Friday, November 22, 2013

Egypt Day 6: Thomas & Woodhouse Reef (inside)

The plan for today was to do the early morning dive. The reason behind getting up at 5.30 am being, that apparently sharks and co. tend to be more active. Got geared up before having anything to eat and set of towards the Thomas Reef in the Zodiac. Salah was our dive guide today and I was buddying up with Johanna.
Dropped out of the boat after Salah looked at the current. Our plan had a minor set back, as we had to take a different direction as planned. Went down rather fast and the first few minutes where spent with getting the right buoyancy. I dived down a bit deeper down than I should but got back up to cruising level after a short notice. Near to the beginning we also saw a few open water fish like mackerel and tuna swimming in the ocean and when we continued along the reef a few lion fish, clown fish and masked puffer fish. Salah pointed out a turtle about ten metres above us, but she did not want to come down and hid between the corals instead. Whilst watching Salah gave a shout and I just spotted a white wing take a downwards stroke before the owner of it disappeared. Turned out later that it was a eagle ray. Salah and Johanna saw it, I saw the wing and Jon didn't see it apparently. Surfaced a while after that encounter, but just as we where about to breach the surface Johanna pointed to a murrain eel which we then observed for a few more minutes.
Back to the hotel for some lunch, watching families pile loads of food (which they don't all necessarily eat) to leave it unattended to get some more. The birds liked it and a whole flock of sparrows descended down to take the bread. Also saw two rather large birds of prey being harassed by some crows.
After lunch we then went to Woodhouse Reef (inside). The sea had some big waves but was not choppy at all, weird conditions which they don't have that often. Also no currents this afternoon, in the morning we had strong currents pushing us everywhere. Went down to 18 metres and continued along the reef with a canyon worming underneath us. The most interesting thing on that dive was a balloon we had taken down with us to see the water pressure taking effect on an enclosed air condition. Underwater I could fit both my hands around it, above not. Surfaced after a few minor encounters with colourful corals and a few fish. Nothing new on this dive.
Went back and had some dinner before going to the old market.
More pictures at Picasa and a map of the reef here.

Diving time: 124 min.
Deepest depth: 24,8 metres
Special: Half an eagle ray in the morning, sea turtle and murrain ell

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