Basingstoke sub aqua club
Basingstoke sub aqua scuba diving

Basingstoke Branch 2117

Blue Water Diving, trip to Sharm-el-Sheikh, November 2015


There were eight of us on this trip, staying at the Falcon Naama Star, within a 2 minute walk of Emperor Divers base.

Weather was warm & sunny with temperatures in the high 20s, water temp was 28°C on most dives, dropping to 27° later in the holiday although on one occasion it dropped to 26° and you could really feel the difference.

Diving was in 3mm suits for most, the coldest part was suffering wind-chill whilst sorting out kit at the end of dives.

There were 2 dives every day, sometimes with an option to add a third.

Our group dived from Emperor’s boat Shorouk on every day but one, the diving tended to alternate between the straits of Tiran and Ras Mohammed National Park.

Viz was generally very good, there were the usual reef fish, plus a couple of Barracuda, a few Napoleon Wrasse, a couple of Pyjama Nudibranchs & another warty type, there were quite a few Scorpionfish, a couple of Crocodile-fish a baitball of small golden sided fish, plenty of Giant Puffers and Blue Spotted Stingray, especially on one of the later dives, a single turtle was seen on Thomas Reef.

Due to a cold, Mike managed only 2 dives, one at the start of the holiday and the other in the last couple of days, otherwise he was unable to get below 2m. He did kit up and attempt to dive most days but had to abort due to his ears. Our guide started to doubt whether he was really a diver at all!

Due to the suspected bombing of the Russian airliner a couple of days before our trip, we were informed that there might be changes to our homeward journey, first that we might be brought home early, then after a few e-mails and speaking to the airline we could be coming home as much as 5 days late.

Because of the changes and as there were no new holidaymakers arriving, Emperor agreed to allow us to continue diving, arranging it on a daily basis due to the uncertainty of our travel arrangements. Monarch told us we could either stay at our existing hotel (and be reimbursed the costs) or go to the airport & be put in one of their choice. We decided to remain where we were as a) We knew the place & wouldn’t have to pack and then unpack again and b) It was in a convenient location for the town and the diving.

We were finally repatriated on the Thursday, 3 days later than our original return date. By this time there were few holidaymakers using the airport so there were no queues & checkout was straightforward.

Probably the most worrying thing about our journey home was the taxi from Gatwick to home as due to the M3 being closed, off the M25 we had to re-route & the driver had little idea where to go, so our group had to give directions & try to keep him on the right roads.