Anyone with a slight knowledge of algebra will have worked out that if MD is equal to Meridian Divers and MA is equal to Marsa Alam then MSD will equal Master Scuba Divers! Meridian Divers Tracey, Therese , Paul and I tagged-on to the Ocena View trip to Marsa Alam for five days of two -tank boat diving . The last time I went I managed to photograph the 'star' of the area, Dennis the Dugong but this time it was not possible to visit his happy (sea grass) hunting ground! Highlights of the trip were dives at Shaab Samadai (Dolphin Reef) and Elphinstone and Tracey and Paul completed specialities that qualify them as Master Scuba Divers - well done ! Tracey is also contemplating a bottle opening speciality after a bit of a struggle with a coke bottle! It was quite windy for the first few days of the trip but this settled down a bit as the week went on, water temperature was 22 degrees Centigrade and air temperature reached 27 degrees.
In all there were about 25 of us in the wider group and as a result of the numbers , Emperor Divers contracted in an ex-liveaboard boat "Sea Dreams" to give us plenty of space. On board we had three Emperor Divers Instructors and three other Instructors (in the group) . Small world as it is one of the Emperor Divers Instructors was Sarah Isles from Shoreham.
The link-up with Ocena View worked well and it was good to make friends with some new buddies, some of which have already shown interest in putting their names forward for joint trips (such as France 2009). I think my most enjoyable day was the Shaab Samadai dives, I had previously only snorkeled there but there are some lovely swim-throughs and pinnacles one of which has a delightful Red Sea Anemone City !
The sea was FULL of plankton, particularly from about 8-12m in depth, and quite lively stuff it was too with several divers displaying some reddened skin as a result ! The vinegar came in handy!
We stayed at the Coral Beach Diving Hotel which is an ideal location directly on the Port Ghalib Harbour. In a few years the Harbour is destined to be a huge tourist attraction with hotels and shops springing-up, though at present tourist numbers (in March) are quite low.