I saw the whole thing dude! First, you were like, whoa! Then we were like, WHOA, then you were like whoa.
It’s one week to go until I fly out to Egypt on my first liveaboard with friends. Excitement and nerves have all rolled into one as I look at more photos and videos from previous divers who have done the same itinerary. My bags have been packed with essential kit and clothing kept to a minimum. Passport, paperwork checked and triple checked and final plans to pick up my scuba buddy on the way made.
The day has arrived! Couldn’t get much sleep last night and I have just turned my pager off for the week. The car is packed and I’m heading off to pick up Claire, breakfast is now certainly in sight. We arrived at the airport excited and can not wait to get on the plane, but first it’s time to take full advantage of the members lounge whilst having a good laugh and catch up.
Whilst boarding the plane full of excitement we met some solo divers who would be joining us for the week on M/Y Blue Fin. It was great to hear they was also returning divers with many stories to tell which set up our topic of conversation for the next 5 hours.
Arriving in Hurghada we were met by the Blue O Two team who greeted us with a very warm welcome (30 + degrees) and made us feel welcome. Arriving at the marina with some of the fleet lined up and ready for this weeks excited guests was a great sight, the crew welcomed us on board, filled out some documentation, gave us a briefing on how the boat will operate, the role of the crew and what the week will include. Once this was done we was tasked to setting up our kit for the week. The boat crew where amazing and only too happy to help with anything, it was vary rare that you would lift anything on your own without a member of the crew being with you to assist.
It’s true what they say about liveaboard and the bell. This revolves around everything that happens during the week afloat, time to dive, to eat, time to wake up. The most favourite time the bell would ring is to tell us food is ready or it’s time to dive! The food onboard was amazing, there was something for everyone's taste, throughout the day we was also supplied with snacks and continuous amounts of hot and soft drinks that you could get at any time of the day, it would be impossible to starve whilst on the boat. Our saloon manager Karam, did a brilliant job in making sure everyone was ok. Breakfast is buffet with a choice of eggs (you get to chose how you like them), fruit, toast, cereal, porridge, meat, cheese, and the list goes on. Lunch time would be a Buffet style layout with loads to choose from as was dinner with Starters, main and desserts - this happened every day and I must say the kitchen staff never failed to serve up a brilliant meal!
When it come to diving Tiffa did an amazing job with giving us interesting dive brief and let us in on areas of the dives that we should visit to see some of the amazing marine life with some hints and tips, got us organised into groups and let us explore the best of what this part of the Red Sea has to offer. We often got in 3-4 dives a day with the 4th being a night dive. The diving was amazing, it’s a completely different world and I am very thankful I am one of the selected few who are privileged to explore this part our world. Our dives where mostly of the back of the boat with some being off the zodiacs to help get us to better diving locations, top tip, make sure you get to know your fellow buddies before going on the zodiacs, getting back in them is not very fetching and will often result in landing in the person opposite you lap face down! You will not be the first and you certainly won’t be the last! The night diving was also an amazing experience, I wasn’t very keen on the idea of night diving at first but after my first experience on the Salem Express and seeing the different marine life and different colours I was looking forward to the others.
Some highlights of my week where seeing my first reef grey tip shark, I must admit I used an awful lot of air when I saw it swimming below me. I also saw some turtles which was amazing (finding Nemo came to mind) and even managed to snorkel with dolphins which was an awesome experience. Even getting to see the clown fish go about their daily business was great. Oh I also completed my PADI Dive Master course, that concluded with celebration photos and drinks on deck + a champagne breakfast the following morning - check out my other blog about my dive master journey.
I have said it before and will say it again, this is the only place you should ever experience seeing / swimming with such beautiful marine life in their natural home. I think is also important to remember we all guest to their home and we should all respect that.
One of our dives we were all sadden to see a huge amount of plastic, bottles, wrappers and general rubbish however this gave us the opportunity to complete a dive against debris. We all collected a significant amount of rubbish to ensure the homes of the local
wasn’t going to suffer any more. You really don’t appreciate the damage that is being done to the waters until you see it first hand. I have a small personal plea, next time you visit the beach pick up 5 items (if you can pick up more that would be even better) of rubbish and place it in the bin you would be having a significant impact, far greater than you would think. If everyone did this our world would be such a better home.
Overall the week was amazing and can’t wait to get on my next one! I was very lucky to share this experience with some great divers and good friends who all came together to do one thing, scuba dive. You can read as many blogs and watch as many YouTube videos as you want but you won’t truly get a feel for it until you do it, so if you are reading this and thinking of joining a liveaboard soon then all I can say is go and book it! Even better, check out our upcoming trips and holidays and dive with us! I truly can’t put into words how amazing the holiday was.
As crush once said “Well, you never really know, but when they know, you know, y’know?”