Wave Shape
Wave Shape

Red Sea Adventures

Waves Shape
The build up to the Red Sea trip reminded me of a book titled “This isn’t happening” by Steven Hyden documenting the making of Radiohead’s ground-breaking Album. Well at the 11 hour after Egypt was removed from the Covid red list, it certainly was happening, and it was all systems go.

The trip ahead, ended up with 4 intrepid divers, me, Ben his Dad Ross, and Teresa. The latter being the seasoned ones of Liveaboards, whereas Ben and myself were virgins to this new experience of being on a boat all week and diving till you almost dropped off to sleep.

The weeks itinerary was certainly there to appeal to all diving abilities, ranging from drift dives on reefs, to spectacular wrecks from the 2nd world, deeper dives and the quiet and serene approach of night dives.

On arrival, the boats name the Whirlwind seemed very apt. No sooner where we on the boat, there was no time to waste, numerous bits of paperwork flying around, unpack, get kitted up and ready for our adventures the next morning.

I am not sure my lack of sleep that night of about an hour was due to excitement, diesel fumes or just going into the unknown. I did manage to benefit from seeing the stars above me , hearing the Adhan echoing across the harbour and seeing a spectacular sunrise at 5am though.

As is usual on a liveaboard, the first dive is checking your buoyancy and getting your weight selection sorted. Once complete we were then set for the week of pristine clear waters and water temperatures more like your bath at home, typically it was 26 C, with no ducks in sight.

This was the first time I had ever dived where at 20 metres from the seabed, I could see the top of the ocean and rib boats speeding by. The sounds at that depth were very eerie.
After a well-earned breakfast, I could now better understand the phrase Eat, sleep, dive repeat.

Our first wreck encounter of the week was the Dunraven, a former British Steamship, which in March 1876 on its way back from India hit the Beacon Rock Reef.

More detail of this wreck can be found

Later that day we completed a drift dive and saw a Turtle and an array of fish ranging from trigger fish, Bat fish, crocodile fish, blue spotted stingray and the odd rock fish. Not bad, for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

After a better night’s sleep, we awoke to another stunning sunrise and a Monday morning. Never has a Monday morning felt so good. No work to think about, no deadlines, just diving on the agenda.
Today’s action was the dive site of the SS Thistlegorm, which a week earlier had just commemorated its 81 st year of being on the seabed.

The SS Thistlegorm was a British armed Merchant Navy ship which was sunk while at anchor in the Red Sea in the early hours of the 6th of October 1941 by two German bombers, who were originally expecting to find the Queen Mary with 12,000 Australian troops onboard. Luckily for the Queen Mary, the captain had decided to leave 2 days earlier, thereby missing severe loss of life.
This wreck is a real gem, with rows of BSA and Norton Motor bikes, racks of riffles, soldiers boots and a variety of other cargo including Bedford lorries and jeeps. On the seabed there is also a steam locomotive that was carried as cargo.

This link provides a better insight

The return to our liveaboard that afternoon from the wreck was interesting as there was an incredible current. Holding on for dear life on the shot line, divers looked more life superman than divers.
The night dive was more sedate and among the things seen by us was a sleeping turtle, who then awoke having seen our torch light and magically swam parallel to us, probably around 3 ft away. We also saw numerous Lionfish that were attracted by our torch beams..

Although the SS Thistlegorm was a highlight of the diving week, there was plenty of other amazing wrecks to see during the week, including the Giannis D wreck, the much deeper diver wreck of Rosalie Moller, the Kingston and the Chrisoula K or sometimes known as the tile wreck due to its cargo of Italian tiles.

In addition to the numerous wrecks there was plenty of reefs to dive during the week with an abundance of fish life. With crystal clear waters your eyes were spoilt for choice. My favourite was doing a neutral buoyancy entry into the sea from a rib boat, it felt like being in a James Bond movie.

I could go on with more, but I don’t want to spoil it if youve not been on such a trip.
Hopefully this has whetted your appetite of our Red Sea Adventure and for the rest of the stories from this trip. Catch up with the 4 intrepid divers on any Wednesday evening at the Ship pub and there’s plenty more to say about the trip.

Especially the aqua aerobics in the pool with Ben, Ross and myself and a load of random Russian women. It was just one of those priceless moments.

I would just like to thank Ben,Ross and Teresa for being great dive buddies, for the amazing time we had chatting around the dining room table, and all laughs we had on the trip. It’s certainly one storied in my memory bank for many years to come, as an epic trip, I can’t wait to return.

A big thank you also goes to Fiona for originally putting the wheels in motion for organising this trip.
Finally, before signing off, the trip itinerary was named “Get Wrecked” I can now see why, after a week’s, full on diving I was totally wrecked!

As always stay safe, but have fun diving, however near or far from the UK it takes you.


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