You can sede a full album of photos from this trip at our Facebook page here.
Emperor Superior was back to the glorious north this week, sharing our dives between wrecks and reefs. Non-Spanish speakers were rather in the minority as nineteen Spanish guests from Ultima Frontera were on board, mixing well with the other six guests of Swiss, British, Thai and Australian.
Andy and Wanwisa from Australia and Thailand are spending their 4th week in a row on our Emperor liveaboards. They will start doing the briefings soon and preparing Thai meals for us :-)
Full moon currents made diving on the Thistlegorm interesting but we did not miss a dive. Close to the wreck all was well, we just had to hold on to the mooring ropes rather tightly for our safety stop.
Long-time Red Sea return guests agree with us that the soft corals on reefs and wrecks have been improving over the years, getting lusher, denser and, generally, looking healthier. The Carnatic, the Dunraven, and the Giannis D are great examples. Even on the Thistlegorm soft corals are constantly growing in all those areas.
On the Carnatic we accompanied a hawksbill turtle for ages, while she was munching relentlessly on half the soft corals growing on the bow. Jackson and Thomas Reefs at Tiran Straits were again at their very best, with just enough current to open up the soft corals and to enhance the fish activity. They are definitely two of the Red Sea’s best dives!
Our complete favorite this week, though, was our dive from Anemone City over to Yolanda, via Shark Reef. A gentle current puffed up the soft corals all around. The anemone city is truly huge, with many anemone fish and three-spot dascyllus juveniles. A real treat! Anthias and fusiliers were plentiful on the way to Shark Reef, with large schools of jacks passing by. As we crossed over to Shark Reef we spotted the large school of snappers. They stayed with us and permitted us to approach them closely. To be able to sit inside a huge school of large fish, completely surrounded by them, is an unforgettable experience! On we went to sit amongst a large and very friendly batfish school, swimming back and forth amongst us. So beautiful! Then we drifted on gently to enjoy the Yolanda pinnacles, smothered in copious soft corals of all colours and densely blanketed in anthias. We moved along Yolanda for a while, but then turned back to visit the inside of Yolanda, as the current allowed it. This was absolutely the best part of the dive, as a wall of dense anthias reached from above the coral at eight metres all the way to the surface, hardly moving away as we passed amongst them, enveloping us completely … breathtaking! We sat there for ages, taking it all in. Two crocodile fish were next, and we ended up amongst a large school of big-eye emperors and cornet fish. Ras Mohamed at its very utterly best. We surfaced with humongous smiles!
Thank you ever so much to our fun, enthusiastic and kind guests, who graciously shared the Northern Red Sea with us this trip. Lots of smiles and lively chattering kept our spirits high. Of course, a large thank you also goes to our beloved Captain Ahmed Omran and his spectacular Crew who are always helpful, cheerful and professional. It is a joy working with you.
Dear Fish and Coral Friends, the Superior Team wishes you a safe journey and hopes to welcome you back on board soon!
Fat sea hugs