Just back from a fantastic week. Cannot write a trip report on something I arranged however I am confident those will come from the participants.
The actual schedule ended up like this
|31/7/22||11:40||Jackfish Alley||Canon 8-15mm||Yes|
|31/7/22||15.10||Beacon Rock||Canon 8-15mm|
|31/7/22||17:30||Beacon Rock||Canon 8-15mm|
|1/8/22||10:45||Small crack||Panasonic 8-18mm||Yes|
|1/8/22||17:00||Dolphin Snorkelling||Panasonic 8-18mm||Yes|
|2/8/22||06:20||Giannis D||Panasonic 8-18mm|
|3/8/22||14:10||RM Lighthouse||Panasonic 8-18mm||Yes|
|4/8/22||06:20||Shark Reef||Canon 8-15mm|
|4/8/22||10:00||Shark Reef||Canon 8-15mm|
|4/8/22||14:00||Ras Ghozlani||Canon 8-15mm|
|4/8/22||17:40||Sunset Splits||Panasonic 8-18mm|
|5/8/22||07:00||Ras Za’tar||Canon 8-15mm|
|5/8/22||10:00||Ras Umm Sid||Canon 8-15mm|
|5/8/22||17:40||Sunset Splits||Panasonic 8-18mm|
I would have preferred a more aggressive approach to some sites however I decided ultimately to settle on something that was challenging diving wise but not extreme.
I used my Panasonic GH5M2 with the Canon EF 8-15mm and the Panasonic 8-18mm. Surprisingly I found I had more keepers with the 8-18mm this is due to the dolphin dive for which I took the risk of using the rectilinear lens and continuous autofocus which worked well.
The trip had a slow start at Temple followed by Ras Mohammed and some technical training on light at Beacon Rock.
After a dive at Dunraven and a better one at Small Crack where I took video we moved to Abu Nuhas where I decided to skip the last dive and go for a snorkelling trip hoping to get dolphins.
The dolphin came to play we had one hour with them swimming at speed around us and getting really close
It was the day of the wrecks including the Thistlegorm in order to support the group I was at the back which did not help visibility. We were mostly on our own though
Two additional dives on the Thistlegorm and we were back to Ras Mohammed after the adrenalin an easy dive at the lighthouse followed by sunset trip on a sandbar. This time I tried to get some better shots of the Thistelgorm exterior while I would say inside there was generally less fish to make the shot interesting.
Two dives at Shark Reef the current was pumping. We missed the snappers on dive one but they were there in full force with the batfish on dive 2. The group however ran out of air very fast trying to get the shots. Last dive was at Ras Ghoslani to have a break and finally a session of split shot that was not very successful due to waves however I did produce a decent one with quite some fish.
Usually the last day is a more restful however we had 3 dives and one sunset split session so actually a full day. Here dive one was focussed on sunburst but ended up also being dive two.
It was a great trip although I am not sure I took my best shots in all cases. The Thistlegorm was under par while the dives at Ras Mohammed and other sites other than Shark Reef were better than expected.
One thing that proved to be absolutely right was that the ability to influence the boat schedule and itinerary is essential. We were in the water always first, Egyptian boat have a tendency to get in the water very late for dive one and this means most of the following dives have the sun really high and not always the best conditions.