Coral Coast Divers.
February 2003, 6 days of diving
Dahab has been popular with divers for many years and as a result it is still expanding. The 'town' now offers a selection of restaurants and gift shops as well as a bank. Whilst there are still plenty of dive shops, a tightening of standards within the dive industry has forced many of the smaller operators to close. A 30M recreational depth limit is now in force.Getting there is easy as there are plenty of flights into Sharm El Sheik, Dahab is an hour transfer from the airport.
|Coral Coast Divers is a new dive centre and hotel just 5 min walk from the main town of Dahab. Manager Richard may be a familiar face to many UK divers as he has been a dive operator for many years, both in the UK and abroad. The purpose built dive centre has been built to his specifications - allowing for the usual small misinterpretations by local builders. All of the diving activity ran smoothly, which was commendable considering that we were the first big group to visit - 18 divers plus a couple of non divers.|
|A diving day starts after breakfast at approx. 8 am when you need to pack your kit and load it onto the trucks. The tanks (12 litre aluminium) are already loaded and filled to 200 bar. Din or international yoke valves are offered. Usually 2 dives at different sites along the coast, with a couple of hours for lunch in between, returning to the hotel at approx. 2pm. Some might then choose a 3rd dive at 'Eel Gardens' or 'Lighthouse' but generally people want to relax on the beach or stroll into town. Night dives are available by request.|
|The dive sites are all shore based, with transportation usually by truck, but there is also an option to visit the more remote sites by camel. Mats are laid out on the beach to keep equipment clean of sand as you kit up, before the briefing. Entries into the water can be slightly problematic as you often have to walk over rocks or dead coral before reaching enough depth to float. Beware of the many urchins - as our dive master found out!!|
|Dahab diving is world renowned for such dives as 'The Blue Hole'
with its very deep drop off's & walls but there are plenty of other
less imposing dives that offer spectacular coral gardens. Fish
life is abundant on these coral dives but we did not see many bigger fish.
The highlight of our trip was at the 'house reef', Eel Gardens, when a large
hunting dolphin was spotted chasing shoals of fish into the shallows.
The water temp in Feb. was a moderate 22 degrees C and a semi-dry suit is recommended. Visibility is generally excellent but there are a few spots that have fresh water runoffs which reduce temperature and visibility considerably.
The evenings are spent either night diving, chatting with other guests at the bar or venturing into town. There is a friendly, no hassle atmosphere both at the dive centre and in the town.
The nearest recompression chamber is in Sharm El Sheik
There are facilities for charging torches, cameras etc. in the hotel rooms - European 2 pin sockets only. 230V
There are fresh water dip tanks and a drying area.
Many guests have their own equipment, lockers are provided. 20 sets of equipment are available for hire.PADI & BSAC dive courses are offered.
All images were captured using a Minolta Dimage X and Minolta Marine Case.
No external flash. White Balance set to cloudy.
Jasc Aftershot software has been used to enhance some of them.