Marsa Alam 2005






Trip dates:

27 December 2005 – 4 January 2006

Boat / resort:

Brayka Bay Resort

Dive centre:

Seafari Marsa Alam – Since then, they have moved out of Brayka bay and the Dive Centre is run by Extra divers (in case you want to check them out)


Fairly. We dove from the beach most of the time, except when they took out the speedboat to Elphinstone. That was a very bumpy ride and I was worried about my camera lying on the bottom of the rib. No camera room in the Dive Centre.

Number of dives:

11 dives over 6 days of diving.

Diving conditions:

Good, but for a wimp like me, water temps at 21°C mean 7 mm thick wetsuit, and I always feel so clumsy in it. Nevertheless, lovely clear waters, calm seas, plenty stuff to shoot, including one of my most priced catches – my friend longimanus. The air temperature during the day was a comfy 23-25°C. It definitely cooled down at night and nice warm polar sweaters were needed.


A sort of last-minute trip with a friend, Veronique, to spend New Year’s eve in the sun and take advantage of direct charter flights to Marsa Alam.

The Hotel is a typical Red Sea family resort, quite big and somewhat lacklustre, but very decent: fair service and good food. Not much to do if you are not a diver. But then, that is what I was there for.

The dive centre was very well run. They offered day boats to Samaday, small bus outings to shore dives a bit away (like Abu Dabab), small boats to take you off on the house reef – excellent, by the way – and let you swim back one-way, and the best: very early morning speed boats to Elphinstone reef, which was reached after about 20 minutes of a very bumpy ride.

The shore dive on the house reef was excellent. I also like Gebel Rosas very much. We were not lucky to find the dugong in Abu Dabab, but did manage excellent shots of the huge turtles there in the posidonia field.

I think in restrospect I was very lucky with my dives in Elphinstone. Despite having to suit up in the cold (that early in the morning, it wasn’t hot at all), and the coolish water temperature, I loved every dive I did there. We encountered oceanic whitetip sharks (Carcharhinus longimanus) there every time. They were roming in the shallows on top of the southern plateau of the reef. That’s where liveaboards moor and crews throw leftovers overboard.

I feel lucky because I have been to Elphinstone later and found 30 and more liveaboards and day boats on the place. No chance of having a decent dive like that, much less to see a shark. That time, though, we met just two boats on the site and were very much able to enjoy the beautiful site it is.

I appreciated the fact that Seafari took a speed boat out on New Year’s day. I can tell you that there were takers to get up early, even after the party the night before. Sharks were there and people wanted to go see them! I only got good shots of the oceanic whitetip on my very last day there though, on 2 January. We were on our safety stop, about to go back to the rib, when two large females turned up and made close passes. Wow! What a way to start the year. I was still shooting with my C-5050. I just hope to go there again with my DSLR, lenses and strobes! Maybe the trick is the time of the year. Maybe over Christmas there is a chance of finding Elphinstone less crowded. But the way the diving business is going in Egypt, maybe this is just wishful thinking.


Go to UW Gallery


Home  -  About -  Galleries  -  Links Contact