Friday, November 14, 2014

Marsa Alam: Day 6 Shaab Abu Dabab, Ras Jon & Equinox House Reef

Woke up after Jon today again, before Johanna though. Yesterday was a long day. Pancakes for breakfast and then of to the first dive already. Zodiac trips to the reefs today and perhaps a night dive in the evening.
Going out on the Zodiac we found two dolphins swimming in the house reef bay. Rather unusual it seems, especially day times when they normally sleep. We also found Yvonne and their Safari boat out at the reef we where diving at. Another coincident, as the Shaab Abu Dabab is a reef complex of I think up to six reef. Said good morning and then went to dive with Salah. Fell in from the Zodiac and proceeded to dove through a cave right at the beginning. A long cave. I was a bit behind Jon waiting for Michael to follow me and when I looked back to the cave I only saw a black hole full of water. In I went and found Jon a ways in, waiting at the next corner. Out of the cave after hitting it a few times (unfortunately), but that seems to not be to bad, as the walls in there are coral sediments. Should try to avoid touching anything, thought.
Outside the cave we where greeted by a slow current going against us. Not to bad, but you do notice you are working and using more air. Johanna found a huge puffer fish, hiding under a coral and Salah pointed out a pyjama snail. After a while Yvonnes safari boat jumped in, just when we where crossing it underneath. And suddenly the water was full of divers. We had to leave the depths shortly after that as our one hour was running out. Proceeded back to the Zodiac and ignored some dolphins on the way back, seen a lot of them anyway (*sniff*). Had a quick break before Jon, Gerd, Salah and me went back in to do some exploring. As the diving station has not been here for to long, they also don't know where everything is. We where dropped of south of the base after a short trip, only a few minutes and dived down to the sandy bottom at about ten metres. Swam along the corals spotting a lot of rubbish. Apparently about three years ago a flood had come down from the mountain and taken a lot of rubbish in to the sea.
We found some lion fish and took a few short detours out in to the sea grass to see if we could find the manatee. No luck with that unfortunately, but we found something Salah classified as a turtle road. Just a sandy stretch from the open ocean through the sea grass to the corals. Resurfaced after a while, me luckily not having any problems with my cavities this time.
Back to the boat and then bay to have some late lunch and then to clean our gear.
After a short rest Johanna and me went down to have our night dive. Time about 5.30PM, the sun goes down very fast here. Jon wasn't joining us as he is frightened of none existent jellyfish. After gearing up and having our briefing it was Salah we went out with. Waded in to the shallow parts of the beach and assembled the rest of our gear before going under. Darkness all around us, but luckily we had torches with us. Spotted a box crab, basically a shrimp with long hair like sticks of it's body. Also some kind of snail moving in the water a bit away from the reef. Tiny little thing. Saw some glowing eyes looking out from the reef, shrimps hiding in the corals. Also a lot of sleeping fish, the glowing plankton (only a bit, as we didn't switch our torches of) and to the end a sea snake which was resting in about one to two metres depth. We got a bit lost and swam a bit further than intended so we had to walk a few minutes more. Some crabs on the beach as usual, a bit bigger than daytimes.
After that dive Johanna and me had an hour of rest before going to a beach party in the neighbouring hotel complex of Abu Dabbab. Where driven there by two entertainers from our hotel and stayed there till three in the morning before heading back for some sleep.
A map of the local reef site here (not very accurate), we are in the area of Marsa Ghaleb.

Diving time: 58 min. / 61 min. / 50 min.

Diving depth: 18,8m / 13,2m / 9,0m

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