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Egypt – Underwater Magic in the Red Sea



“The Sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” – Jacques Yves Cousteau

Egypt is known as one of the most popular dive locations in the world, with tropical waters, reasonable flight times from the UK and many itineraries to choose from depending on your experience. Most recently though, the focus has not been on the magical waters, but rather the safety and security of travellers following the horrific Russian Airline bombing in Sharm el Sheikh last year. In February, we flew into Hurghada, our final destination being the dive camp Roots situated in the small town of El Quseir. Many would call us mad for travelling to this country: “Why risk it?”, “It isn’t safe!” – but our mentality has always been that if bad things happen they can happen anywhere, and there is no point avoiding living for fear of dying. Unfortunately, this is not the view shared by most people – Sharm, once a popular holiday destination for 15 million tourists, now lies a ghost town.


Our choice to visit Egypt was an easy one; diving in the Red Sea is incredibly diverse, and thankfully it doesn’t take a whole day to get to! Roots Red Sea Dive Camp is a custom built camp situated in the middle of the desert, about 1.5 hours south from Hurghada and 1.5 hours north of Marsa Alam. The accommodation is traditionally built with the budget to boutique rooms offering solutions for everyone. We opted for the beautiful higher end Boutique rooms that offer en suite and plenty of space. Despite being in the middle of the desert the set up is a home from home with the staff offering a real family feel. Steve & Clare who run it are always about, happy to share stories and offer advice for the novice diver/underwater photographer (like me!). It’s funny – there you find yourself, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, and oddly enough, it’s exactly where you want to be.


We spent the week diving the house reef, a last minute dive trip to practice using my new camera… which to my surprise was exactly what I needed! The house reef splits into two arms North and South, following a slowly descending mouth. As you enter from the beach the reef is immediately visible with many banner fish as close as 10ft from the shore waiting to say hello. To the left you have the North reef – an easier dive in my opinion because of the shallow nooks of the rocks that allow for endless photo opportunities with lots of natural light. Further along, outcrops bleed out from the wall offering lots of life; one in particular housing two beautiful Anemone fish guarding their young. However, the star attraction is by far and away on the South reef – leading in with a large dominating wall you come to reef that drops to about 30m. As you turn to go along it at about 20m there is a small pinnacle that has one of the most stunning red Anemone’s I’ve ever seen. We must have spent 50% of our diving just documenting this beauty.


Another  star of the reef is the local Pufferfish we nicknamed Paul – a Yellow Spotted Burrfish variety who was extremely calm and relaxed around us divers. He is larger than average, so is easy to spot and has saucer like eyes that melt your heart. Safe to say I was smitten with this fella and took many a pic of his cute, spikey face.


There is an abundance of life on this reef but I will admit after 5 days I was restless, so would advise others to take advantage of the day trips on offer. The diving is hosted by Steve & Clare’s dive centre Pharaoh Dive Club with trips like Elphinstone and the Salem express offering wrecks and sharks for those who want more variance, as well as other local shore dives.



A fantastic week of winter sun diving in a country that has wriggled its way into my heart and is there to stay. Egypt, once the heartland of diving is now struggling to stay ‘above water’, yet the diving remains exciting and beautiful. With flights not due to resume to Sharm until October you may be considering other alternatives for your next dive trip; well pause and take a breath – Roots Red Sea & Pharoah Dive Club offer all the best bits of Red Sea diving in a relaxed, luxury setting. Don’t take it from me, check out the links below and discover this hidden gem for yourself…

Roots Camp Trip Advisor

Pharoah Dive Club Trip Advisor

For more from Hayley, visit

Hayley is a passionate scuba diver, travel blogger, and underwater photographer, travelling the world with her partner Richard to complete the team at Black Manta Photography. A qualified TEC50 and sidemount diver, she's dived everywhere from Truk Lagoon to deepest Indonesia and loves nothing more than exploring new and exciting places, documenting her experiences with her camera above and below the water. As divers, Hayley feels we are privy to a secret beauty and by capturing it, hopefully, we can encourage more people to protect and cherish it.

Gear News

Gear Maintenance Episode 4: Backplate and Harness Sponsored by Dive Rite (Watch Video)



Welcome to Gear Maintenance! In this episode I’m showing you how to bring an old, tattered backplate and harness back to life and giving you tips on how you can look after your scuba diving gear.

If you want to support Divers Ready! (for free!) support our sponsor for this series of videos: Dive Rite

To enter to win the XT Lite Backplate and Basic Harness from Dive Rite, you need to:

  1. Subscribe to Divers Ready! if you haven’t already:
  1. Enter the contest here:

When a scuba diver switches from a jacket BCD to a Backplate, Harness and Wing system, it can be very hard to switch back! We’ve packed this video full of hints and tips covering storage, protection, cleaning and maintenance to help you protect the investment you’ve made in your dive equipment.

Good luck to everyone! D.S.D.O James

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Liquid Sports announce NEW colours of Hollis F1 LT Fin now in stock



Liquid Sports has announced that the NEW Colours of the Hollis F1 LT fin are now in stock at LS warehouse and ready to ship.

Already available in Grey, the NEW White & Yellow Hollis F1 LT fins have the following features:

• Short blade for easier finning in confined spaces
• Angled strap mounts for comfort & a better transition of power
• Spring heel straps with easy-grip heel tab
• Multiple strap mounting positions for a fine tuned fit
• Vented blade reduces stress while accelerating water over blade
• Generous foot pocket

F1 LT Yellow RRP £139.95 – Product code: 214.2207.xx 

F1 LT White RRP £139.95 – Product code: 214.2211.xx 

For more information visit the Liquid Sports website by clicking here.

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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