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Red Sea Life
Five star
El Gouna dive guides, such as Christian Anderson, manager of Colona
Divers, encountered dolphins almost every day throughout the high season
2009 in waters just north of Hurghada. Diving and snorkelling with playful
dolphins has become a regular part of Christian’s working days on the boat.
Some would say that’s more than enough luck, but one day he was treated
to a few more big visitors in the water around him.
‘We were heading back from Sha’b El Erg reef with five clients on the boat
who had just enjoyed a morning of diving with dolphins and turtles,’ says
Christian. ‘Just before we reached the
next reef of Gota El Deir, the captain
spotted a manta on the surface. I
had never seen a manta before and I
was like a small child. I jumped in the
water and took lots of photographs.
But it wasn’t just the one I saw. There
were five swimming around. The
biggest one was about 2.5m. Two
of them stayed with me and played
around me for a while – that a was
pretty cool day.’
Sharks tale
Easy tiger
For some, the luck came pouring out
over a week. Susi Rumpel of Emperor
Divers has been working in the Red Sea
for four years. She enjoyed lots of shark
encounters off waters near her home in
Cape Town before she moved here. But
it was Egypt’s waters in August 2009 that
she had a super five-day underwater
adventure, which included her best dive
ever.
‘I had the same guests all week and we saw everything,’ she
recalls. ‘It started with a dive off Jackson Reef in Tiran where we
saw a baby white tip shark, then an oceanic white tip. Both came
very close to us and stayed for quite a while.’
But it was at Ras
Mohammed where
Susi’s lucky dive
streak hit gold. ‘We
were at Shark and
Yolanda Reef. A
large shark, about
m long, was swimming away from the reef about 5m below us.
You would think there was little that
It was definitely a bull shark - its body-shape and markings were
guides who have spent many thousands
clear. Its fin was black and slightly rounded. We verified this in the
of hours in the Red Sea have yet to see.
books afterwards. But that was just the start of the dive.
But a tiger shark was something that had
‘We were already breathing fast with all the excitement of seeing
eluded Hassan Abd El Malek, the manager
the bull shark when a school of about 00 trevally swam past us.
of Aquarius Dive Club at the Marriot in
Then as the current took us towards Yolanda, an 8m whale shark
Hurghada, for 12 years.
appeared. We swam with it for quite a while.’
‘Sometimes we take our guests to Marsa
Alam to dive Elphinstone Reef,’ he says. ‘We had already been lucky
That was not the end of the story for the dive. ‘Swimming close enough to see three oceanic white tips there on one morning dive
to the whale shark, I saw what I thought was a small reef shark. It in July. When we went in for a second dive, we ventured to the north
was about 1.5m, but on closer look was not a shark. We identified plateau. At about 15m to 20m a 2.5m-long shark started heading
it later as a cobia fish, so that was an amazing encounter in itself slowly towards us. It was a tiger shark. I was very excited. It was
with a feather-tail stingray. I definitely used up a lot more air than so cool. It was the first time in about eight years since a tiger had
usual on that dive. Emperor Maria’s captain wasn’t so impressed been spotted there. I heard stories from other colleagues that there
though. I’ve got quite a loud voice and was over-excited. He kept were four hanging around the north plateau over the summer. An
telling me to be quiet.’ incredible experience – one I will never forget.’
Issue 4 January - February ‘10 www.cdws.travel 25
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