Sudan, the Jolly, under and above water

Five nations represented themselves last week on our Sudan tour. They have had such a blast that several of them are already planning their next year’s safari with us. There were guests from Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Holland and Germany, all jolly individuals, so our crew was also doing a happy dance this week.

Tour date: March 23 – 30, 2013
Itinerary: Sudan-North
Air temperature: 30-35C
Water temperature: 26-27C
Visibility: 30m

Life was just as lively under the water. At Sanganeb, for example, we ran into a school of hammerheads, head count – 30. Of course this was not the only place for hammerheads. We met up with some at Angarosh, at Qita el Banna and at Shaab Rumi. This week the currents were mild, it was barely windy and the seas were calm.

Although the first 2 days were a bit on the windy side, we were able to sail all the way up North and visited all the dive sites in our itinerary:

Day 1: Shab Suedi, Gota Shambaia, Gota Shambaia
Day 2: Abington, Angarosh, Angarosh, Shambaia
Day 3: Qita el Banna, Blue Belt, Precontinent, Precontinent
Day 4: Shaab Rumi, Shaab Rumi, Sanganeb North, Sanganeb West
Day 5: Sanganeb North, Sanganeb South, Sanganeb South, Umbria
Day 6: Umbria, Umbria

The group chose to spend the last day onboard taking it easy and taking a leisurely walk in the harbour, instead of visiting Suakin. Indeed, the giant cargo ships anchored in the harbour provide for an interesting attraction. Andromeda, with her respectable 40-meter length, was dwarfed by these giants and looked more like a small toy boat on the water. After walking by the marina and through the town of Port Sudan, most people are amazed by how clean it is, how pleasant its atmosphere is and how liveable it is. The best part of town is the street where the market and the shops are where the vendors are not at all pushy, they are friendly to invite you to check out their goods. Sudanese people, in general, are not at all pushy or forceful. They are curious and pretty low-key, very loveable people.

A new week, new hopes and we will be back next week with the latest from Sudan.

If you missed any of the past weeks’ events, you can catch up by clicking on the links below:

An Eiffel Tower in Sudan
Manta, hammerhead, barracuda!
The sharks winked back!
Angarosh, the “Mother of Sharks”
A perfect start in Sudan!
Fish parade in the month of the Pisces!

Manta, hammerhead, barracuda!

We have had beautiful sunny weather all week long. It was pretty windy the first three days and because of this, we had change the order of the diving plan. We started diving at the southern sites in the itinerary and we were able to follow the entire North itinerary this week too. The water temperatures are rising week by week and visibility is also improving.

Tour date: March 9-16, 2013
Itinerary: Sudan North
Air temperature: 30-35C
Water temperature: 26C
Visibility: 30m

Not having such strong currents this time around, we did not expect to see that much but it seems the constant inhabitants of the hunting grounds just keep on cruising in the direct vicinity of their areas as there was no shortage of sharks this week either and as a bonus, thanks to the calmer waters, we even saw a manta!

Day 1: Sanganeb West; Sanganeb South Plateau; Sanganeb jetty (night dive)
Day 2: Sanganeb South Plateau; Shaab Rumi South Plateau; Precontinent; Precontinent
Day 3: Shaab Rumi South Plateau, Shaab Rumi South Plateau; Shaab Rumi West wall; sailing to Gota Shambaia during the night
Day 4: Abington; Angarosh; Merlo South; Gota Shambaia
Day 5: Qita el Banna; Shaab Suedi Blue Belt; Umbria; night dive in the lagoon
Day 6: Umbira; Umbria

Barracudas and grey reef sharks at Sanganeb – check. Grey reef and hammerhead sharks at Shaab Rumi – check. At Abington 2-3 hammerheads cruised by us in the blue. And at Angarosh we marvelled at the colour grandeur of the pristine coral reefs, nowhere else to be seen in the world. From tiny clown fish to butterfly fish, we were greeted by fish of all possible colour and size. On our way back at Quita El Banna, one of our groups spotted a group of hammerheads and even a manta.

The wreck of Umbria is still ranked among the most beautiful wrecks in the world. Protected by the Wingate Reef, she lies not far from Port Sudan, free of currents, in calm waters. This time around visibility was perfect and thanks to the sun rays shining into the wreck, she was even more mysterious and more beautiful than ever before. We were able to explore the wreck inside and out.

A new week, new hopes. We will be back next week again and report to you.

If you have missed the events of the past weeks, you can catch up here:

“The Sharks Winked Back”
Angarosh, the “Mother of Sharks”
A Perfect Start in Sudan!
Fish parade in the month of Pisces!

The Sharks winked back!

Last week Poseidon showered us with his affections once again – sharks were winking back at us at every dive site! The air temperatures keep rising in Sudan – this week it was already 30-32C and only our last 2 days were a bit windy.

Tour date: March 2-9, 2013
Itinerary: Sudan North
Air temperature: 30-32C
Water temperature: 25C
Visibility: 20-30m

There were plenty of sharks at all the main dive sites. At Abington we did not know where to look because 20 hammerheads were circling around us at 15-25m for as long as 5 minutes, only 2-3m from us. Angarosh and Shaab Rumi did not disappoint again. Thankfully the grey reef sharks have returned to Shaab Rumi, giving us plenty to see. The giant school of barracudas was at Sanganeb, as always. We were able to visit all the dive sites in the itinerary:

Day 1: Shaab Suedi; Gota Shambaia; Gota Shambaia
Day 2: Angarosh; Angarosh; Merlo; Gota Shambaia
Day 3: Quita el Banna; Quita el Banna; Blue Belt; Shaab Rumi Precontinent
Day 4: Shaab Rumi South Plateau (2 dives), Precontinent
Day 5: Shaab Rumi; Sanganeb South; Sanganeb South; Umbria
Day 6: Umbria

A new week, new hopes. We will be back next week let you know we have seen.

If you have missed the action of the past weeks, click on the links below to catch up!
Angarosh, the “Mother of Sharks”
A Perfect Start in Sudan!
Fish parade in the month of Pisces!

Fish parade in the month of the Pisces!

We are happy to report that our third week was a success too! The Sun is already well in the month of the Pisces and we keep threading the waters of the Sudanese Red Sea (as well) week after week in order to see and be able to show you more and more fish. Among last week’s offer were hammerheads, and not just a few, grey reef sharks, jackfish and the inevitable schools of barracuda. And for dessert, we were able to marvel in a full moon as well.

Tour date: February 23 – March 2, 2013
Itinerary: Sudan-North
Air temperature: 28-30C
Water temperature: 25C
Visibility: 20-30m

We have started out with stronger winds, we were fighting the elements but despite it all, we were able to visit all the sites in our North itinerary. The usual 4-hour boat ride between Shaab Suedi and Shambaia lasted 5 ½ hours this time. Thankfully the winds had quite died down by the second night and the rest of the week was calmer, sometimes a bit cloudy but warm.

Day 1: Shaab Suedi, Gota Shambaia, Gota Shambaia
Day 2: Angarosh, Angarosh, Merlo, Gota Shambaia
Day 3: Quita el Banna, Quita el Banna, Blue Belt, Shaab Rumi Preconitinent (night dive)
Day 4: Shaab Rumi South Plateau (2 dives), Precontinent (night dive in the lagoon)
Day 5: Shaab Rumi, Sanganeb South, Sanganeb South, Umbria
Day 6: Umbria

This week again we were focusing on the large fish, we were scouring the big blue around us where we could expect sharks to appear. We counted 20 hammerheads at Angarosh. At Quita El Bana 10 nice specimens circled 3-4m above us and Shaab Rumi was true to itself again with grey reef sharks showing up and 2-3 hammerheads swimming near us.

The schools of barracuda and jackfish at Shaab Rumi left everyone in an awe. The waters were clear at Cousteau’s Precontinent and at Umbria as well. Taking advantage of this, we wandered in the entire wreck.

A new week is coming, new hopes are rising and next week we are coming back with another report.

If you have missed last week’s happenings, click here to catch up:
Angarosh – the Mother of Sharks
A Perfect Start in Sudan