Sudan February 2017
Woody in his cabin
A group of Diveline divers left Gatwick early on Wednesday 15th Feb and flew to Marsa Alarm and after spending the first night in the Marina Lodge we boarded Royal Evolution.
The vessel is 40 mtrs long and of steel construction with 2 x Cummins 800hp engines. Being steel, it can cope with most anything that the Red Sea can throw at it ! Evolution has to be the most spacious Liveaboard that I have been on in over 20 years of Red Sea safari trips. The cabins are large enough for me to lay down between the bunks without touching either bed ! 🙂
Having cleared customs and immigration ( this is classed as an international voyage ), we left Marsa on Thursday evening to begin the adventure.
Next morning, 2 check out dives in St Johns just prove that equipment and brains still worked.
Next morning we arrived in Port Sudan for the “ immigration formalities”. These were completed within a couple of hours and then it was off to the Umbria for 2 dives which were guided penetration’s . The vessel still has its cargo of 500kg bombs, wine bottles and 3 Fiat cars.
leaving Port Sudan
Then off to Sanganeb to Anchor overnight and a night dive !
Next morning, Sanganeb Reef for some Shark spotting and a spot of Light house climbing yes there are 260+ steps and Tee shirts to be bought ( as we all know, if you havn’t done the dive then you can’t wear the shirt !!)
1 ½ days at Sangeneb, each day Grey Reef’s and Hammers 🙂
Then onto Shab Rumi for Conshelf in the afternoon ( remains of Cousteau’s project )
Next day dives were at Shab Rumi with more sharks (again Hammers and Greys with the odd white tip ).
The next 2 days were split between Merlo and Abington where the sharks again put in an appearance. Then it was off to Pieffer Reef for more dramatic walls.
With the sea state calming righty down ( along with wind,), we crossed back into Egyptian waters for the final 2 dives of the trip ( Habili Ali, another pinnacle that rises out of the depths with the quality of soft corals that can only be found where day boats cant reach :), and finally the fantastic “St Johns cave system.
The trip offered about 40 dives and I appear to have a bit of a senior moment and have not been able to list all of the sites and dives, but in summary, the trip was an awesome experience with excellent company .
The boat crew were excellent and the RIB drivers were some of the best we have had, all under the leadership of Capt Suliman ( whose father was Mohomed of Oyster fame !), guides were Khaled and Linus who kept us all safe and ensured that the trip ran smoothly. The other special feature of the boat was that all of the outside decks ( except the dive deck ) were covered in “Astro Turf” which made for comfortable and non slip feet !