Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Diving Again!

So, I wasn't just ignoring my blog again after promising that I would be much more faithful about writing.  I was out of town!

Google Map view of where we were

I was in Egypt doing some dives with The Man of the Place.  We were also there to visit George who has been there since December.  He has had some time to establish himself down there with a bit of credit.
Tracy, Luke and George

 We thought we'd undermine that.

Tracy in charge of two goofs
We tried to keep the safari trip as a surprise for George but he inadvertently found out.  We took him away from his dive guide and desk duties for a week and went on the boat Emperor Asmaa.

The ship's route was the southern Red Sea near the border with Sudan.  There are exquisite corals and pristine dives to be had on this route.

Someday, I'd love to dive in the Red Sea further south in Sudan but I can't the political climate won't allow it.  I'll just have to wait here until there is peace.

Yes, we saw sharks.  We saw white tipped reef sharks, oceanic white tipped sharks, grey reef sharks, and silky sharks.  We also saw some bottlenose dolphins and loads of moray eels.

Two firsts for me were smaller, less glamorous fish.  I knew what I was seeing as soon as I saw them! I certainly wrote notes in the margins of my field guide and lots of exclamation points in my dive log.

I saw the exquisite Oranghead butterflyfish - Chaetodon lavatus
Orangehead Butterflyfish - not my photo
and the Whitehead butterflyfish - Chaetodon mesoleucos

Whitehead butterflyfish - not my photo
Both were seen toward the end of the diving holiday and I was thrilled to see them.
Another treat was this little sea slug or nudibranch, the Red Sea Nembrotha.
Red Sea Nembrotha - Nembrotha megalocera
 It was right on the sand just as I was descending on the first dive of the day.  I know this isn't very exciting to non-fish nerds so here is something exciting!
The Man of the Place and I did a dive at dusk.  The daytime fish were going to bed, the anemones were curling up and the nighttime creatures were starting their day.

The first exciting thing happened when my husband was pointing out something to me and two bottlenose dolphins swam right under him.  "Never mind about the fish, DOLPHINS!"
bottlenose dolphins

Silky shark in the distance
Literally a minute later two silky sharks swam by!  That was about the extent of our shark encounters this trip.  Sharks swam by us with no interest in us whatsoever.