Red Sea Diving: Sharks! *Video*

I just spent a week scuba diving the waters of the Red Sea. And lucky me! I had two great encounters with sharks – one with a hammerhead and one with 2 legs.

Both of my shark sightings left me a little unnerved. And truthfully, I’m not sure which made me more uncomfortable, since both were deadly in their own way.

Abundant Sea Life

I first dove Egypt’s Sinai (off Nuweiba) a couple of years ago and saw nothing. In fact, I didn’t even bother to dive my third scheduled dive. But since then I’ve been told repeatedly how great Red Sea diving is, so I decided to give it another go. And I’m glad I did.

This time I did 7 dives over 3 days and saw amazing sea life: plenty of blue spotted rays, sea turtles, alligator fish, and moray eels and lots of brightly colored, healthy corals.

Perhaps most thrilling was the opportunity to swim in the midst of large schools Suez fusiliers – hundreds of these vibrant blue and silver fish engulfing us.

Can’t see this video? Click on this link: Red Sea Turtles

Shark Sighting!

And of course, the spotting of the hammerhead was a thrill. It was in about 20 meters of water (shallow for them – they usually stay at about 40-60 meters). And was a ways off (I’m not sure how far – it was hard for me to tell underwater). But you could definitely see the shark’s distinctive head as it slowly glided by.

Apparently, there had been several Sharm el Sheikh shark sightings where I was staying in the appropriately named Shark’s Bay recently. In fact, I later found out that just 6 months ago there were 5 shark attacks (3 fatalities) in these very waters.

Two attacks were by hammerheads, and 3 by Oceanic white tips. Hmmmm…no wonder why my resort was so cheap!

Sink or Swim

My second shark sighting was of the 2-legged variety: my dive master. As a newish diver (under 30 dives), I usually stick pretty close to the dive master and actually appreciate a little extra attention. What I don’t appreciate is constant hand-stroking underwater.

Rebuffing the advances was a bit tricky – given that we were more than 20 meters underwater and the amorous was my secondary source of air. Thankfully, he finally got the message, but not until after my dive buddy Alison got some pretty great photos of me – arm fully extended, stretching the other way.

The epitome of the adage: sink or swim!

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This entry was posted on Monday, August 22nd, 2011 and is filed under Arab Region.

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