You have probably already experienced that mother nature can pleasantly surprise you. Now I spend a lot of time underwater and that means that these surprises are regularly reviewed. For example, I was on a liveaboard as a dive guide and had 24 guests for that week, to dive the northern wrecks of the Red Sea from Hurghada. During the check in I got to know Chris, he was a frequent guest on our boats and he had 100+ dives to his name. Yet he was no further than an open water diver and so I had to advise him not to dive deeper than 18 m. Chris fully understood it, but still wanted to go to the 30 m, so I offered him the option of taking a course.’ How about a deep adventure dive or you can even think about an advanced open water course’. The latter appealed to him the most, but he didn’t want to miss any valuable dives for the course. In the end he wanted to dive and have a nice holiday and a course was just an extra. I explained to him that this was no problem at all, on training dives we prepare well and during the dive we do some exercises and then we have enough time left to make a super dive. And Chris agreed.
In the north of the Red Sea there are many wrecks within 30 m, the reason is the Suez Canal, the sea connection between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. You can imagine that navigating the canal can be quite an affair. As a rule, it took the captain 24 to 48 hours to get through Suez and all this time the captain stayed awake, so as soon as he was in the Red Sea it was customary to hand the ship over to the first officer. This officer was often on duty for 24 to 48 hours as well, causing navigation errors, causing the officer to fall asleep, or taking the opportunity to cheat on insurance. Whatever the case may be, we have seen many beautiful wrecks that are usually dotted with fantastic marine life.
After a check dive on the first day, we headed for Abu Nuhas . This is a reef where you can find 5 different wrecks, the oldest of which is about 140 years old and it is called Carnetic . After seeing three wrecks we continued north and visited Ras Mohammed, Egypt’s first marine park known for its lush underwater nature and the remains of the Jolanda wreck. By now Chris had done three of the five training dives, he was having a good time, but luck was not on his side and he still started to get sick, the flu. That was a shame, because Chris didn’t dive for the next few days and his training was also stopped.
After Ras Mohammed we visited Dunraven, the world famous Thistlegorm , dived Kingston and the wrecks of Gubal Island and parked for our last evening at Sha’ab El Erg, better known as the Dolphin House. On the last day we planned the first dive at the Dolfin House. To my surprise Chris came up to me to tell me he wanted to go diving again. ‘ Hey Chris, how great that you’re fit again, what do you actually want to do? You can just dive with the group, or we can do those last 2 training dives together.’ Chris said he would like to do the training, but he really wanted to see the dolphins. Now you should know that the Dolphin House is a 3 mile long reef with a shallow lagoon and a pillar to the east. It is of course not a zoo and therefore no guarantee of dolphins, but they regularly want to appear at the pillar or in the channel between the pillar and the main reef. In the end, the dolphins only come if they feel like it, so wherever you are they will come to you. After I explained this to Chris he decided to do the training to complete his course. And so as soon as everyone was out diving, we jumped off the boat to do some exercises under it. Now Chris had a habit of always looking at the bottom instead of looking around, even after the training was finished. While I was putting the necessary debris in a bag, I looked at Chris for a moment and saw that he was completely absorbed in whatever was going on at the bottom. What he didn’t realize was that Mother Nature was watching him, so I made a noise to get his attention. As soon as he heard it he didn’t look in front of him, but directly at me on his left side. OMG how could he miss what’s right in front of him hahahaha and I laughed. I pointed forward and as he turned his head, Mother Nature surprised him, because right in front of him 14 dolphins hung like sardines in a can, doing nothing but looking at Chris. And as soon as he looked up she made squeaking noises, I think they were laughing as much as I am hahahaha . The dolphins came even closer and we swam with them, shoulder to shoulder, played with them and had the most fun. What a fantastic award for finally getting the Advanced certification after more than 100 dives, especially when you know that Chris was the only one who saw the dolphins on the dive. Dolphin karma.
Love life… blow bubbles … Anke