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  1. #1
    Like a real diver but smaller apparently purple vonny's Avatar
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    Hurricane to Fury Shoal, St Johns and Elphinstone

    It's a really long time, over 10 years, since I went on a liveaboard. In the past I've enjoyed mostly Northern Red Sea trips - wrecks and reefs. But for the last 10 years, I've done land-based dive camps in Egypt and loved the laid back vibe and unlimited relaxed diving. I did the Southern Red Sea on a liveboard out of Hamata about 14 years ago and the boat was a tatty disaster and the week was very windy so my memories of that trip were not happy.

    This time last year, we agreed with our regular dive buddies to book a boat and go down South to Fury Shoals and St Johns. We chose Hurricane as this is a large steel hulled boat and supposed to be stable during the long overnight sailings down to almost the Sudanese border. Hurricane has been around for many years now but she looked excellent for her age. The boat was spacious and clean, the food was good and plentiful (about 4000 calories per day of food I am sure), the crew and guides were excellent. Our fellow divers ranged from age 17 to 60-odd years old.


    We spent the first night in Port Galib. There were bars, loud music and local shops in case you forgot to buy anything en route. I found the first night a bit of a faff to be honest, unpacking kit and trying to set up a space on the dive deck, settling into the cabin, chatting to fellow divers and trying to remember where I put everything!!! It was a relief when the unpacking was done and we could bring out the spirits bought at Gatwick and create strange cocktails with sprite and coke from the fridge. Thank God everyone was as boozy as us. We felt at home.

    I did not write down all the names of the dive sites but we dived at Fury Shoal after a 6 - 7 hour overnight journey, stayed there 2 days and went further South (another 7 hour overnight sailing) to St John's where the caves and swim throughs were fun and the diving was beautiful and relaxed.

    We were amazingly lucky to have flat calm seas for the whole week. We a tad unlucky to have the most humid heat I have ever known so it was impossible to ever feel dry!! Humidity must have been 80% or more so washing cozzies and T shirts resulted in clothing that was always damp. We got used to smelling like rank sewer rats for the week.

    Apart from Elphinstone, all our diving was max 25 metres, with the most beautiful and pristine corals at 15 metres and shallower. The currents were minimal and the water was 31 degrees. I have never ever dived in water that warm.


    continued.......

  2. #2
    Like a real diver but smaller apparently purple vonny's Avatar
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    I really wanted to see some huge Napoleons - yes , we saw these and my heart sang.

    St John's caves delivered some spectacular shallow swim-throughs with beautiful sun rays

    All week , I tried to get this shot- it was so nice jumping off a boat into 31 degree water

    this is one of our lovely guides... Mohammed
    Last edited by purple vonny; 18-08-2019 at 02:16 PM.

  3. #3
    Like a real diver but smaller apparently purple vonny's Avatar
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    The coral was the best I have seen to date and I think the diving was the easiest and most relaxed I have ever done.
    There were two small wrecks on our return from St John's to Fury Shoal. The first one was a Chinese tug boat wreck from the 1980s and this was encrusted in corals , a bit like the Kingston in the Northern Red Sea, the second was a yacht wreck with a beautiful reef dive afterwards, then a return trip back to wreck after everyone else had left. These dives were from the back of the boat and returning to the boat rather than RIB dives.


    I was blown away by the sheer number of fish - it was like swimming in a blizzard

    We saw a couple of sharks on Elphinstone but I could not tell what they were , all the Oceanics were deep due to the high water temps. However, it was such fun to spend half an hour at the end of each Elphinstone dive under the boat in about 4 metres on the top of the reef

  4. #4
    Like a real diver but smaller apparently purple vonny's Avatar
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    All in all a lovely, relaxed, easy dive trip with some fabulous people, excellent enthusiastic guides and lovely boat. I am so hacked off at having to go back to work tomorrow.

  5. #5
    Established TDF Member steelemonkey's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing.
    Paul.
    If God had meant us to breathe underwater, he would have given us larger bank balances.
    Human beings were invented by water as a means of moving itself from one place to another.

  6. #6
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    Lovely to see a report from you PV. A great trip.
    Rgds

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by purple vonny View Post
    [IMG]https://scontent.flhr2-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/68873759_10156392322341892_7957809873834475520_o.j pg?_nc_cat=110&_nc_eui2=AeFesikhHv-

    That is a stunning sight to see, a spawning aggregation I would guess. They are usually pretty solitary and feed on the reef top so to see so many is a wonder of nature.

    Thanks for sharing

    Sharon

  8. #8
    Like a real diver but smaller apparently purple vonny's Avatar
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    It was bonkers Sharon, I have never seen so many tangs in one place. I was sitting in the middle of these and there were hundreds around me. Very special indeed.

  9. #9
    Established TDF Member Georgina's Avatar
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    Lovely photos. Yes, the humidity has been crazy. Summer is usually windy but we had light winds recently in August, and the craziest humidity, especially Friday 16th!! Never experienced anything like that day before.

    Thankfully the wind has returned, and looking out for the storks and buzzards to migrate overhead.
    ..........o ><)))*>
    .......O o
    . ><)))*>...o
    Georgina

  10. #10
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    Great report and I want to go back to fury shoal as the corals and fish are indeed fabulous. The top of Elphinstone is always good and I have seen numerous free swimming morays there but have not dived for a few years. Last time we were at Shagra we were taking our 18yr old niece on a memorable birthday present trip.
    A fully paid up member of the CRAFT Club

    I failed to dive in Antartica
    I used to have a handle on life but it broke


 

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