Mike Anthony is returning for his fourth or fifth unretirement. He won’t be in time for club night but should be diving at the weekend. We have no plans yet but I suggest a return to the Vic Star armed with scissors and knives to clear the fishing nets.
There was no diving at the weekend, mainly because both me and Brian were otherwise engaged. Going forward we need a couple more people capable of towing a boat (when the Discovery comes back from the menders) and with a license to drive one. That’s for the future.
Our Dive Officer Geoff Patch reports below with the latest installment of Geoff’s diving adventures, this time in Egypt:
After completing all the theory work and pool sessions for my TDI CCR normoxic trimix course (‘Mod 3’), I headed out to Sharm el Sheik with a group of rebreather divers (including my instructor, Tony Higgs) from Nutty’s Dive Centre in Essex to conduct the required 5 open water dives and associated skills to qualify for certification. With the British Government warning against travel to Egypt still in place and no direct flights to Sharm available from London, I flew with Egypt Air via Cairo.
The flights were uneventful, but being a late afternoon departure from Heathrow it was after 01.00 in the morning when our tired group checked into the Sharm Dreams Resort.
We would be diving with the team at Infinite-CCR (http://www.infinite-ccr.com/ ), who operate in conjunction with Red Sea Diving College (http://redseacollege.com/ ) out of Naama Bay, Sharm el Sheik. Based each day on the dive boat ‘Abou Ghaleem’, our dive itinerary was as follows:
Day 1 (Ras Mohammed):
Marsa Bareka (31m) and Ras Ghozlani (30m) – check out and recreational
Day 2 (Ras Mohammed):
Jackfish Alley (43m), Shark Reef & The Yolanda wreck (42m) – course dives (various drills including cylinder exchanges, high PO2 / low PO2 drills)
Day 3 (Ras Mohammed):
Eel Garden Canyon (51m) and Ras Za’atar (33m) – course (more emergency drills) and recreational dives
Day 4 (Tiran Island):
Thomas Canyon (56m) – course dive (with simulated electronics failure at 55m and ascent per deco table drill)
Day 5 (Tiran Island):
Woodhouse Reef (60m) – course dive (with bail out to open circuit and ascent from 60m drill)
Diving is obviously big business in Sharm but I did not realise how big until I saw the number of dive boats scattered around the various sites each day (over 30 on most occasions), although we rarely bumped into other groups underwater. Given the emphasis on the course my focus during almost every dive was on controlling my position, buoyancy and trim in the water column, performing emergency drills and monitoring the dive status via the CCR Vision 2020 handset (“always know your PPO2”!). So, not much attention on the marine life! However, I can say that the Red Sea lives up to expectations in terms of healthy reefs, ‘aquarium’ fish and larger beasties. Manta rays, turtles and a whale shark were seen by others in the group and dolphins were often sighted during surface intervals. One thing that really stood out for me was the spectacular underwater topography that included magnificent walls, steep ‘n’ deep canyons, winding caves and vertical chimneys. Plus, with no rivers feeding the Red Sea, visibility can be up to 50m (and beyond!).
If considering a trip to Sharm el Sheik I can certainly recommend Red Sea Diving College / Infinite-CCR, who are very experienced, have a focus on safety and cater for all levels of divers from recreational to full-on techy. The Sharm Dreams Resort was in the ‘adequate for divers’ bracket and ideally located, being just 15 minutes from the airport, 5 minutes walk to the beach and 15 minutes walk to town.
For an account of the Dive Club’s own trip to Sharm eight (!)years ago, visit the website (link below) and check out the Dive Log for November 2010.
Tim Chesher has contacted me:
Members may interested in a dhow weekend trip arranged by a friend of friend, that I'm going on, and they have 4 spaces to fill.
Diving is with Al Marsa https://almarsamusandam.com/
Basically 2 days on the dhow leaving Dibba and travelling up into the Musendam. Total of 6 dives (one a night dive) we have non divers as well on the dhow, all cabins are a/c (but sharing cabins) though most people sleep up on deck (oh and it’s really relaxing as there is no mobile phone coverage)
Only proviso is you need to leave Dubai early on the Thursday to get to Dibba (traffic and border crossing) well at least by 4pm.
Cost for non-divers (as long as we have the full quota of 12) is 1,540aed (this includes 3 meals a day and soft drinks). Diving 260aed (or 440aed if hiring full kit).
If you are interested please contact Abigail Craske Abigail.Craske@macegroup.com
DAN insurance website: https://www.daneurope.org/home
The Dive Club meets every Tuesday night in the Dive Bar.
See you there!
Ian Hussey and Dive Club writers.