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1999: Middle Red Sea (Safaga)

This year saw the club ventured back to the Red Sea, this time to the middle region, around Safaga. The members involved in this trip were:

Rick Blatchford Julian Danton Simon Parker Steve Thomas

Jetting off from Gatwick to the notorious Hurghada we were eagerly awaiting our first sight of the liveaboard we'd booked for the week, our mouths slabbering at the promised luxury of the cruiser, the MV Oyster. On arriving at the dock we set eyes on her... a beautiful boat and certainly more luxurious than the previous years Princess Dalal (obviously we'd paid for it). Link to photos.

M/Y Oyster Tornado from the Oyster Lounging around between dives Rick and Steve catching 40 winks
Over the Salem Express Napolean Wrasse TV on the Salem Rear of the Salem Express (Diver Magazine)


Dive No Date Dive Location Dive Time Max Depth Decompression
1 22/05/1999 Ras Disha 50mins 12.1m 2@6m
2 22/05/1999 Tobia IV 57mins 16.3m 2@6m
3 22/05/1999 Tobia IV 61mins 12.4m -
4 23/05/1999 Abu Kafan 34mins 45.7m 4@6m
5 23/05/1999 Abu Kafan 44mins 35.0m 4@6m
6 23/05/1999 Shabb Sheer - East Side 58mins 19.0m -
7 23/05/1999 Shabb Sheer - East Erg 50mins 19.0m 3@6m
8 24/05/1999 Salem Express 42mins 29.1m 3@6m
9 24/05/1999 Salem Express 41mins 30.0m 3@6m
10 24/05/1999 Salem Express 32mins 31.9m 5@6m
11 24/05/1999 Middle Reef, Halhalal 22mins 11.7m 2@6m
12 25/05/1999 Paradise Reef, Panorama 51mins 43.3m 20@6m
13 25/05/1999 Panorama, West Side 64mins 34.1m -
14 25/05/1999 Abu Hasshish 46mins 30.4m 3@6m
15 25/05/1999 Small Gifton 42mins 15.4m -
16 26/05/1999 Small Gifton 42mins 40.2m -
17 26/05/1999 ? 53mins 20.7m -
18 26/05/1999 Gota Abu Ramada 62mins 12.7m -
19 26/05/1999 Gota Abu Ramada 40mins 12.9m -
20 27/05/1999 Lucky Corina 54mins 33.2m -
21 27/05/1999 El Mina 40mins 29.4m -
TOTALS: 6 DAYS 14 locations 985mins / 16.4 hours Avg: 27 metres -

So, quite a bit of diving on this holiday - upto 4 dives a day is quite exhausting but well worth it. For the amount of diving we were doing it may have been sensible to take a day off - if it were a two week break this would have been mandatory.

More information on the Safaga region of the Red Sea and the Salem Express can be found at the following links:

DiverNet article: Danke schön, Safaga
DiverNet article: Express exploration
DiverNet article: Red Sea Secrets
DiverNet article: Red Sea A-Z

All photos provided by Rick Blatchford other than:


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