We got up early to soak up the special, calm atmosphere before the smelling of sunscreen crowd woke up and populated the beaches. The sea was calm and looked like a mirror, there was a gentle, warm (not hot) breeze and I was reminded and compared it to the calmness when floating down the Nile river on a felucca.
We had an exciting day ahead of us…
A tour guide picked us up at the hotel and drove with us to a “diving school”, where we were outfitted with snorkels, goggles and fins. Together with a couple from Denmark and a man from England (who was living currently in Kuwait), we drove to a marina. Hundreds of boats were waiting to take tourists to the diverse diving and snorkeling spots of the coast of Sharm El Sheikh. We climbed onto our boat “Empro II” and off we took to the Red Sea.
The deep blue water was an amazing contrast to the rugged coastline. We enjoyed almost an hour of riding through the breeze as it took us to our first diving spot in Ras Mohammed. The majority of people on the boat got into their diving gear and one by one jumped into the water. Mrs. Menger and I slipped into our fins and put our goggles on to jump in after the divers.
What an exhilarating feeling to be swimming in the middle of the Red Sea. We wondered if we were at the same spot where Moses parted the Red Sea? Were we swimming above the grounds where Moses let his people out of Egypt?
Once we lowered our faces into the water, it was breathtaking… The crystal clear water and the colors we saw gave justice to what we heard all along: that Sharm El Sheikh had one of the BEST diving spots in the world comparable only to the Great Barrier Reef off of Australia.
We felt like we were flying like birds in the sky, while watching the incredible amount of life below us. It almost seemed unreal to see the human divers descending further and further to the bottom while we were floating above. The bubbles that were floating from the divers’ oxygen tanks created a dream like glimpse into a different universe. Some of the bubbles were tiny and sparkling like diamonds, while others reached the size of a dinner plate. Mrs. Menger and I had a wonderful time playing “pop the bubble”.
The fish that were swimming alone or in large groups reminded us of the movie “Finding Nemo”. The creators of Nemo, must have spent hours diving, since they were able to captured the view underwater so accurately.
We swam and floated among the flora and fauna, careful as not to disturb any of it. It was incredible to be so easily accepted into their environment. The fish did not seem to be bothered by those strange looking individual that seemed so out of their element. At one moment, we were swimming what seemed like a very busy intersection. Tons of different schools of fish were swimming busily around, when they all stopped, one next to the other, as if in front of an invisible traffic light and let us pass by, as they were looking on to us, and then continued on their merry way.
We observed so many different kinds of fish, swimming as if late for an important appointment or lazily hanging out stationary with a group of friends. Some fish swam in large schools, while others seemed to be alone. The coral reef seemed to be a large condominium complex, with many restaurants behind windows, where the fish went to eat.
The sounds under water ranged from hearing the metal clinking of divers’ signals to the waves crushing above our heads and the horns of several boats nearby calling to the divers.
The diving guide, Yahia, told us to stay clear from touching a certain kind of corals by accident. They are called fire corals and, as the name implies, will sting/burn you, when you touch them. He continued explaining that in case we did get stung, we needed to make sure to use one of three treatments immediatly:
- Lemon Juice
- Human water
We were very careful in not getting too close to the corals.
What and incredible amazing day we had, when we returned tired and exhausted in the late afternoon to our hotel. This excursion was definitely one of the highlights of our Egypt trip. It reminded us of all the hidden wonders of our world and that it is up to us to protect these natural treasures for future generations.
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