Eat Sleep Dive Repeat
Fly on the wall report of the Diveline Live aboard Trip on-board Whirlwind June 2017 (No fake news to be found)
D-Day has finally arrived and the latest contingent of Diveline Groupies congregates at Gatwick under the watchful gaze of Keith our leader and guru. All is calm and the inmates ready themselves for the off. Three hours overdue finally we are underway.
On arrival in Hurghada we are swiftly met and whisked away to our home for the next 7 days. For those new to this nomadic way of life sailing around the Red Sea, Whirlwind is a really impressive sight, with high standards maintained throughout the boat.
Once on board it’s kit together, briefing, food and a much needed sleep.
We are allowed a lay in until around 8am, once breakfasted and briefed our intrepid band embark on Dive One the check dive. We could not have asked for better. A pod of around five dolphins swimming with us. They were preoccupied with their own company, something to do with boosting the dolphin population. All checked out OK and we are ready to start the holiday proper. Second dive of the day saw “The Barge”. This is a picturesque dive teeming with fish life and corals with its two resident giant morays.
For those unafraid of the dark the chance to do a night dive on the same wreck. So once again to bed.
Day three in the Whirlwind house sees us wake with bodies in beds and stomachs on ceilings. We are underway full steam for the “Rosalie Moller” and have not got our sea legs yet. After much distribution of seasick pills we arrive at the dive site. This is a deep wreck of a similar age to the Thistlegorm on which the group will do two dives. This reporter unfortunately did not do either, but has been reliably informed that while the visibility was good for the first dive, it was not so good on the second.
Then comes the next push across the Gulf of Suez to the wreck of “The Dunraven” one of the older wrecks in the Red Sea. Noticeable to those who have done this wreck before is how much soft coral and anemones have grown on the wreck due to the recent down turn in diver numbers. The day was rounded of in the normal way, night dive, followed by dinner and bed.
It’s a 5am wake-up call and all is well with the world. Dive one of the day is on Shark Yolander Reef. As always there is plenty of sea life to be found, particularly this time of the year with the fish spawning, large groups of Bat Fish, Unicorn Fish and Tuna, not to mention the Napoleon Wrasse.
Dive two saw Ras Gazlani another dive in Ras Mohammad National Park before motoring up to the Straights of Tiran. Even from the boat it is possible to see how quiet Sharm is. The final dive of the day was on Gordon Reef, the currents were a lot stronger than had first been expected, just shows how unpredictable the currents are and what an unfit lot we are. Never the less we all went out and all came back ready to face day five.
Woken up by the usual early morning call of the dive crew. For the super keen there was a drift dive off Thomas Reef, and for the rest a turn around Jackson Reef. Early morning exercise complete we breakfasted and headed back to Ras Mohammad to take a drift around Ras Za’atar as second dive of the day.
After lunch we start to motor down to the mighty Thistlegorm. However, on route we were to have the highlight of Keith’s week. Just as we are leaving Ras Mohammad National Park we came across the Allah Masour, a favourite Day Dive Boat from many a happy Diveline holiday to the Camel in Sharm. A small raiding party comprising Keith and Graham went aboard bearing gifts. After a short interlude we were underway again.
We arrived finally at the mighty Thislegorm, the visibility was not great, but good enough to show those familiar with the wreck how much further she had deteriorated, and for those new to the wreck to be amazed at the sheer size of the wreck and the debris field. A further night dive took place on the old lady before we all had dinner and retired to bed.
The day starts with the sound of wind whistling through the port hole and the boat rocking with the swell. The first dive of the day was a return to the Thistlegorm, some of the more intrepid of the group availed themselves of this pleasure, however the words negative entry, swell, current and less than average visibility decided this writer to sit it out.
It was then full steam ahead to Abu Nuhas and the wreck of the Carnatic where we were greeted with a small pod of Dolphins as a welcoming committee. The dives on the Abu Nuhas wrecks were dives from the ribs, Whirlwind remaining on the sheltered side of the reef. One of the older wrecks in the Red Sea, the Carnatic was drive two of the day, a lovely old wreck with plenty of soft coral growth and small sea life. There was the opportunity to penetrate inside the wreck where the light was good enough to see with out the need for a torch.
After a spot of lunch it was time to dive the second of the four Abu Nuhas wrecks, the Chrisoula K. This again was a lovely relaxing dive with the opportunity to penetrate inside to view what remained of the work room and the thousands of pink Italian tiles.
This time there were Lion fish and a swimming black flat worm, also rumoured was a small green Frog fish living on the roof of the wheel house. It was then back to Whirlwind for a much needed rest before dinner and bed.
Deep joy we get a lay in and do not have to get up until 7am, dive one was the final Abu Nuhas dive on the Giannis D. Another very pretty wreck with plenty of soft coral and anemones growing.
The highlight however, was the trip on the rib back to Whirlwind where we were greeted by a pod of about 6 Dolphins who allowed us to swim with them. All I can say is Wow what an amazing experience. We were then off for the final dive of the holiday back on Dolphin House Reef where we started the week.
The final dive was a fitting end to an amazing weeks diving, there was a mother and baby Dolphin swimming along side us, a huge Napoleon Wrasse, Pipe Fish, Unicorns and small flat worms. But all to soon it came to an end and it was back on board, kit clean and then back to Hurghada.
On arrival back in Hurghada we lost the constant sea breeze and met the wall of heat 40 °C. After the last supper many of the guests ventured out for a little drink with the crew and dive guides as a way of showing our appreciation for the excellent care we had received. A later than usual night, but back to the boat for the final sleep.
Yet another lay in, this time much needed by those who had indulged the night before. It was then time to do the final packing before breakfast, eggs to order for the last time, this will be sadly missed. Once breakfasted it was time to leave the boat and be delivered to the hotel for a few hours before our final departure. We have all enjoyed a lovely holiday, looked after by a caring and dedicated crew. Roll on the next trip and a big thankyou to the crew, dive guides and staff who made this possible and not forgetting our tour guide and organiser Keith.