This Thanksgiving I am thankful for the opportunity to spend the weekend diving. We had a three day weekend for the holiday so I’m spending it at Ras Mohamed national park diving and camping on the beach.
We left right away after school on Wednesday and arrived to our campsite around 9 pm. I got settled in, ate some dinner then I was off to bed. It’s cooler than last time I was here which was in May, so that’s a bonus. It’s great sleeping weather. Although getting out of the water can be chilly especially with the wind. I dove two times on Thursday, both were good dives. I’m still working on my picture and video skills but I’m pretty sure they are slowly improving. The first dive Lucie was my dive buddy. We saw some great fish as well as beautiful coral. The second dive our guide, Bassem, was my dive buddy. My buddy Lucie sat out the second dive because she was still warming up from the first dive. On my second dive I saw a huge eel that was hiding in the coral. I was trying to get close to get a good picture but then I envisioned it coming out of the coral and me freaking out so I didn’t get too close.
Thursday we woke up at the ass crack of dawn at 4:45 am to leave for the Thistlegorm Wreck dive.
We left camp at 5:30 am and drove to the marina to board the boat that would take us out to the dive site. The boat ride was about three hours.
Once on the boat we ate breakfast, took a nap, and then briefed about the dive. This is a very popular wreck dive so there were about five boats there tied up. The history of Thistlegorm is that it was a carrier boat that was headed to the British troops that were stationed there in 1940. It was docked waiting for the Suez Canal to open up so they could continue on when the ship was bombed. The ship is very well preserved which is one of the reasons that it is such a popular dive site. Getting to the sunken ship is a bit of a challenge. You jump in off the back of the boat, find the rope then you descend. The hard part is the current. It’s usually fairly moderate to strong. In addition to jumping off the boat, finding the rope, descending and making sure you don’t run into anyone you are also battling the current. The dives I have done before that we descended on a rope the rope was very thin and just had a small weight at the bottom, it was more of a guide. Not in this case. These ropes are anchored to the wreck as soon as we arrive by one of the divers that work on the boat. When I say anchored I don’t mean by a knot I mean a thick piece of cable that is hooked to the wreck then the rope is attached to that. Also the rope was thick enough where I couldn’t even wrap my hand around it, so it was a large sturdy rope that we were using to descend. When I say descend you might think of slowly descending, as you should when diving, but this was more of hanging on for fear of floating away and pulling yourself down. It wasn’t as bad as I had imagined but definitely not the easiest. Once you get down it’s absolutely incredible what I saw. The first thing I noticed were the large schools of fish. Usually they tend to swim away from you but these fish are so used to people that they almost swim around you since we are the ones who are really invading their space. The next thing I see is the actual wreck that is huge. We entered on the part that was bombed so that part of the ship is not together and you see a lot of broken parts.
The first dive we went around the outside of the boat and the second dive we went inside and through the boat. It was crazy to see how in tact the boat is. Once you are inside you can see trucks full of motorcycles and even the captain’s quarters.
Once we were done with the wreck dives we were headed to the next dive site which is the shark observatory and Yolanda wreck site. This is another wreck dive that was carrying items such as toilets and bath tubs and yes you get to see them under the water. I didn’t go on this third dive because my heartburn was so bad. One thing I have found from diving is that I get really bad heartburn. I try not to eat right before I dive or drink too much coffee. I also try to take some heartburn stuff right before I get in the water. Sometimes it’s really bad and sometimes not. It seems the deeper I go the worse it gets. Maybe it’s the pressure that makes it bad, I’m not really sure I just now that day it was horrible. So I gave my GoPro to my dive buddy, Lucie, and let her loose. She got some really good pictures of the wreck as well as the beautiful coral.
My dive group for the weekend:
This was a great dive trip. The landscape, the camp, and the underwater views were amazing.