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Scuba Diving @ Marsa Alam

In August 2017 my brother Thomas and I went to Marsa Alam in the south of Egypt for scuba diving. We stayed at The Oasis, a Werner Lau diving center, for a week.
We had good luck: After half a year of absence from Abu Dabbab the dugong had just returned. We were the second group to spot it. Although it was surrounded by a lot of snorklers and scuba divers (us! ;-) ) the dugong kept calm and seemed to be unimpressed. It was always busy with eating and would only interrupt for a few minutes to gasp for breath at the surface. We spent over half an hour with it and the many sea turtles around.
Another highlight was a large shoal of dolphins passing by just after we had entered the water at Marsa Shagra. I had only a few seconds to get my camera ready and take two shots – you can see the result below…
Enjoy!

- Bernd -

Scuba diving safari @ Brother islands, Daedalus reef, Elphinstone

Going on a scuba diving safari is different from how I used to dive in the past – stay in a hotel and make one or two dives on a daytrip. It means living on a boat for some days, standing up at a time I would call “in the middle of the night” and maybe getting so seasick that you have to sleep on the upper deck of the boat ;-) On the other hand it means having the chance to dive off-shore reefs and see a lot of big fish – and that’s what we’ve got!

Brother islands
- Grey reef sharks on several dives – unfortunately not close enough to take good pictures, but very impressive
- Ship wrecks of the Numidia and Aida
- Oceanic whitetip shark (“Longimanus”) during the descent

Daedalus reef
- Thresher shark on the first dive – very shy, but big and I swear it was starring at us
- Longimanus on almost every dive, very close, sometimes even three of them at the same time, usually at the end of the dive between 1 and 5 meters; all in all I was able to spend more than an hour with the Longimanus which allowed me to take some pretty good pictures and interact with the sharks
- Big shoal of about 15 hammerhead sharks in a depth of 50 meters

Elphinstone reef
- Lots of jewels grouper
- Shoals of barracudas
- Big Longimanus at the end of the last dive

Did I mention that we all had a lot of fun on board of the Golden Dolphin II and that our dive guides Matthias and Alba are the best in the world? :-P

Thank you very much to Peter Antoszkiewiez for taking great surface pictures! And to Gert Schnurrer for providing this video:

The video does not only show the Longimanus in action but also became a little “Making of” of my own photo series ;-) Enjoy!

- Bernd -

Our boat M/Y Golden Dolphin II anchoring in Port Ghalib (© 2015 Peter Antoszkiewiez)
Our boat M/Y Golden Dolphin II anchoring in Port Ghalib (© 2015 Peter Antoszkiewiez)
Longimanus, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Jewels grouper in a colorful reef, Elphinstone (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Jewels grouper in a colorful reef, Elphinstone (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Sea turtle, Brother islands (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Sea turtle, Brother islands (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus with pilot fish, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus with pilot fish, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Napoleon at the Numidia wreck, Brother islands (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Napoleon at the Numidia wreck, Brother islands (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Shy thresher shark, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Shy thresher shark, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Hammerhead sharks, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Hammerhead sharks, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Shoal of fish, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Shoal of fish, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Anemone fish, Elphinstone (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Anemone fish, Elphinstone (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus approaching scuba divers, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus approaching scuba divers, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Hammerhead shark, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Hammerhead shark, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Barracudas, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Barracudas, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Longimanus, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Sea cucumber, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Sea cucumber, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Descent to 50 meters, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Descent to 50 meters, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Hammerhead sharks, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Hammerhead sharks, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Hammerhead shark with our dive guide Matthias, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Hammerhead shark with our dive guide Matthias, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Hammerhead sharks, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Hammerhead sharks, Daedalus reef (© 2015 Bernd Neeser)
Scuba divers, dive guide Matthias and the boat crew (© 2015 Peter Antoszkiewiez)
Scuba divers, dive guide Matthias and the boat crew (© 2015 Peter Antoszkiewiez)
Sunset at the Daedalus reef (© 2015 Peter Antoszkiewiez)
Sunset at the Daedalus reef (© 2015 Peter Antoszkiewiez)
 


Scuba Diving @ Hurghada
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Isabell Gernert)
(© 2014 Isabell Gernert)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Bernd Neeser)
(© 2014 Isabell Gernert)
(© 2014 Isabell Gernert)
   


Scuba Diving at Port Ghalib

Hello everyone! It`s been a long time since our last post in 2010 and some of you might have thought we`re never gonna continue. But no worries, here we are again, just back from an awesome and way too short trip together with our friends Julia and Basti!

This time our destination was Port Ghalib in the South of Egypt (5 km from Marsa Alam airport) which is basically a harbor surrounded by three hotels and some shops. We went there for one week of relaxing, drinking and scuba diving (which btw. fits together perfectly! :-D ).

Unfortunately, we had a lot of wind and a strong current so we didn`t go to the famous Elphinstone Reef neither to a lot of other diving spots because the sight was very bad. But Port Ghalib has an amazing house reef with coral much more colorful than anywhere around Hurghada. We had most of our dives there. You can do two different one-way-dives either from the Crown Plaza hotel jetty to the Intercontinental jetty (where we had barbs, sweetlips, lion fish, stone fish, anemone fish, giant triggerfish and a big sea turtle) or starting from the Fishmarket to the Intercontinental jetty (we didn`t have that much fish there, but still a few anemone fish, blue-spotted stingrays and it`s also perfect for the checkdive) and of course the other way round.

If you go shopping in Port Ghalib – PLEASE – don`t treat the shop owners like the annoying guys in Hurghada! The guys from Port Ghalib were always very kind and friendly even when we didn`t buy anything. Be prepared to pay a bit more than in Hurghada because Port Ghalib is planned to become a destination for wealthy tourists – wealthy like us! I`m just kidding…am I? ;-) Well, enjoy the pictures (scuba diving pictures are still missing at the moment but I will add them ASAP…) and leave us a comment, we look forward to reading it!

- Bernd -

Our guides from Extra Divers (© 2012 Isabell Gernert)
Our guides from Extra Divers (© 2012 Isabell Gernert)
A broken ship... (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
A broken ship… (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
...seemed to be perfect for Bastis daily workout ;) (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
…seemed to be perfect for Bastis daily workout ;) (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Julia, Basti and Bernd after three beers (© 2012 Isabell Gernert)
Julia, Basti and Bernd after three beers (© 2012 Isabell Gernert)
Isabell found this guy on the beach, we decided to name him "Herbert"... (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Isabell found this guy on the beach, we decided to name him "Herbert"… (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Anemone fish (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Anemone fish (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
A beautiful jellyfish (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
A beautiful jellyfish (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Closeup of a bluespotted stingray (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Closeup of a bluespotted stingray (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Isabell diving along the reef (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Isabell diving along the reef (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Perch (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Perch (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Heavily breathing lionfish caught in the right moment (© 2012 Isabell Gernert)
Heavily breathing lionfish caught in the right moment (© 2012 Isabell Gernert)
Heavily breathing Bernd (© 2012 Isabell Gernert)
Heavily breathing Bernd (© 2012 Isabell Gernert)
Soft coral (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
Soft coral (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
No worries - it looks dangerous but the whole body is just as big as a human hand (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
No worries – it looks dangerous but the whole body is just as big as a human hand (© 2012 Bernd Neeser)
   


Another scuba diving trip to Hurghada

2008 was the year I took my first underwater pictures with a DSLR camera – the Canon EOS 400D in a Fantasea F400D housing. To keep down costs I started without strobes but with a red light filter which is perfect for reef panoramas. As you can see on the pictures it also worked well on closeups – just make sure the fish doesn`t move because you have to work with short exposure times.

All of the pictures below were taken on diving spots around Hurghada – most of them at Sha’ab Abu Ramada (“The Aquarium”), the Banana Reef, Sha’ab Sabina, Erg Sabina and Sha’ab Dorfa.

- Bernd -

Slender giant moray (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Slender giant moray (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Anemone fish (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Anemone fish (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Shoal of yellow goatfish (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Shoal of yellow goatfish (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Blue-spotted stingray chilling in the sand (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Blue-spotted stingray chilling in the sand (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Hawkfish on top of a coral (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Hawkfish on top of a coral (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Anemone fish @ home (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Anemone fish @ home (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
A mid-size Napoleon wrasse (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
A mid-size Napoleon wrasse (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Couple of masked butterfly fish (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Couple of masked butterfly fish (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Sweetlips (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Sweetlips (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Reef panorama (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Reef panorama (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Starfish (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Starfish (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Octopussy - be careful, they can punch you harder than Rocky Balboa ;-) (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Octopussy – be careful, they can punch you harder than Rocky Balboa ;-) (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Sea goldies (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Sea goldies (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Sweetlips (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
Sweetlips (© 2008 Bernd Neeser)
   


My first dive…

…took place in 2006! I started with a CMAS* training at Actionsport Wuerzburg and gained my first experience in cold German lakes. We had a bad sight and just two or three fish there but it was ok for the training and as I like water since I was a little child it felt just great. A few weeks later Isabell and me went to Hurghada and she enjoyed snorkeling so much that she decided to start with scuba diving as well in 2007. So we went to Egypt again enjoying two amazing weeks. We did several wreck dives, a night dive and we snorkeled and dived with all kinds of colorful reef fish, starfish, moray eels, snails and even wild dolphins.

Besides scuba diving we did two day trips in 2006. One day we went to desert, seeing all the…ahm…sand! Beautiful! There is also a fountain nearby a Wannabe-Bedouin-village where you can watch them living like 100 years ago, ride a Quad or enjoy the sunset. We decided to do the last one and our Wannabe-tourguide took a romantic picture of us.

On our second day trip we drove to Cairo, saw the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx and a lot of annoying guys trying to get our money. If you’re planning to go there: Don`t sit on the camel!! Touching it will cost you 10 Dollar, sitting on it 100 and if you consider riding on it make sure you have at least two or three gold coins with you. A cheap alternative is buying a stick for 7 pound and use it in the right moment…I’m just kidding ;-)

- Bernd -

P.S. The pictures were taken with the Casio Exilim EX-S600 in a EWC-60 housing. Instead of buying a strobe I used the Magic Filter. Mounted on the inside of the housing or in front of the lens it brings back most of the colors using available light.

Abu Nuhas is perfect for wreck diving! There are four wrecks: Kimon M., Chrisoula K., Ghiannis D. and the Carnatic (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Abu Nuhas is perfect for wreck diving! There are four wrecks: Kimon M., Chrisoula K., Ghiannis D. and the Carnatic (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
My first sight of the Ghiannis D. (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
My first sight of the Ghiannis D. (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Wreck of Ghiannis D. (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Wreck of Ghiannis D. (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Isabell & Ghiannis D. (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Isabell & Ghiannis D. (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Wreck of Ghiannis D. - Windlass (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Wreck of Ghiannis D. – Windlass (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Wreck of Ghiannis D. - View out of the machine room (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Wreck of Ghiannis D. – View out of the machine room (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Wreck of Ghiannis D. - The first floor of the machine room was completely dark (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Wreck of Ghiannis D. – The first floor of the machine room was completely dark (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Wreck of the Carnatic (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Wreck of the Carnatic (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Isabell diving inside the Carnatic (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Isabell diving inside the Carnatic (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
El Maona - we just did a short touchdown because I was running out of air ;-) (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
El Maona – we just did a short touchdown because I was running out of air ;-) (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
El Minja - The screw (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
El Minja – The screw (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
El Minja (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
El Minja (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Sea goldies (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Sea goldies (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
A crocodile fish (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
A crocodile fish (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Blue spotted stingray (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Blue spotted stingray (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
A salad coral (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
A salad coral (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
We also had dolphins several times (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
We also had dolphins several times (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Masked butterfly fish (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Masked butterfly fish (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
A shell (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
A shell (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Sweetlips (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Sweetlips (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Shoal of barbs (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
Shoal of barbs (© 2007 Bernd Neeser)
The world famous Sphinx with the Pyramid of Khafre in the background (© 2006 Bernd Neeser)
The world famous Sphinx with the Pyramid of Khafre in the background (© 2006 Bernd Neeser)
Inside a pyramid (© 2006 Bernd Neeser)
Inside a pyramid (© 2006 Bernd Neeser)
The papyrus factory...big business ;-) (© 2006 Bernd Neeser)
The papyrus factory…big business ;-) (© 2006 Bernd Neeser)
Bernd (© 2006 Isabell Gernert)
Bernd (© 2006 Isabell Gernert)
Sunset in desert...who says we're not a romantic couple?
Sunset in desert…who says we're not a romantic couple?