Connect with us
background

News

Caroline Worlatini’s Red Sea Reunion aboard Hurricane

Published

on

We’ve all got those friends you’ve not seen for many years.  A reunion sounds like fun, but what if they’ve changed? What if things aren’t as good anymore? I felt a bit like this at the prospect of diving Daedalus, Rocky & St Johns this year.  

In my time as a Red Sea dive guide, I was lucky enough to log hundreds of dives in the Southern Red Sea. I have so many magical, happy memories from these sites.  My first manta was seen here. I was in awe at schooling sharks. My first cavern dives were in Fury Shoals. The whole itinerary is steeped in dive history for me. But it’s been a good 11 years since I was last there. What if the diving today didn’t live up to the memories? My excitement to return to Hurricane was tempered by these concerns, niggling at the back of my mind, when I stepped on board last week.

I needn’t have worried.  

May and June must be hands down the best months to dive the southern Red Sea. Ok… maybe I need to qualify that a bit.  They have been in my experience the best months for manta sightings and often for hammerheads too.  I admit, the adrenalin rush of oceanics later in the summer is quite something – and for many divers the zenith of the Red Sea calendar.  Threshers and silkies tend to be better in the winter months.  I’ve travelled much farther to find both shark species… and had less success when I think of it!  But there’s something about Spring that brings the twin delights of rays and sharks together.  After the dark winter months of the UK, to jump in with playful and curious pelagics is a sheer joy. 


Daedalus was on fire. The water around the north tip was thick with plankton and we had virtually no current. A school of around 6 hammerheads cruised in to check us out, slowly passing by. Yet the mantas were really stole the show.  Manta are always a bit hit and miss in the Red Sea.  You just need to be in the right place at the right time.  No denying it – that place in May is Daedalus. We must have seen at least 5 individuals, from a small 1m to a whopping 3m+, from 30m to 5m. Within the first 6 minutes of one dive we had seen a gray, 2 threshers, hammerheads and manta. I almost got out.  Glad I didn’t though.  The manta would swoop in, barrel roll in front of divers and then swoop off again.  A single hammerhead tried to get in on the action, cutting in between the manta and divers. “Look at me”, she cried,”I’m cool too!”  A dive buddy of mine has logged several thousand dives around the globe, but on that single dive saw most of the big fish that had thus far eluded him. It was with a heavy heart that the boat left Daedlus to carry on our itinerary

If like me you are an ardent reef diver, it really doesn’t get much better than Zabagad, St Johns and Fury Shoal. The hard coral pinnacles at Zabagad are breath taking.  I could spend hours in the coral gardens in Fury Shoal, especially Abu Galawa Soraya. Hard corals are supposed to be that bit extra sensitive to adverse conditions. By the condition of the Southern Red Sea, she is in amazing health!  Blues, yellows, greens, surrounded by fusiliers, banner and butterfly fish and of course vast clouds of anthias. As we drifted down the walls of St Johns, swathes of anthias and glass fish floated around you, only to suddenly dart into the wall as the trumpet fish raced in on the hunt for lunch. 

Jump in at St Johns caves and be sure to spend a few minutes with the resident napoleon. Their eyes fascinate me, watching you from every angle. We did several sites where you have “cave” dives.  They aren’t really caves in the true sense, but more caverns where the reef has cracked open.  For someone like myself with a camera, the rooms of dark and light are a playground.  Our small group of photo mad divers didn’t tend to go very far and buddy Brian was an ever patient model here! Blue spotted sting rays dart across the bottom while hatchet fish lurk in the gloom. I think these were some of the most popular dives of the week… after the manta! 

Hurricane is always a delight to dive from.  Her steel hull really does make the sailing so much more comfortable. We had good weather, and there was barely a roll as we ate en route between sites. She’s easy to get on and off and the two zodiacs are some of most generous I’ve come across in the Red Sea. But, as every diver really knows, it is the crew that makes a trip work and my thanks go to all the crew, guides and captain.  From Adel and Wahid, our guides, to Samir in the saloon and Red, the all important chef… some of these were familiar faces, having worked with Tornado Marine Fleet for many a year.  Others were newer recruits to the team. But all welcomed us with a genuine smile and could not have worked harder to cater for our every needs.  Let’s not forget the dive deck team. The zodiac drivers were brilliant and ever present and I never put my fins on myself once.

At the end of the week, I had once again fallen well and truly for the charms of the southern Red Sea. It’s the range of diving that keeps me coming back for me. From the biggest sharks and rays at one location, to hunting for nudis on in a colourful coral garden. The happy thoughts of the dives kept me smiling all the way back to Gatwick.

There are still some places left on Hurricane this year – so if you fancy an amazing diving adventure get yourself booked on!

Read more about Hurricane here

To find out more about Scuba Travel and the dive holidays they offer, call 0800 0728221, email dive@scubatravel.com or visit www.scubatravel.com

Caroline has worked in diving since 2003. After a few years overseas as a liveaboard guide, she’s settled for life on land and has been part of the Scuba Travel family since 2007. Diving thrills these days tend to mean bimbling around on a reef in a hot, far flung destination.

Dive Training Blogs

Deptherapy returns to its Roots – Part 1

Published

on

Over the next seven days, join Richard Cullen from Deptherapy as we publish a Blog about the charity’s recent expedition to Roots Red Sea, El Quseir, Egypt.

Deptherapy made the very brave decision to book an expedition to our home in Egypt as soon as Roots Red Sea received their certificate from the Egyptian Authorities that the camp and dive centre was COVID secure. Roots is one of very few resorts to receive a certificate from the Egyptian Government.

We arrived in Roots the day after they re-opened.

Getting together an expedition was a major task. Very few Approved Medical Examiners’ of Divers or Dive Referees are conducting consultations at the moment. Availability of beneficiaries and the requirement to quarantine on return from Egypt affected the number of beneficiaries available.

There was also a requirement to pass a COVID PCR virus test within 72 hours of travelling.

We had decided on a small expedition and on the day of travel we had six flying to Egypt.  Unfortunately, Chris Middleton had to drop out the day before we travelled after emergency wisdom tooth surgery.

Our group comprised of Richard Cullen, Michael Hawley, Tom Oates, Tom Swarbrick, Keiron Bradbury and Corey Goodson.  Keiron was undertaking his RAID Master Rescue Course and, as it turned out, Corey was undertaking the RAID Open Water 20 course.

A deserted Gatwick Airport at 0900 on 10 October

Our outbound flight was before midday on Saturday 10 October and I must admit we were all shocked at how deserted was.  Checking in with easyJet took minutes and when we boarded the plane, we found it less than half full.

Corey is a paraplegic since a car accident two years ago while he was training prior to joining the Royal Anglian Regiment.  Corey has no sensation below the waist and is unable to use his legs.  The cabin crew on our flight were quite amazed to see the two Toms and Michael lift him from his wheelchair and place him in his seat for the flight.

Mask protocols were strictly observed by the team, the flight was uneventful, and the easyJet Cabin Crew superb. We also took a digital thermometer to check temperatures prior to flying.

Corey having a pre-flight temperature check

Hurghada Airport was very quiet and we moved through Immigration and collected our baggage in very quick time.

Two things to note:  If you are travelling to Hurghada you need to complete a COVID declaration for the Egyptian Authorities. If not, you have to fill out the rather lengthy form when you arrive.  You can undertake a COVID test on arrival at Hurghada Airport but the queues are long.  It costs much less than the tests we had done in the UK – BUT – you are required to be quarantined at your hotel until the test result comes through.  This means two days with no access to resort facilities.  If the test comes back as positive you have at least two weeks being confined to your room.

COVID guidelines

Transport to Roots was, as ever, on hand and we were soon at the camp and being briefed about the COVID arrangements.  A lot of work has been put in place to make Roots COVID compliant – and all at considerable expense.

None of the usual hugs with the Roots team and you have your temperature checked every morning and every time you return from the dive centre.  Your dive kit is sterilised every night ready for the next day’s diving.

Sterilised Dive Kit

We all felt very COVID secure.

Check back for tomorrow’s Blog and our first day diving…


Find out more about the work of Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education at www.deptherapy.co.uk

Continue Reading

News

And the winner of our TUSA Paragon S Mask competition is…

Published

on

We’d like to say a big thank you to all of you who entered our competition to win a TUSA Paragon S Mask from our good friends at CPS Partnership!

As usual, lots of you entered… but there can, of course, be only one winner!

And that winner is…

  • Lee Evans from the UK.

Congratulations Lee – your prize will be on its way to you soon!

Not a winner this time? Don’t worry – there are plenty of other competitions running on Scubaverse.com right now. To see what other awesome prizes you could be in with a chance of winning, click here!

Continue Reading

E-Newsletter Sign up!

Competitions

Expires on:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

More Less

Instagram Feed

Facebook Feed

Facebook Pagelike Widget

Popular