He found us a bargain at the Dive Show in Birmingham. We got a very good deal with flights, accommodation (with all our meals) and diving all wrapped up in one neat package. That was through a small travel company that specialises in dive trips, Sportif Dive Holidays. Sadly our youngest boy couldn't join us, he had university exams to take. So, it was just the two of us. We haven't had a vacation alone together in . . .over twenty years! We have always had children with us. Not having any of the boys with us was a concept that unsettled us at first. If the kids can't go, should we just put it off until they can come along? Nope - it was just us. We have made one more step toward being empty-nesters. Once I got my head around that concept, the holiday started to shine a little brighter.
We were off to Egypt for a week of non-stop diving. Egypt has the best scuba diving within our budget. The Red Sea offers some of the best diving there is to be had on the planet. The turmoil that Egypt has been facing in the last year or so has not affected the diving too terribly. There were only few divers, but that could have had something to with the fact that this was the week before Christmas.
|whip coral goby|
|blue fin trevally|
This holiday was made possible because of a direct flight from Manchester to Marsa Alam airport by Thomson holidays. This route had been cancelled for a bit and we are so thrilled that it has been reinstated. We couldn't have gone otherwise. The flights leave Marsa Alam back to the UK leave Egypt about 6 pm. This means that divers can dive on the last day of the holiday and still have a good 24 hours between last dive and the flight home.
We have been diving exclusively with one company over the years, Emperor Divers. The dive guides love the sea as much as I do and though they dive in the Red Sea for a living, they are still enthusiastic about each dive. We could go unguided but I found that my friend Tracy, one of Emperor's instructors and guides is such a genius at spotting the things I like to see (little stuff) that I prefer to dive with her.
|juvenile axilspot hogfish with giant moray|
|Man of the Place in the ship's dining room|
|Tracy and The Man of the Place with lovely coffee|
|top deck of Elite|
|Me and Luke|