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SCUBAMAD on Tour (Egypt 2023)

(20,000 pees under the sea)


Just a few tales, pics, videos etc. from our recent 50th anniversary trip to sunny Sharm El-Sheikh Egypt with hosts Emperor Divers…

There were only five club members this year, Chris, Phil, Neil, Simon and Gareth. There were due to be more, but unfortunately, some members had to miss out due to unforeseen circumstances.

We travelled out on the 14th June, with the first day’s diving the following day.


Having booked 6 days diving, we anticipated being on the boat the following morning, but it was not to be. Emperor, in their infinite wisdom, have introduced a new rule, whereby everyone’s first day has to be spent on the “house reef”.  This is of course a cut above our regular haunts in the UK, but, given the club’s rich and varied history in Egypt, mostly with Emperor Divers, this was somewhat of a disappointment and could not hope to match the boat diving we were expecting. Emperor, please take note and change this policy for regulars like us!


Day two and the real diving begins in the Ras Mohammed National Park (a.k.a. Ras Mo). First up was Ras Za’atar, a nice drift dive with plenty to see, followed by a firm favourite, Shark and Yolanda, which was excellent! Lots of fish including an Eagle Ray, Trevally, Batfish, Unicorn fish, Giant moray etc. Oh, and don’t forget the toilets (courtesy of Yolanda). Note: Gareth spotted a very rare Daenerys Targaryen fish and showed us the picture on his phone, so we had to believe him 😉


Day three, over to the Straits of Tiran and a good dive on Jackson Reef with lots of the usual suspects: Clown Fish (a.k.a. Nemo’s), Blue Trigger fish, Fusiliers, Banner fish etc. We were lucky enough to get the second dive on the Million Hope wreck. This site can be a little weather dependant, but the shipping lane was nice and calm and we had no trouble getting across it. Lots to see on this one, turtle, crocodile fish, nudibranchs, glass fish, etc.




Day four, a nice early start, as we’d all opted for a trip out to the Thistlegorm wreck. The Thistlegorm deserves her own story which can also be found on the site, but in summary this was a first for four of us, Chris having done it a few times before (I think he’s got a season ticket!).  We all agreed it was worth every penny of the supplement we had to pay. It was fantastic!!!


Day five, back to Tiran with the first dive on Gordon South. A bit of an all-or-nothing dive this, hanging out in the blue for a while and we weren’t particularly lucky, although we did see a rather nice Eagle Ray. The second dive was another tour of Jackson Reef, with a massive shoal of schooling Bannerfish.

Day 6, the last day’s diving and back to Ras Mo. The first dive Jackfish alley, but the current was such that we did it in reverse. For many this was the worst dive of the holiday (excluding the house reef). We finned over to the outer reef and it’s fair to say we saw jacks**t! Another group that stayed nearer to shore saw far more than us, so just the luck of the draw, I guess. On a more positive note, we did get a chance to unveil our 50th anniversary flag. Thanks to Ali for taking the piccies.

The last dive of our holiday was another dive on Shark and Yolanda and was tremendous. This time starting at Satellite Reef, drifting over the wreck and making our way to Shark Reef. There was absolutely loads to see, especially at the end, with large shoals of Batfish, Snappers and Trevally. This truly is one dive site you can never tire of.

Special thanks go to Alex Allan, who guided us for first five days. He was fantastic - knowledgeable and fun, just what you want in a dive guide. Unfortunately, he had an accident and gashed his leg on the evening of day five and couldn’t make the last day. Thanks to Ali, who stepped in a guided us on day 6.

Thanks also to Emperor Divers who looked after us superbly and complements to the boat chefs for the excellent food on board. How they provide such a banquet from a small galley is beyond me.

Congratulations to our Dive Officer Chris Kean, who reached his 800th dives this holiday and to Gareth Sparrow, who achieved his Club Diver qualification. Well done guys.


That covers the diving, let’s talk about the nightlife… where to start, perhaps the long island ice teas at the good ole Jolie Ville beach bar, two for one, that’s two shots of brake fluid and one coke, ask Chris!


Then there’s good old KFC. Not exactly Egyptian cuisine, but when you’re hungry and don’t want to spend a fortune, not to mention decent air conditioning, it’s a winner. And what about those spicy shrimps eh lads … deeeelicious!  Although KFC was only a filler between meals for some of the guys, well one, not naming names but his surname is the same as the pirate Jack 🙂


We did have some excellent meals out of course. I can’t remember the names of all of them, but the stand out one was the Dananeer Steak House on the last two nights. This place was recommended by Alex and is fantastic. With a such a varied menu, there is bound to be something on it for everyone.


After our evening meals, we often wandered down to our favourite shop, Egyptian Lionel Ritchie’s. What a character!  When asked if he’d been dancing on the ceiling, his quickfire response is “All night long” … classic!  You can fill up with some great (not) designer gear in his store, Tommy Hilfoger, Calvin Klean, Addibas etc.


We stopped at the Ghazala Beach Hotel this year. It’s not exactly the Hilton, but when all you just need is an air-conditioned bed for the night, it will do nicely. The hotel breakfasts were basic, but served by our good friend, Colgate, a monicker given to him by Simon, due to his impressive molars, well just the one! 


The five of us had a wonderful time and it was over too soon. Roll on next year.


Just one more thing to add, Neil, we should have kept that double bed 😉


Signing off, yours truly. Phil.

Screenshot Eagle Ray.jpg
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