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
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.
If you have missed the events of the past weeks, you can catch up here:
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.
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
Today is about fish again because we have seen marvellous things in Egypt! Like a Rhina Ancylostoma and a Stegostoma Fasciatum or Varium. And this is only the beginning as we have just barely left the harbour… and all this at the beginning of a classical North safari.
Usually March is not the most preferred month for divers in Egypt. But we still like sailing then too, map out the underwater scenery without that all that “popularity” down there. And we have found something this week without even trying. We are doing a classical North tour.
There it lay, a few metres from the wreck of Dunraven at 28m deep on the sandy bottom, a bowmouth guitarfish, 2.5m long. If you wish to dive and see it, even if only in your imagination, you can do it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowmouth_guitarfish
We had similar luck yesterday at the Woodhouse Reef 10 minutes into our dive where at 20m deep we ran into a 1.5m long zebra shark lazily lying on the sandy bottom. Zebra sharks can be found a bit more frequently in the Red Sea but they are still not an everyday occurrence!
Photos by Gyozo Horvath