Project Shark: Egypt!
Here I was again, in Egypt for my 5th time! This time on a “Project Shark” expedition to the more remote dive sites of Egypt.
Our liveaboard included 24 of us from the Dive Charters Gibraltar dive club. We left early the next morning in the direction of Daedalus Reef. A few hours after leaving port, we stopped for our first check dive at a reef local to Hurghada. During lunch, we travelled further south to Panorama Reef, here we did our second dive of the day. After this dive, we all agreed to skip doing a 3rd dive that day so we could make an early start at Daedalus Reef the next day.
The next morning, we woke at Daedalus Reef, after a long 14 hours sail. The lighthouse and reef impressed me, and we also saw the sunrise coming up on the horizon of other liveaboards moored to this reef. Daedalus is famous for its hammerhead sharks, but unfortunately we were in November and it was not the right season for them. I didn’t see any sharks in the 3 dives we did in Daedalus, but my dive buddy saw one pass below us in a reef platform at around 40m. My highlight at this remote dive site was a huge Napoleon fish which came right up to my lens for a shot!
After another night of all night sailing, we reached Elphinstone reef early the next morning. Here I saw my first sharks of the trip. There was a few Oceanic White Tip Sharks roaming around the bottom of the boats moored at the reef. We decided as a group to only do 2 dives here and then move towards a reef near Marsa Alam which is famous for spotting Dugongs. We knew our chances were small but we decided to try anyways. We didn’t see any in the grass fields here but instead saw 5 large green turtles! Our 4th dive was also conducted here as a night dive.
After our night dive, we had another long night of sailing, this time north-east towards the Brothers Islands. In the morning we woke up to find ourselves at Big Brother. I had done these two Islands last year, so they weren’t a new dive site for me. Our first dive was under the boat on a platform in which I spotted a grey reef shark and a thresher shark, then the rest of the dive was under our boat, watching the Oceanic White Tip sharks circle us! For the second dive, we went to the wreck of Aida, I had swam past this one last year but never saw it properly due to its deep depths! Our third dive was on the Numidia wreck.
After those 3 dives in Big Brother Island, we made our way to Small Brother Island to moor and have dinner. This was only a 20 minute trip. In the morning, I had to skip the first dive due to sinus problems. On the second dive, I stayed under the boat taking photos of the Oceanic White Tip sharks. For the final dive at Small Brother, we went to the North Platform, in which I saw my first hammerhead shark! It was down at 50m and with nitrox and the wrong gear, I just had to admire it from 10m above it. After this dive, we had dinner and made sail on a very choppy sea, in the direction back to Hurghada!
The next morning we moored at Giftun Island, this is the first dive site I did when I visited Egypt a few years ago. The final dive of this trip was in the wreck of El Mina. We then prepared everything for drying, packing and went off shopping and ventured out to Down Town Hurghada!
Until next time Egypt!