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    I used to be Cheeky UnCheeky Monkey's Avatar
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    Orca, Soma Bay, May 2019

    A quick report on Orca at Soma Bay, south of Hurghada

    Flights

    Have been twice, flew to Hurghada once with TUI and once with Thomas Cook. Not much in it, except the TUI plane was freezing, and had no apparent concern for special dietary needs. For choice, I'd go TC rather than TUI.

    Hotel

    Stayed at The Breakers. Clean, efficient, good food, chilled atmosphere. Not cheap. Very few Brits (which was nice). Felt quiet even though it was fully booked. I felt it was worth paying a little more for a sea view room.

    These are reasonably accurate promo videos - but make it feel much cheesier than it is in real life ! (and also use too many slim and pretty models!)




    this is a good and accurate (if a bit wobbly) walk through of the hotel



    There were very few children, most people were there for diving or kiting

    Won't be everyone's cup of tea - a tiny, tiny bit 'enforced fun' at times (primarily the 'oriental night' which involved everyone being given a galabeya to wear, and we dubbed "cult night")

    but clean rooms, in fact clean everywhere, great staff, good food, good dive centre on site, and no loutish behaviour at all, and a relaxed even chilled party sort of feel, which stops early because everyone gets up early to do stuff

    Diving

    Dived with Orca on site. Seemed excellent overall. A few tiny points I'll feed back on, but I'd not hesitate to go back there.

    Unguided diving on the house reef, half and full day boat trips, zodiac trips, night dives. Lots of life too. Snorkelled with a turtle and an eagle ray. Dived with octopus on the house reef. Lots of reef fish etc. Dolphins around on about half the boat trips and some people see them on dives (not me sadly).

    Had a wonderful dive at Tobia Arbaa which was like something out of Blue Planet and ended with a safety stop inside a bait ball being harassed by predators - all a 6 minute or so boat ride from the jetty

    This is the Orca page - https://www.orca-diveclubs.com/divecenter/soma-bay/?L=2

    here is their facebook (currently dominated by a recent freedive event) - https://www.facebook.com/pg/OrcaDive...=page_internal

    they do everything from try dives to rebreather training

    A few photos (not mine but give an accurate impression) -

    The exit point from the house reef (on my last dive - a night dive - a large octopus swam under my feet as I got onto this ladder!)



    Transport to the reef (buggy on left, driven by Awad) and the boats (lorry in back)



    Kitting up area (jetty to house reef behind)



    Jetty with lagoon on left and reef at end




    I would - and will - go back
    Last edited by UnCheeky Monkey; 10-05-2019 at 07:08 AM.


 

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