July 2009 Archives

Vote for your favourite 'EMPEROR BLUE' Cocktail

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0809 blue cocktail blue-cocktail-su-1010551-l.jpgA couple of weeks ago, Sharm's dive centre manager, Duncan McAllister, held a cocktail party for some of the staff. As the creative juices flowed, their thoughts turned to creating an Emperor cocktail. Several versions were concocted but we need your help with deciding the official WINNING cocktail.

In the end it was decided that it should really be a proper cocktail made in a shaker and poured into a Martini/Collins glass, the classic 'Y' type glass. You can read shot for part, or reduce the quantities as you wish. They should be made in a shaker with three icecubes and served chilled into an empty glass (tip: put the glass in the freezer for 10 minutes before using). The two contenders are as follows:

1. Vodka (1 part), Malibu (1 part), Blue Curacao (1 part), pineapple juice (4 parts) - top with a cherry and umbrella as appropriate.

2. Vodka (1 part), White Rum (1 part), coconut cream (1 part) and pineapple juice (4 parts) - topped as above.

We also made a 'Red Sea Breeze' and a 'Tiran Island Ice'; our versions of a Sea Breeze and Long Island Iced Tea:

Red Sea Breeze - Vodka (1 part), fresh lemon (1 part), grapefruit juice (2 parts), dash of Grenadine - made in a shaker with 3 cubes of ice.

Tiran Island Ice   - Vodka (1/2 part), Gin (1/2 part), Tequila (1/2 part), White Rum (1/2 part), fresh lemon (1 part), soda and lemonade to taste. Serve in a highball on the rocks.

Have some fun making them at home - especially the 'Emperor Blue' and vote for your favourite. We will then get the winning cocktail served in the Debrief Bar at Sharm's dive centre ready for your delectation!

Do please leave a comment and VOTE for your favourite to  help Sharm's bar do its Tom Cruise bit...well you might need to use your imagination!

Last week, Sharm reported some pretty impressive sightings.

hammerhead.jpgTopping the bill on two successful 'Early Bird' trips to Tiran were sightings of hammerheads on the back of Jackson, oceanic white tips also in Tiran and huge schools of snapper, batfish, unicornfish and giant trevallies still hanging out in Ras Mohammed.

Add to that the manta and mobula ray at Near Garden and that has to equate to Red Carpet celeb status for the Red Sea.

Best book,get out there now and join the show!


We have dived with Emperor Divers now quite a few times but for this diving holiday we decided to go to Marsa Alam and stay at the Coral Beach Marina Lodge where Emperor are based. Whilst we were there we had the chance to enrol on a mini wreck safari. As soon as we heard about the trip we signed up straight away. Then the news got even better as we found out that Nick Hough was the guide on the trip. We knew Nick from Hurghada so we knew we were in safe hands (creep creep).

I have to say that the trip was well worth the money and the time away from the hotel. The liveaboard that awaited us was the Emperor Fraser. The crew made us all feel right at home and nothing was too much trouble which is a credit to the Captain on how he runs his boat. The Fraser was very homely and welcoming, the cabins were clean, cosy and had air conditioning which was great.

Day 1.

Luxury bus transfer to Hurghada, join the boat and then travel up to the Thistlegorm wreck site and moor over the wreck - good chance to catch some rays and some sleep. What was good about the trip was how the times were planned so that when we arrived the daily boats were just leaving the wreck site so we had the wreck all to ourselves apart from one other liveaboard. We did an afternoon, night and a dawn dive on the Thistlegorm. Nick timed our dives so that when the other liveaboard divers were leaving the water we jumped in so again, we had the wreck all to ourselves which was fantastic. After the night dive we got changed and spent an hour on the top deck with a few beers watching the world go by, which is fantastic as the peace and quiet is great.

Day 2

We woke up for the dawn dive at 06.30. Nick briefed us and then we jumped. This again was a great dive as we were the only divers on the wreck. We didn't see the turtle but we did see the resident Napoleon Wrasse around the stern and also got some amazing pictures inside the cargo hold of the trucks, motor cycles and rifles that are stored there. We then left the Thistlegorm and made our way across to Abu Nuhas to dive the Carnatic and Ghiannis D. The trip down gave us time to catch some more rays and some more sleep! Once at Abu Nuhas we moored away from the Wrecks. Nick briefed us and we dived off the zodiacs, diving the Carnatic first and then Ghiannis D which are both fantastic wrecks. If you like a modern wreck then Ghiannis D is the one for you but if, like me, you prefer older more vintage wrecks then Carnatic is great - it is my favourite for the hard and soft corals and the marine life that now inhabits the wreck.

We had the option of a dive at Fanous on the way back into Hurghada which we all jumped at with the possibility to dive with the pod of dolphins that are resident there. The dive was great apart from no Dolphins but we did see a very friendly pair of octopi 'getting it on' so to speak. Then back on the bus and back to the hotel in time for dinner!

The trip is well worth the money: the food on the boat is brilliant, the crew on the Fraser were excellent and Nick, well, what can we say? Professional as ever but also having fun at the same time.

A trip not to be missed because if you do you will regret it.

Andy (Gibbo) Gibbons and Sarah Gibbons

P.S big love to all the staff at Marsa Alam especially Luke and Tracey xxxx

Your complete destination guide for Hurghada

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Hurghada Factbase - Your complete destination guide for Hurghada; how to get here and what to do when you are here!

Click here for the full lowdown.
Emperor's Course Director Steve Prior is very proud and honoured to be singled out to receive a unique prize.

PADI Area Representative, Terry Johnson, who made the presentation said, "This special 'Contributions to Diver Education' Award recognises the high quality and excellence of Steve Prior's teaching. It's not just the quantity of good instructors that he produces but also the extra service over and beyond the requirements."

Terry Johnson stressed that the award was over and above the PADI Platinum Course Director Status that Steve earned in 2008 for the high number of successful Instructor Candidates.

Steve Prior was obviously thrilled, "It's always good when your efforts are recognised. Our aim has always been to create enthusiastic and effective instructors. I have to thank Janet, my wife, for constantly looking for ways to improve our courses. It's because of her that we can really tailor our teaching to the needs of each individual candidate."

And as the proof is in the pudding, here some past candidates have their say:

"Hoorah! for the first time in my life physics is easy!" Mel, Essex
"It was not just a PADI IDC but a life changing experience." Kevin, Jersey
"You are both amazing people; so warm and friendly and amazing teachers." Jacqui, Epsom
"Your enthusiasm for teaching people and your ability to open people's eyes to alternatives is just amazing and the proof is in the pudding." Caroline, Thames Ditton

As you most probably know Emperor Divers in Sharm offers the unique opportunity to do a mini overnight safari to see the Hammerheads off the back of Jackson Reef or do night dives on Thistlegorm. Well we did until the Egyptian Authorities changed the rules on the specification of boats that could do this. The changes do make sense and boats now have to be equipped to full safari boat standard if they are to stay out overnight.

So Emperor has purchased a safari boat - meet the latest addition to the Sharm fleet - MY Orchid.

Now there is every likelihood that Emperor Sharm will rule the local waters and be the only land based dive centre to offer these unique overnight trips. If you are not sure about being on safari all week but fancy giving it a go and do a "Cruise and Stay" type arrangement come and try our overnight trips aboard Orchid.

David McCall kindly wrote an entertaining and enlightening epistle about his recent trip to Emperor Marsa Alam staying at the Marina Lodge. No editing of any kind has gone on here - it's literally as David experienced it.

Photo by Martin Hammond
"My wife Christine and I just returned from two weeks at the Marina Lodge Hotel in Port Ghalib, Marsa Alam. We chose the Marina Lodge because Emperor Divers were sited at the hotel, and their day boats were moored about 30 meters from our hotel room!

Having dived the Red Sea at the usual resorts of Hurghada, Sharm, El Gouna, Soma Bay we decided to try Marsa Alam which is just a bit further south and within reach of Elphinstone without being aboard a safari boat. We booked the complete package with Longwood Holidays including a 12 day dive pack.
Now you can visit the best of the Red Sea's wrecks on an overnight trip from Hurghada and Marsa Alam. For guests from Marsa Alam a transfer leaves at 7am to make the scenic drive through the desert to Hurghada. On the way you pass through the picturesque town of El Quseir. The town gives you a glimpse of real Egypt and you'll see the ancient fort built by the Romans and renovated by British and French colonial forces.

The boat (one of Emperor's luxury liveaboards) leaves from the Hurghada Marina at 10am (giving guests from Hurghada a pleasant lie in). You'll travel straight up to the mighty Thistlegorm for an afternoon dive (after the daily boats have left), followed by an atmospheric night dive on the ghostly wreck. There is time for an early morning dive (before the daily boats arrive) and then we head across to Abu Nuhas 'the ultimate reef for wreck-diving in the Red Sea' for two dives (normally on the Carnatic and the Giannis D).
By Marine Biologist Daniele Zanoni

Nature has shaped through evolution they way animals behave. This means that some animals have adapted to feed in places where the rest of the animal kingdom living around them cannot go. This naturally then eliminates a large part of the competition from the food chain.

In the Red Sea we have a few air breathing animals that dive and can hold their breath for fairly long periods of time. All the dolphin and turtle species and some migratory birds like cormorants, for example can do this.

So how are they able hold their breath for so many minutes without losing consciousness or dying? First, let's revise some other physiological principles in order to understand more clearly what is happening.



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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from July 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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