Red Sea, Marsa Alam, Egypt 2018

Six days diving on the M/V Mistral.

Nine divers, five of which were club members and one non-diver visited the Red Sea, Marsa Alam for six days diving on the Typhoon fleet 35m Mistral, 17 October to 24 October 2018. The trip was booked through ‘Scuba Travel’, with the afternoon Gatwick flight landing 20:00 giving us good time for the short coach transfer to the boat, set up the kit and have an evening meal.

On most dives reef and oceanic white tip sharks were seen and some saw thresher and hammerheads, visibility was 30m plus, see attached pics to get a flavour of the trip. Our tour was ‘The best of the southern Red Sea’ which seemed to be very similar to ‘The shark quest’ tour. Water temperature was 27 deg C and a 3mm suit was fine for the three dives per day.

Dives #1 to #3 - The Mistral left Marsa Alam the next morning for a shakedown dive at Ras Torombi around noon; first dive was off the dive deck, second off one of the rhib’s and then a night dive. This was the only night dive we could do since it is not allowed on the marine parks we were to visit.

Dives #4 to #6 - After an overnight trip we woke up to find ourselves anchored over the south plateau of Big Brother  The early morning dive was on the Numidia by rhib, with a drift back along the east wall, the sea state was a bit choppy but for the rest of the week it was calm. The second dive was off the dive deck on the south plateau and the third dive was back to the Numidia and a drift back on the west wall over the Aida.

Dives #7 to #9 - The Mistral then moved from Big Brother to Little Brother for three dives on the east wall, southern plateau and north plateau.

Dives #10 to #15 - After an overnight trip we woke up to find ourselves anchored on the Daedalus Reef, the only features above the water here are the French and British lighthouses. Some ventured ashore for the views, buy the T-shirts and to stretch legs. We had six dives here on both the western, eastern walls and on the south plateau. Oceanic white tips circled the boats, which made for an interesting return for dives on the south plateau from the dive deck. On the final dive here venturing out into the blue from the rhib’s finally paid off and after spotting two scout hammerheads found a school of about 20 scalloped hammerheads at about 45m.

Whilst on this last dive the Mistral had up anchored and was waiting for us to board, the chase was now on for the best spot on our last reef.

Dives #16 and #17 - ‘The Elphinstone’ is accessible by day boats from Marsa Alam and our captain had got us on prime position on the north plateau. The first dive was off the dive deck on the north Plateau and our final dive of the trip was a drift dive on the western wall from the south plateau.

Our final night was spent on Mistral in Marsa Alam, we were then transferred to a hotel for the day and the return flight at 02:15.

All in all an excellent trip, we met new friends, the company, diving, guides, food, crew and weather were all good what more could you ask for.

Many thanks to Nick for organising this trip.

Photos from the trip

Thanks to those on the trip for the photos