RED SEA EXPLORER - DAHAB TO ZABARGAT

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The Whole Red Sea – Al Bahr Al Ahmar

In 1990, National Geographic magazine published an article on the Red Sea. Written and photographed by David Doubilet, he had to compress a journey of 1,400 miles into a few pages. When I first read it, I was mesmerised and dreamed of being able to dive the entire Red Sea – a dream that I’ve since been able to realise.

Our friend Faisal Khalaf of Red Sea Explorers has agreed to a one off exploratory dive expedition, that will take in classic dive sites and very rarely visited wrecks. This safari will have 12 diving days. Red Sea explorers is an old fashioned proper diving company. The RSE dive guides recognise prior experience, they help and guide when needed, and allow experienced divers to do just that – dive.

Split into two weeks, divers have the option of only doing the north or south, but the package price for the entire expedition is incredible.

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The Diving Expedition

This is a very special exploratory trip. We board in Hurghada and then steam north east to Dahab, diving on the way (probably at Abu Nihas) to make sure that everything works well. After Dahab we will hit the classic sites of Jacksons and Thomas Reef off Sharm El Sheihk. We will pay brief homage to the SS Dunraven before looking for the a wreck off Ras Um Sid, which my friend Stevie Macleod used to dive in the 1990’s. Then we will dive Ras Mohammad and head south west.

All the while the technical divers will be seeking wrecks old and new at 80-100metres.

Steaming south from the Sinai, we will stop at Ras Tirombi, Claudios Reef, Maksoor and then head down to the Sudan Border and the islands of Rocky & Zabargad. When we last dived this route we saw no one. Our voyage will also take you to the world renowned Elphinstone Reef as well as Hamata and Fury Shoal. You can expect to see all sorts of shark species, turtles, dugong, dolphins and much more. This is an itinerary that is perfect for a scuba diver who wishes to remain at standard diving depths as well as the technically trained who can drop onto the SS Zealot (75—110m) or the SS Maiden (80—120m). Both levels of diver are entertained with no fuss or loss of quality what so ever.

Zabargad is the biggest and southernmost island in the Egyptian Red Sea, that offers wall diving and shallow diving, both of which afford you with a spectacular view of the unspoiled hard and soft coral gardens found there. The reef that encircles Rocky Island drops to depth, leaving walls covered in soft corals and black coral trees. Due to the constant currents that flow throughout the year, marine life is plentiful and abundant.

It is hoped that Faisal Khalaf, the owner of Red Sea Explorers will join us to be dive team leader of the Tech Divers. Recreational divers will be guided on request by the amazing RSE team.

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THE MV NOURAN

The MV Nouran is an unassuming vessel under the command of the most excellent Captain Ramadan. The MV Nouran is 36m long with space for 26 guests in 13 twin en-suite cabins. The saloon and cabins are air conditioned. The saloon is spacious and is equipped with TV, DVD and stereo. Meals are served buffet style, and snacks and all drinks (except alcohol) are included on-board. There are 2 large sundecks for relaxing. The dive deck offers plenty of space for all of your equipment and for divers to kit up. Tech specs: Cabins 13 x Twin bed /Guests 26/ Crew 10 / Dive guides 2 /Zodiacs x2/ 3 x Nitrox Membrane Compressor/ Navigation and safety: GPS/Echoplot/plotter VHF/DSC/ Radar/ Satellite Phone.

Above: The SS Thistlegorm in the gulf of Suez Right: The colours of Ras Mohammad.

Dive Expedition Costs:

Full voyage: £1995
First Week only Northern Safari £1295.00
Second Week only Southern Safari £1355.00

Included:

  • Return Airport Transfers Hurghada to the vessel moored in Port Galib/Hurghada
  • 1 night in a 4* Hotel in Hurghada prior to boarding
  • 13 nights in shared accommodation on board
  • All meals/snacks/ tea / coffee / water/soda/juice on board
  • 12 days diving with tanks and weights, 3-4 dives per day. (last day 2 dives only)
  • Nitrox (for Nitrox certified divers) * All marine park fees and taxes, * 100% financial protection for your holiday under the ATOL/IPP scheme. * Escorted by Raf and Cisca Jah.

Not included:

  • International flights/Domestic flights, Large tanks/Twin tanks/ Scooter hire, Egyptian visas, equipment rental, alcoholic drinks, travel insurance (mandatory), dive insurance (mandatory), tips, gratuities, items of a personal nature, any item not mentioned above in the ‘included’ paragraph. Single Surcharge: please contact us for availability and rate. Recommended minimum tips if the crew are good: £80 per week.

Requirements:

Dive C card, electronic, printed or physical. Proof of insurance that covers diving accidents and
hyperbaric treatment (DAN recommended). You must be a minimum open water diver with 20
logged dives (ideally 30 plus), and ideally have dived in the last year. If you have not dived recently
please book a refresher dive before you arrive on the boat.

You must have an SMB (surface marker buoy) and reel and know how to use it. You should also have a
dive computer. If you do not have either, Mike’s Dive Store in London is our recommended
expedition supplier: www.mikesdivestore.com We always recommend bringing your own dive kit
with you.

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Extensions:

Cairo is only four hours away. You can dive the last day, shower up, and jump in the bus and be in Cairo for dinner. The pyramids of Giza but also Luxor and Abu Simbel are easily accessible. We would be delighted to organise your Egyptian Safari.

Dress and notes:

Egypt is a predominantly Muslim nation, with 80% Muslim and 20% Christian people. Both communities are conservative and thoughtful dress on land is appreciated. Longer shorts and covered shoulders are much appreciated. Skin tight clothing is a no-no for all genders. On the vessel, you may dress as if you were on the beach. There will of course be requirements such as ‘please wear a T shirt in the lounge’ etc which will be passed onto us by the MV Princess Diana crew.
It is essential that all dietary and dive equipment requirements are passed on as early as possible to us, so that we can make all the necessary arrangements to make your trip the best ever. Red Sea Explorers are a dedicated full service dive company but they cannot work miracles at the last minute. So please take the time to give us all the info that we need.