Thursday, November 21, 2013

Egypt Day 5: Jackson & Gordon Reef

Before breakfast Johanna went for a jog and after that we all enjoyed a quick swim in the pool in front of our window.
First dive after breakfast we went to the Jackson Reef with Ali, Armin and Brigitte. The dive site was surrounded by safari boats on a day trip, but we managed to get in without problems. All the 15 litre bottles of the dive base are currently being used by a large group that has gone to Dahab to dive, so I had to make do with a 12 litre bottle. We dived down to a sandy bank at about 5 metres depth and Johanna pursued a trumpet fish into our general direction, so we had a close up view of the “stick fish”. Later I saw a whole swarm of them. A few minutes later Ali (our dive guide) coaxed a stone fish out of its hiding place and we had a close up view of a huge, violet living stone (which by chance happens to also be one of the most poisonous fish in the ocean). Saw a family of clown fish, where there is one there tends to be more. Also a giant puffer fish and a few blue spotted stingrays. I found out today in a book that they are actually sting rays, so they do have a barb at the end with which they can defend themselves. Ali pointed out a few pyjama snail and we saw two fire fish, one feathered and one pointy one, before we resurfaced and got on to the Zodiac. On our way back we saw to dive signal with no boat in the area, so we turned round and asked if everything was okay. The said they are waiting for their boat, so everything was fine.
After getting back we enjoyed lunch with a flock of sparrows waiting for food hungrily. One woman filled up her table and left to get some more and whilst she was gone a whole band of them started to take her food away. They are probably the ones that fly south from the European countries.
After lunch it was of to the Gordon Reef, this time again with a 15 litre bottle and a not so choppy sea. More people this time so the Zodiac was rather full. We dived with Ali again and the German couple had their camera with them, so we where well prepared. Went down a to another sand bank and then dived through coral spires along the way. I have got better control offer the boujonce now so it was fun to dive through the spires. Saw lots of blue spotted sting rays and different colour trigger fishes. More trumpet fish and a few lion fish which where a lot more active now. Also something that looked like a stone fish, but it didn't look that round. When we dived along a cliff side a swarm of bat fish raced past us, normally they don't often come near to the coral gardens. They are rather large fish and shined in an interesting colour. A few moments later Ali spotted a Spanish Dancer which is normally a nocturnal sea creature. Wont say that it is a fish as it looks more like a magic carpet. After a photo session we continued on and Jon and me had to fight against a strong current near the end, so we weren't taken out into the blue. Before resurfacing we saw a few more fish and then swam out in to the open ocean to get away from the corals, so we could be picked up from our boat. Drove back to the base and had some coffee whilst writing the log book before going back to our accommodation to write this blog (our wet patch in the toilet still has not been fixed).
More pictures at Picasa and a map of the reef here.

Diving time: 124 min.
Diving depth: 22.7 meters
Speciality: Stone fish, Spanish Dancer and a swim in the blue

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