September 2015 Archives
As you know, the travel industry splits the year into high and low season and prices accordingly. However, we divers might benefit from these seasonal prices if the diving on offer is good during the so called low season. The Maldives is one such place and the sightings our guests have experienced during 2015 confirm that diving between May to November, normally a time when flights and liveaboards are a bit cheaper, is, in fact one of the best times to travel.
It's the South West monsoon and water temperatures are around 28-29°C. The wind is from the South West and the current from the West (last stop Africa) making the best place to dive both Ari Atoll and North Male Atoll. Did someone say MANTAS? The reason it's a good time to see manta (and the odd whale shark) is the clean oceanic water that comes in from the west with the current.
This means the visibility on Ari Atoll is best at this time of year. The water temp is a tad lower, which results in sharks coming up a bit shallower. The pinnacles of Ari Atoll are also great at this time and, along with mantas (East Ari and Eastern side of Male Atolls), whale sharks (South Ari) we think May to November is a time you may wish to consider that dream trip but pay less for it as the airlines tend to be cheaper.
And the weather? Well it can be a bit more overcast so therefore fewer 'normal' tourists, which means less crowded dive sites and this year many a tan was created when relaxing between dives!
“One of my best Red Sea trips in 35 years”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2015 NEW
My first Red Sea Diving tour was in January 1980 when much of this Region was a War Zone. My First Live Aboard was in January 1982. In those 35 years till now I have joined well over a dozen diving trips to the Red Sea, most recently till this visit in May 2011. Red sea diving visits have been interspersed with trips to the Maldives, annual winter diving in the Florida Keys and Caribbean, Spring and Autumn diving in France and Spring and Summer Diving in the North Sea. However my diving tour on Emperor Superior in August 2015 (14th to 21st) was one of the best ever. The en-suite accommodation in which my old diving buddy and I slept in was very clean and comfortable. The food and catering were Superior to many onshore hotels.
The 7 night itinerary (Famous Five) encompassed 11 wreck dives including the Rosalie Moller, the Thistlegorm and the Salem Express. We did 3 night dives, Gubal Barge, Thistlegorm and Sha'ab Shear Reef.
Reef dives included Shark Reef on Ras Mohammed, both the Brother Islands and Panorama Reef off Safaga.
The boat was Skippered so as to maximise our enjoyment. When very large Pod of Dolphins surfaced near us when we were making passage up the Tawila Channel North West of Gubal Island, the Skipper stopped to allow one of the two inflatables to take relays of divers to snorkel with the Dolphins. some excellent footage was obtained. Nitrox ranged between 28 and 29% in keeping with the physiological Maximum Operating Depth and the Dive Insurance limits.
Although it was August the Maximum Shade temperature was 37 degrees, tempered by a 25 knot Northerly Breeze. Water temperatures were 28 to 29 degrees, but a thermocline often functioned to a cool 24 degrees below 25 metres.
Most diving took place off the boat with two shifts of a dozen divers separated by 10 minutes. We did 4 inflatable dives with optional pickups if the current did not bring you back to the boat.
The tanks and lead were satisfactory and most people brought their own empty belts. The dive crew looked after us meticulously both pre and post dive, and the ladders were fine for this 76 year old to climb up with fins and full equipment including 12 litre cylinder and 8 Kg of lead. Crew always collected my camera before I climbed, because that was my priority.
There was ample fresh water for personal and gear washing, and a large tank to soak cameras in Fresh water. At least 8 litres of bottled drinking water per diver per day was provided from large chilled dispensers. Soft drinks, tea and coffee were complimentary, beers were 3.5 Euros, but I preferred their bottles of Egyptian wine for 15 Euros.
3 bottles lasted me the week and I didn't drink it all myself. The Egyptians were drinking wine when Northern Europeans wore woad and skins and lived in Caves.
There were numerous charging points for cameras and gadgets, Eurpean adaptors needed for UK plugs. 3 way UK adaptors could be useful.
Thank you Captain, Crew and management of Emperor Superior for a Wonderful time.
Book before 15 September for smiley savings...
- Dive from €35 / £25 a day in a choice of Emperor resorts
- Liveaboards from €599 / £420