soft corals and populated by gorgeous Flabellina rubrolineata nudibranchs and egg-laying sergeant majors.
A dive on the Rosie was next, always impressive, covered in glassfish and cardinals, chased around by lionfish and jackfish. The highlight of the dive, though, met us on the safety stop; a bottlenose dolphin circling us for quite a while.
We also had a dolphin visit on our Bluff Point dive, as ten of these friendly creatures swam by us.
Four dives on the Thistlegorm followed. The last one was the best, though, as we had thirty metres visibility, wonderful light and a blanket of fusiliers being chased by jacks covering the whole wreck.
And then we were off to Shark Reef and Yolanda, one of my personal favourites.
We had it again at its best, how could it not be :-) We descended on a big school of snappers, unicorns and big-eye jacks, then drifted along the brilliant Shark Reef wall, crossed over to Yolanda and were mesmerized by the soft coral pinnacles and tons of anthias. As if the sensory overload had not been large enough, a huge swirling barracuda school performed for us during our safety stop. I feel completely privileged to be a dive guide every time I visit Yolanda.
Ras Mohamed was followed by the wreck of the Salem Express. Even though it is always a bit of an eerie dive, the visibility was crystal clear, the pipefish were floating about everywhere and our wreck fans loved it.
When diving the Safaga area, Panorama Reef is a must, especially the Northern edge of the South-Eastern plateau. There is a deep fan coral garden, covered in soft corals and huge pockets of glassfish. Say no more. I could just stay and live here. Pure bliss!
The dense and pristine fan coral forest of Giftun Drift was the cherry on our diving week cake. John O’B, our Master Nudibranch Spotter, found some gorgeous nudibranchs crawling around on the sandy patches.
El Fanadir was our last dive, and we were lucky to spot many stonefish, free-swimming spotted snake eels and two octopuses actually getting bitten by the same giant moray, while swimming by, and then cuddling up to comfort each other.
Night diving was also critter-rich with plenty of Spanish dancers, giant morays, stonefish, lionfish, spiny lobsters and cuttlefish.
We on Emperor Superior are truly blessed with Captain Ahmed Omran, who took us around safely in quite some heavy seas. He and his superb Crew gave the best of themselves on this trip, yet again. Thank you so much my Dear Superior Family, you are truly SUPERIOR!
A great thank you also goes to all our dear guests for getting wrecked with us and sharing the many wonders of the Red Sea. We wish you a safe flight home and hope to see you again soon!
Many sea hugs and safe bubbles!