Monday, 22 April 2013

Tracy's Birth / Earth Day!

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday, Dear Tracy,
Happy birthday to you!


Today the Earth is 7,000,000,000 years old. Tracy is not sharing her age with us though... To celebrate, we went... litter picking! In my defence, Tracy said she wanted a birthday surprise and she was pretty surprised!

Every year Red Sea Diving Safari hold a special event to assist with the events of Earth Day. This year they organised a dive to clean up some of plastic bags, cups and general rubbish that washes up on the reef at Marsa Nakari. At the sister camp of Marsa Shagra, they were having a land-based clean-up operation. Hopefully the photos will be on the RSDS web site soon!


Today is our last day of diving before we head home tomorrow. You should not dive and then fly within 24 hours as you would be at serious risk of Decompression Sickness (known colloquially as "the bends"), so our second dive of the day was our final div of the holiday.

We enjoyed a long, shallow dive along the North reef at Marsa Nakari. We saw blue-spotted rays, puffer fish, pinnochio fish (we don't know what they are really called, but they have long noses), and a strange thing that looked like a cross between a sea worm and a sea horse! This wqs another record-breaking dive for Tracy as he longest dive yet at a fantastic 61 minutes (with 50 bar still in he cylinder!)



We had a wander around the eco-lodge and took some photos of the sunny day to remind ourselves of what a great trip we have had. All the staff here have been great. Special thanks to Hisham for looking after us on our guided dives. Big thanks also go to the restaurant staff who have served such great food all week!












 

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Tracy Wormald, Super Diver!

Tracy really earned her diving fins today with two personal bests! The first was her deepest dive so far. This morning we headed out on the North side of the house reef, and Tracy reached 29.5 metres whilst investigating a coral outcrop.


Notice I the picture above that the red shoulders of Tracy's wet suit have turned black with the depth!

We also met Mr and Mrs Nemo on this dive. They were very busy about their anemone and not hospitable at all to visitors!


 
 
Our second dive of the day was a very relaxing, shallow dive on the south side of the house reef. As you can see, we were very chilled out for this dive.
 


Our final dive of the day was Tracy's other personal best. We repeated our calm dive on the south side and were out for a fantastic 56 minutes (with 50 bar to spare)!

On our way back in, we were met by lots of jelly fish and a couple of friendly needle fish.




The south side of the reef has some lovely "canyons" to swim through. These canyons are always full of beautiful fish and a pleasure to swim through!


We treated ourselves to coffee and cake to celebrate our successful day's diving!

We've been writing this blog this week on a Microsoft Surface. The Internet connection has been via Nick's HTC Windows 8 mobile phone. Before we left for Egypt, we purchased an Egyptian Vodafone SIM card with one month unlimited Internet access (in Egypt) for £35 from RiteSim (http://www.ritesim.com/). The service from RiteSim has been excellent. The Internet connection has been fast and 100% reliable! If you are going abroad and need Internet access, it's worth checking out their web site.

 

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Messing Around In Boats

We had an early start again this morning with our first dive on the house reef at 08:30am.  Breakfast was our normal chocolatey pancakes! Good diving food!


We have been a confident diving team all week, so we ventured a little deeper to 27m for this dive! We saw some blue spotted rays of various sizes.


Our next two dives of the day were Tracy's first boat dives! This involves perfecting the skill of rolling backwards off the side of the boat into the water which is very exciting the first time you try it!

 

We ran into a party if Danish school children on our way back from our last dive.

 

 
Although Marsa Nakari is a small eco-lodge, there are no less than 76 Danish teenagers on site at the moment! Thankfully they are well supervised and behaved and the site staff have them well entertained and in-hand. They mostly appear to be off-site during the day, so they are no trouble at all. I wonder what 76 British teenagers would be like...?
 
 

By popular demand, a close up of Tracy's pink fins!

 
 
 


Friday, 19 April 2013

Marsa El Foukery

Today we visited the nearby reef at Marsa El Foukery. It is about 15 minutes south of Marsa Nakari. A "marsa" is a natural harbour with an easy, sandy entrance for divers! Marsa El Foukery has a bed of sea grass which occasionally attracts a dugong (not today sadly) and turtles. We had two gentle, shallow dives here this morning with out guide Hisham. We were lucky enough to find a lazy turtle who was relaxing on top of the reef. He seemed to tolerate our presence for a few minutes before waving us off with a fin!




We decided to dry out this afternoon and prepare ourselves for an early start and long day's diving tomorrow. After some Kindling, we walked around the beach I search of the Roman ruins for whom Marsa Nakari is named. We didn't find them, so we will have another expedition in a couple of days.



We are currently looking forward to dinner! The food here at Marsa Nakari has been consistently great. It is definitely better than previous years at Marsa Shagra. Food is all served buffet style. The dishes can be a little difficult to identify, but it always tastes good! In particular deserts have been too good! Fresh breakfast pancakes with chocolate sauce are also making it tricky to fit into that wet suit...



 

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Scary Creatures

Today was our second full day of diving at Marsa Nakari. Marsa Nakari is run by Red Sea Diving Safari. They have several sites around the Marsa Alam area, all of which are based around the eco-lodge idea. Marsa Nakari is a small and informal site. Nearby Marsa Shagra is much bigger and busier and has lost some if its earlier charm. By staying at Nakari you can have some of that old-fashioned charm and still have some of the benefits of a larger dive operation. Yesterday, Tracy had a BCD that was too large. The staff dispatched someone to Marsa Shagra last night to get a smaller BCD for her and now she is a happy diver!


We had an early first dive before 9am on the house reef. Our first scary creature of the day was a Moray Eel who was sunning himself on the reef. He was kind enough to let us take his photo!


We had a short surface interval to get fry and catch up on our Kindling before our second morning dive of the day. This was lovely, relaxed dive on which we took some shots of the most glamorous member of our scuba team!


A good lunch followed where we replenished ourselves for the afternoon's diving. There is a little bit of current here and there on the reef, so we occasionally pumped our thigh muscles pretty hard. It isn't easy, enjoying yourself!

We spotted the second scary creature of the day on our second dive. This was a barracuda known locally as "Hilary Clinton". I'm not sure why... To protect her privacy (and because the camera battery had run out), we decided not to photograph her. This was a dive teeming with life. In particular we had a little crab come to play with us along with a flat fish. We also found a little nook in the reef which seemed to have most of the fish in the red sea in it! It was amazing to be swimming through such a great shoal of fish!






Tomorrow we are venturing further afield to a different dive site. We have to be up pretty early, but hopefully we can see a few more scary creatures!




 

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

First Day Of Diving!

Welcome to Marsa Nakari! It's 29 degrees on the land and 26 degrees under the water.




It's so warm in the water that Tracy and I are feeling a little over-dressed in our 5mm wet suits!

Our first dive was a pretty routine orientation dive with instructor Esham on the house reef (south side). After a short surface interval we had a similar orientation on the north side. This dive was blessed with a visit by a one metre Napoleon Wrasse who was enjoying his lunch on the reef.


The view from our room is lovely!

 
 
 
Our room is an air-conditioned chalet, however, you can stay in a much cheaper tent if you like!

 
 
Tomorrow we are planning three dives on the house reef. Fingers crossed for sharks!!!