After a few days to let it settle after we witnessed the scuttling, it was finally time to see the C-130 Hercules in its new home under the sea.
Our dive centre of choice was Sindbad Dive Club based in the stunning surroundings of Berenice Beach Club. With a guest pool and dive training pool overlooking the beach and Red Sea, it was a great place to start our diving day. Sindbad is the only dive centre in the area to have their own jetty within the marine park. This makes it easy to kit up and climb aboard with all the dive sites within easy reach just minutes from the jetty. In fact, the furthest site is a mere 20 minute boat journey away.
Khaled Kenawy is the managing director of Sindbad and greeted us on our arrival. He made sure every detail was discussed, putting us at ease about the day’s diving. Everything was very professional with any hired kit already prepared for us in labelled crates. The kit was taken to the dive boat for us by the crew and the boat had ample room for divers, kit and crew. Soft drinks and water were provided onboard.
The C-130 is only a 5-10 minute journey from the jetty and was due to be our first dive of the day. However, Khaled used his experience to make a detour when he saw other dive boats at the site and realised it would be a little crowded. We made our first dive at a site called The Japanese Gardens – a nice relaxed dive, alongside colourful reef life, which prepared us for our afternoon on the Hercules.
After a coffee and tea break back at the Berenice Beach Club, it was time to set out for a hopefully quieter C-130 dive site. We were all excited to experience this new amazing wreck site that will hopefully bring more dive tourism to the area.
Being a shallow dive site of only around 16 metres max, you could see the wreck from the surface as we jumped in. What struck me straight away was the sheer size of the plane. It completely dwarfed the divers that were exploring it and it was a lot bigger than I imagined it would be. The wings disappeared into the distance as you looked out from the cargo hold, while the vertical stabiliser reached up to the surface, towering over me as I swam beneath.
It was easy to penetrate the wreck with numerous wide openings that allowed access to explore inside and check out the cockpit which has a model skeleton at the wheel. I can really see this being an amazing dive site once the sea life and coral start calling it home. The reefs surrounding the plane are stunning and can be explored as part of the dive. The well-known Tank dive site is just a few minutes swim away and perfect for a safety stop, which means you can enjoy it all in one dive. As life starts to form on the wreck, you’ll probably want to spend much longer!
It was a great moment to be able to witness the scuttling of the C-130 Hercules and be one of the first divers worldwide to dive it. What made it extra special was the extremely professional dive centre that hosted us. Check out Sindbad Dive Club at: www.sindbadjo.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange your trip!
Check back next week for my blogs on the other diving available in Aqaba and to read about a stunning trip to Petra.
Fourth Element X Sea Shepherd
This year on Black Friday, fourth element announced their new partnership with Sea Shepherd, encouraging people to move away from mindless purchasing and to opt-in to supporting something powerful.
For 40 years Sea Shepherd, a leading non-profit organisation, has been patrolling the high seas with the sole mission to protect and conserve the world’s oceans and marine wildlife. They work to defend all marine wildlife, from whales and dolphins, to sharks and rays, to fish and krill, without exception.
Inspired by Sea Shepherd’s mission, fourth element have created a collection of fourth element X Sea Shepherd limited edition products for ocean lovers and protectors, with 15% of every sale going to the Sea Shepherd fund to help continue to drive conservation efforts globally.
“Working with Sea Shepherd gives fourth element the opportunity to join forces with one of the largest active conservation organisations in the world to try to catalyse change in people’s attitudes and behaviour. Fourth Element’s products are designed, developed and packaged with the intention of minimising our impact on the ocean environment, and with this partnership, we will be supporting the work of Sea Shepherd, in particular in their work on dealing with the twin threats of Ghost fishing nets and plastic pollution.”
Jim Standing fourth element co-founder
Read fourth element’s Sea Shepherd Opinion Piece HERE
Dive entrepreneur Clare Dutton voted one to watch!
Director of Duttons Divers, Clare Dutton, has been voted as one of the top 100 female entrepreneurs to watch in the UK, a huge achievement, emphasising her dedication and commitment to the dive industry and growth of the business.
Clare started diving at the age of 18 and, once qualified as an instructor, decided to start her own business. Having no funds to do so, she took out a business loan to purchase three sets of equipment and a trailer to travel the UK and teach. With a garden shed as a storage unit and her bathroom as a drying room, Duttons Divers was born!
Since then, Clare became the youngest PADI Course Director at the time, and has developed the business into a well established and renowned UK dive chain. With two dive centres, Vivian Quarry, Llanberis and Hafan Marina, Pwllheli, and two dive boats, Little Viv and Sea Quest, the business offers high quality equipment and facilities to offer bespoke training and guided dives.
Clare says: “I am extremely honoured to be selected as 1 of 100 female entrepreneurs in the UK. I have devoted a lot of time to develop the business since starting, and have always striven to ensure that it is at the highest level it can be, whether that be acquiring top quality equipment, having our own facilities or to just showcase North Wales and the amazing diving that we have here. It’s great for this to be recognised and fuel the passion to develop this even further.
“Its definitely not been easy, and I am sure it never will be because I will always want it to develop and not just settle. The ridiculously late finishing, finding out who your ‘friends’ are, working out accounts, marketing, and every other element of a business is massively stressful at times… but then stepping back and seeing what it has all achieved makes it worthwhile. I am very excited for the future of the business and where it is headed.”
To read the full article and the 100 entrepreneurs to watch, go to: https://tgr.ph/partofthe100
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