Another great thing about being based in Sharm is that, if you fancy a quieter, more relaxed day, with a later start and a more sedate pace, then you can ask to do some shore diving instead of heading out on the boat. As we have been hard at it since we got here, we decided this would be just the ticket for today. The dive in Naama Bay is incredibly chilled out, but that does not mean there isn’t plenty to see; with eagle rays, artificial reefs, hoards of lionfish, huge grouper and even a barracuda trying to hunt a pufferfish in the sandy shallows to entertain us.
After chatting through what we wanted to photograph with Beth, our private guide, we donned our wetsuits whilst still at Camel Dive Club. We set up our gear, which was then put on a trolley and wheeled down to the beach, by one of the lovely local staff, which is just 2 mins away. Once in our gear, we strode into the water and slipped into the clear blue sea and started exploring. Once past the first shallow coral bommies, we reached the artificial reefs. Here a number of wire sculptures have been sunk, several years ago now, to create a new reef system. There is a globe, a pyramid (of course), a boat and a dolphin that provide a perfect hide out for juvenile fish, lionfish and gorgeous angelfish. A playful school of juvenile bannerfish followed us around each of these structures, as well as a pile of amphora that adds to this reef scene.
Beth told us to keep an eye out on the sand, as this is also a regular site to see young spotted eagle rays. We were in luck, as we made our way to one of the deeper reefs, we caught a glimpse before it went on its way. The larger, and deeper piece of reef, lying at 12-16m, is home to a huge grouper, young napoleon wrasse and lots of lionfish. Enigmatic porcupine fish also patrol this part of the dive. It is a novice photographers dream and needs to be done in both wide angle and macro.
On our way back in we stopped to watch a pufferfish swim right up, unknowingly, to a large barracuda. As the barracuda went to strike, the puffer inflated and the bemused predator skulked away. It was a relief, as whilst a barracuda has to eat, those pufferfish are just too cute to be dinner for anyone.
The great thing about diving Naama Bay from Camel Dive Club is that you set the pace of the day. Want to do three dives, no problem. Two dives in the morning, spend the afternoon catching some sun by the pool and then do a night dive – perfect. You can decide what suits you best.
For more from Nick and Caroline visit www.frogfishphotography.com.