Friday, July 25, 2008

Back to the Red Sea

The Red Sea was the first place I ever led a photo tour, aboard the Sunboat in 1982 when the Sinai was still Israeli. I've done several more trips to the Egyptian Red Sea, but the most recent was 2001. OK, I'll admit it, political insecurities made me reluctant to go back, despite it being one of my all time favorite dive destinations.

In July I led a group of underwater shooters aboard the MV Hurricane, out of Marsa Alam. We dived the offshore islands of the southern Red Sea, Elphinstone, Big Brother & Little Brother Islands, and Daedalus. It was so refreshing to get into really clear water again after a few trips to Indonesia and PNG that dipped a little too far into the "muck" end of the spectrum. Plus, the soft coral decoration along the walls of the Red Sea is still among the best anywhere.

I was so happy to be back diving the Red Sea again. Yes, it can be crowded these days, particularly on day boats out of Hurghada or Sharm el Sheikh. But, on a good live-aboard and the right itinerary, this remains some of the best tropical reef diving on the planet.

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