Georgie recently headed out to check out just how good the diving has been in the Red Sea this summer on a Simply the Best itinerary. And boy did it impress!
“The only way to describe my trip is WOW!! I could not have asked for a better group of Scuba Travel customers and the staff onboard Grand Sea Serpent were well up there on my list of pros. For me being a single traveller its important that the group onboard are fun folk (how often do you meet a diver that’s not fun!!) so my group on the Grand Sea Serpent really did fit the bill.
I met Paul at Gatwick for breakfast which was great as this gave us a chance to get to know each other before arriving into Marsa Alam directly. As per always, all the transfers on arrival ran like clockwork and we were soon onboard sipping a gin & tonic and getting to know the other guests who I would be sharing the next 7 days with.
The check dive was done at Ras Torombi, which was really welcoming, as I’d not dived for a year… I’d forgotten how easy it was to fall back into and how much I really love it. After a nice smooth sailing to the Brothers, we were back in the water. The Brothers is renowned for currents but on my week there was very little pull. We did 4 dives at Little Brother where the diving was pretty exciting with schooling barracuda’s, tunas, turtles and we also managed to get up and close to an adult white tip reef shark which was very cool. The water temperature was around 29 which suited me – I wore a rash vest and shorts which is, in my opinion, the best way to dive (even if it’s not so elegant for underwater shots).
After 1 and a half days at Little Brother we moved over to Big Brother and dived the Numidia. The Numidia became wrecked in July 19001 after hitting the reef and now makes a very pretty wreck with lots of soft corals and marine life –I remember there being an abundance of trumpet fish and glass fish swirling around the remains of the British Cargo Ship. It was a real highlight of the trip for me.
After finishing at the Brothers we moved on to Daedalus which ended up being my favorite out of the itinerary. The journey between the 2 different sites is approximately 8 hours so you have time to chill out and catch a bit of tan. Daedalus Reef is a large, oval reef with a lighthouse and is the furthest offshore reef in the Egyptian Red Sea. It’s deep walls and drop-offs offer some of the most spectacular diving to be found. Daedalus has mountainous, pristine, hard coral formations.
There is also a strong chance of spotting schooling hammerheads, and grey reef sharks which we were very blessed to see. Seeing the hammerheads had to be the biggest highlight of my trip. Just very very cool! They look very majestic and comfortable cruising the reef like true predators of the ocean. Some of the group were also very lucky to spot a thresher on one of the early morning dives it came into view and was an obvious to identify by its long caudal fin (tail). It didn’t hang around for long but it was still brilliant to see such a rare breed of shark.There is no doubt in my mind that Daedalus is the hot spot in the Southern Red Sea for spotting large pelagics however it also has much much more on offer including my personal favorite dive site Nemo City. For sometime now I’ve had a fascination with the clown fish –they remind me of a busy household with all of the juveniles finning about and the mother shoeing off all of the unwanted fish in the area. We spent a good hour at this dive site watching the enemies sway with the movement of the water very relaxing diving!
The Simply The Best itinerary can include a single night dive. This is normally decided within the group as to what they’d like to do. We decided to go ahead and do a night dive which was done at Abu Dabab -now I’ll be honest and say that I can take or leave a night dive however as this was the only one I went for it. It was another fab dive with a Spanish dancer, hermit crabs, sea snake eels, lionfish and lots of really cool little crabs in the corals.
One thing that I felt worked really well on this trip was the boat working off “Boat Time “ so you forget about the local time and work off the clocks on the boat this really does ensure your up bright and early and first into the drink. I’ve come across this before in the Philippines and I personally reckon that if this is what gets us onto the top dive sites before anybody’s turns up then brilliant it works.Food is also massively important to me on a trip and on Grand Sea Serpent we ate loads of eat fantastic food prepared fresh onboard the boat including fresh fruits, salads, fish and meat dishes –I will also add that although I’m a true carnivore I did get to sample some of the vegetarian dishes which were yummy –the chef prepared really good little puff pasty cheesy pies and lots of other bits and bobs –lets put it this way whether you eat meat or are a vegi you will be well looked after.
The great thing about a liveaboard is that by night 4 you are all well accustomed to one and other. So what better way to finish the evening after a long day of DIVE, EAT, SLEEP than to flip all the lights off on the main deck of the boat and do a little bit of star gazing with a cool G&T. Let’s be honest there is no better way to holiday!
So all in all I would sum up the Southern Red Sea as sensational diving.If you are looking to get away and want sunshine, topaz blue waters, sharks, dolphins, turtles and of course a see a brilliant eco system in pristine condition why not try diving in the Southern Red Sea. I thoroughly enjoyed my week on Grand and am already thinking of planning my next trip Cheers everyone!”