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Wrecks and reefs, anyone?

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Red Sea

I’ve been lucky enough to dive in some fantastic destinations over the years, but I was shocked when I realised it had been over 10 years since I last dived in the Red Sea. So when I was offered the chance to spend a week on board MY Red Sea Adventurer – I jumped at it!

Before I knew it I was being met by the blue o two team in Hurghada and transferring down to Port Ghalib to spend 7 days doing a Deep South itinerary on board the newly refurbished MY Red Sea Adventurer.

MY Red Sea Adventurer is technically the smallest boat in the blue o two fleet, but I found it to be really spacious and comfortable. There is a large saloon/dining area, huge dive deck and dive platform, two sun-decks with comfortable seating (and shade for those not wanting to crisp up in the sunshine!) and 12 guest cabins accommodating 22 guests.

Red Sea

The cabins are large and airy with home comforts such as flat screen TV with in-cabin entertainment, en-suite shower room, air-conditioning, dressing gown and plenty of towels, which throughout the week were often found in the shape of a swan/bird/flower on your freshly made bed!

All the crew on board could not do enough for you and the food was delicious – each day we were amazed by the choice of dishes to come out of the tiny galley!

Red SeaI was a little apprehensive that after my 10 year break the Red Sea would not be as good as I remembered, but the diving exceeded my expectations!  With oceanic white tips, hammerheads, grey reef sharks, along with dolphins, turtles, blue spotted rays, pufferfish, a huge grouper…. I could go on but I don’t want to bore you! We seemed to have every dive site to ourselves, only seeing another boat towards the end of the week when we were heading back to Port Ghalib.

We travelled from Port Ghalib to St John’s, diving sites such as Abu Dabab, Elphinstone, Fury Shoal and St John’s Caves en route. Our day usually started at 6am with up to 4 dives per day, including a night dive. Before every dive we had a thorough briefing from either Luke or Tefa, the dive guides, both were so knowledgeable and even though they had been doing this for years, seemed genuinely excited to get in the water and show us what the Red Sea had to offer. The diving was done in two groups so the dive deck was never crowded when we were kitting up, and there was always someone there to help zip up your wetsuit, hand you your weight-belt, clip on your fins or hand you a hot chocolate after a night dive!

I can’t understand why I left it so long to return to Egypt – I had a fabulous week, met some great people and, most importantly, remembered how fabulous the diving in the Red Sea is! I’m now thinking about the Wrecks and Reefs itinerary in December … if anyone fancies joining me?

Red Sea

Scuba Tours Worldwide logoSee Scuba Tours Worldwide’s Red Sea destination page for more information on MY Red Sea Adventurer and other Red Sea liveaboards : click here

Scuba Tours Worldwide often have Special Offers for Red Sea liveaboard holidays, so its always worth checking out their offers page: click here

Kimberley Bonham is a Travel Sales Executive at Scuba Tours Worldwide and an experienced Dive Master. Having spent two years as crew on a yacht sailing around the world, she has been lucky enough to travel to many of the world’s greatest diving destinations. Her favourites are Ningaloo Reef in Australia, the SS President Coolidge in Vanuatu and Sha’ab Rumi in the Sudan.

Equipment

Northern Diver’s latest additions to add to your diving kit this year …

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Northern Diver has kicked off the New Year by launching the new Brava Mask and Snorkel in its range of masks and snorkels. Check out Northern Divers latest additions to add to your diving kit this year…

Brava Mask

The Brava Mask provides an excellent field of vision thanks to anti-fog technology combined with the low volume, ensuring you don’t miss a thing during your time in the water. The soft silicone skirt offers not only the perfect fit but comfortable too. Easy to adjust, you simply push the button buckles to achieve the optimum fit.

Brava Snorkel

Why not treat yourself to a matching snorkel! A great choice for snorkelling and diving, the Brava Snorkel is a semi-dry design, the easy purge system is complete with a large draining chamber. Complete with a silicone mouthpiece that enables you to be comfy for a prolonged amount of time in the water. 

Also introducing… 40L SRE Roll Top Dry bag

The 40L SRE Roll Top Dry bag features a wide top opening allowing easy access to your kit. Constructed from waterproof material to ensure your gear stays dry. This weatherproof duffle is great for around water, sailing, canoeing, kayaking and many other uses.

For more information visit the Northern Diver website here

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News

Frontline workers honoured with free dive trip to Yap

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The remote island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia is among the few places in the world that remains free of Covid-19 thanks to its ocean border and a strict travel ban that has kept its residents safe.

Nonetheless, Yap has been affected, too. As one of the world’s premier, award-winning destinations for divers, this paradisiacal location in the western Pacific Ocean has had no outside visitors to its rich shores and reef for nearly a year. But while there may be no virus, the island hasn’t been cut off from the economic impact experienced around the globe.

Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers by A. Tareg

That didn’t stop Bill Acker, CEO and founder of the Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers, from doing something, though.

Last March, soon after the island went into lockdown, Bill began to realize the effect of the virus on daily life beyond the island. “Yes, we are closed, have no divers, had to send our employees home and prepare for difficult times,” he said. “But we’re lucky in that we have, for the most part, avoided the human suffering and death this pandemic has caused.”

Thinking about the problems faced by his family business, they paled when he compared them to those endured by the healthcare workers who have been fighting selflessly around the clock for months on end for the well-being and lives of others.

“One evening, while checking the news online, I saw pictures of frontline workers who were tending to desperately ill and dying people when families and friends could not be with their loved ones. It was heartbreaking,” he added.

The next day, a meeting was held with the resort’s staff and Bill invited suggestions for ways they could do something to honor healthcare workers. The result was the idea to award twenty divers who are working on the frontline to save other’s lives during this pandemic while risking their own, with a free week at the resort.

Manta ray, Manta birostris, gliding over a cleaning station in M’il Channel, Yap, Micronesia by David Fleetham

Divers around the world who had been guests at Manta Ray Bay in the past were invited to submit the names of candidates for the award by December 31, 2020. “We received nominations for 126 individuals from as far away as Germany, the U.S., Australia and Canada,” he said. “It was not easy choosing the winners but our committee of staff members took on the job and selected the 20 finalists.”

“While trying to choose the people to reward for their hard work during this Covid-19 crisis,” Bill added, “by reading the nominations we saw that every one of the nominees was doing things above and beyond the call of duty. Sadly, we don’t have the finances to offer over 100 free weeks in Yap, but we do want to recognize the contributions all of them are making to our world. So, we are offering the rest of the nominees a free week of diving in Yap which includes room, hotel tax, airport transfers, breakfast, diving and Wi-Fi.  The only requirement is that they travel with at least three other people and stay in two rooms or more.”

“We do not yet know when Yap will open its borders,” said Bill, “but when it does, we will welcome these important guests to Yap to relax and dive with the manta rays and the other beautiful denizens of the ocean surrounding our island home. They are the true heroes of this devastating, historic time and we look forward to honoring them with a well-deserved dive vacation.”

Watch out for our exclusive trip report from a healthcare worker from the UK who is one of the 20 to have been awarded this amazing dive trip!

For more information on Manta Ray Bay and Yap Divers visit their website by clicking here.

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Competitions

This is the perfect start to your 2021 diving season… and at an incredible lead-in price of just £885 per person.

Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. This itinerary takes in the wonderful South & St Johns from 26 February – 05 March 2021.  

Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price so don't delay!

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk to book your spot!

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