Another FKD | RSE epic 10 day. Sharks, shipwrecks, scooters and exploration...
Our first Deep South trip, and it was an epic - sharks, sharks and shipwrecks...
Our first FKD | RSE collaboration, and it was a success. Way north, then south to Brothers, with a bunch of wrecks between
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Red Sea 2018 with Red Sea Explorers is history, with plenty of tales to tell, and a couple to be buried forever with the pharaohs.
10 days, ~25 dives - Hammerheads, Threshers, Oceanic White Tips, bait balls, coefficients, wrecks, sciencing and exploration with a great group of people. Fantastic!
Abu Nahas (4 shipwrecks)
Al Qamar Al Saudi Al Misr Ferry
Exploration dive - Fulica
Faisal, Sandra and crew did a bang up job, as always, keeping things moving and having everything ready for the next dive. No easy feat for 18 divers, all using scooters and many diving technical profiles. Thanks again for all the hard work and great times guys!
Thank you everyone who joined us this trip. It was a fantastic group of fun people and good divers, which made for a really good time.
FKD | RSE 5.0 evil plans are already in the works! Email Brian to receive updates
FKD & RSE put together a "best of the best" 9 day itinerary on the Egyptian Red Sea, featuring the best of the wrecks, reefs and marine life the Red Sea has to offer, on an epic far north to south itinerary, with all points between.
This itinerary took us north to Dahab for 2 days diving the Blue Hole, Dahab Canyon and Thomas Canyon, the wrecks of the Dunraven & Tiran Lara and some monkey diving on the gorgeous Dahab reefs. On the way to Dahab we stopped at Abu Nahas. Divers opting to use a scooter were able to scooter to 4 wrecks, the Kimon M, Chrisolou K, Carnatic and the Ghiannis D. With 16 DPVs (Diver Propulsion Vehicles) onboard, this 4 wreck scooter dive is a signature Red Sea Explorers dive.
Day 4 we moved to the iconic wrecks of the Thistlegorm for 3 dives (including a night dive!) and Rosalie Moeller. Three dives on the Thistlegorm is a wreck diver's dream, allowing the diver to get a general "lay of the land" on the first dive, to plan the subsequent dives based on what he saw on the first dive. I spent one entire dive inside the holds, getting video of the motorcycles, trucks, transport trailers, plane spares and the other relics that remain inside. As if 3 dives wasn't enough, we got the Thistlegorm all to ourselves. On a wreck that can have up to 30 dive boats on it at a time, this was unheard of!
After one more dive at Abu Nahas (score!) we headed south, for some shark dives at Brothers Islands. Shark had been hot at both Big and Small Brother, so we were excited to see what we would encounter. We weren't disappointed....our first dive at Big Brother (South Plateau) featured a large manta (uncommon in the area) and a :10 encounter with an oceanic white tip! Dive 2 was a return to a personal favorite of mine - the wrecks of Aida & Numidia. These two enormous wrecks lay ~200 yards from each other, laying almost vertically on a beautiful reef/wall. Due to their size, they offer incredible diving to divers of all levels. The Numidia stretches from over 200fsw to only 40fsw. On our dive, we had trimix and technical divers, single tank nitrox divers and rebreather divers sharing the wreck.
10 days of shipwrecks, sharks, reefs, walls, caves, canyons, caverns, big vis and big life!
Oceanic white tips, schooling hammerheads, threshers, bait balls on WWII shipwrecks and monkey diving with a pod of dolphins (complete with mama and baby!) are just some of the 29 dives we did on this epic to the deep south, then up to the northern wrecks.
Detailed trip report and videos coming soon!
BEAUTIFUL THINGS (DOLPHIN HOUSE)
LONGIMANUS | OCEANIC WHITE TIPS | SMALL BROTHER ISLAND
FLYING FOX 2
We then made the quick trip to Small Brother, where we were greeted immediately after splashing by another Ocean White Tip! We scootered to the North Plateau cleaning station where we immediately encountered a Thresher shark, followed by a scalloped hammerhead. The reports were right, the Brothers were hot!
The wind had been kicking up, and a storm was approaching which would make for a very rough return from Daedalus and Elphinstone, so we decided to stay at Brothers for one more day before heading north to Safaga. 2 more dives on the North Plateau yielded a close encounter with a Blacktail Reef Shark (a new one to some of the Tala guides) and a hammerhead.
On to Safaga to dive the wreck Salem Express, a must-do on this itinerary. The Salem is a tragic story. A passenger ferry with 578 passenger, many of them pilgrims returning from Jeddah to Safaga, and 72 crew (according to the manifest. Many say the Salem was filled to twice its capacity) that struck Hyndman Reef and sank within 10 minutes with only 180 survivors.
The wreck is very large, powerful and eery. Lifeboats that were not deployed due to the incredibly fast sinking lay on the bottom. Passengers' belongings still litter the cargo hold areas and the bow and stern doors still remain open, the reasons it sank so quickly.
After Salem, we moved to Shaab Sheer for a monkey dive on the reef and the wreck of the Poseidonia. This was a very pleasant surprise, as the reef featured canyons, caverns and swim-thrus and the Poseidonia, a passenger ferry laying upside down, was a pretty wreck to monkey over. We ended the day with a twilight drift dive on Panorama Reef.
Our last day was close to port, where we did an early morning drift dive at Giftun Reef. Giftun is a gorgeous reef with forests of large fan coral, giant clams, several eels and lots of spotted stingrays. We had the reef to ourselves almost the entire dive, only encountering other divers as we arrived back to the Tala. By the time we left the reef to move on, there were over 40 dive/snorkel boats on the reef!
Our last dive of the trip was on the wreck of the el Minya, a T43 ocean going minesweeper built by the former USSR that was sunk by Israeli warplanes in February 1970. Though visibility wasn't great by Red Sea standards (a paltry 30-40'), the wreck itself was a great final dive to the trip. The machine guns and anti-aircraft guns, torpedo-like mine sweeping devices, with cables still attached, are all present, and the enormous blast hole from the bomb allows you to look down the corridor. There's a small, yet very pretty and photogenic, fishing boat a coupe of hundred feet from the Minya that we paid a quick visit to before starting our final ascent of the trip.
Though we weren't able to make it as far south as planned due to weather, the trip was every bit a good as we had hoped it'd be.
The Red Sea truly offers top notch diving for every diver...It's abundance of historically significant wrecks provide a mecca for wreck enthusiasts, yet the abundance and quality of fish and marine life will satisfy the most discerning fish/critter divers. Due to the size of the wrecks and contours of the reefs/walls, divers of all skill/training/experience levels can dive the profiles of their choosing, whether it be single tank recreational diving, single deco gas tech 1 or tech 2 dives, or multi stage/deco bottle trimix dives.
Red Sea Explorers' boats, the MV Tala and MV Nouran, are literally floating dive centers, with a full rental fleet of SUEX Scooters, single tank, double tank and sidemount equipment configurations, ample stage & deco bottles and support for rebreather divers, pumping nitrox and trimix onboard, with a competent and helpful crew.
With visibility often 150-200'+ and reefs/life not affected by global warming and coral bleaching, any diver would be heard pressed to find a diving location that offers the quantity and quality of diving of the Red Sea.
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