Monday, 18 October 2010

October 17th - Super Sussex Diving

At last the weather calmed down and we were able to resume trips; since there was still some noticeable slop onto the beach early Sunday morning, we ran the first trip from Hillfield Rd and went to Hound Reef - visibility was about 5-6m.

Second dive was the Mixon - still a noticeable swell from the South East, but ebbing tide and forecast general reduction in wind meant that we were able to leave from East Beach. A few waves at the Mixon especially at the ledge edge. Visibility very good with everyone reporting that they could see the bottom from the ledge at 5/6m..............plenty of marine life (although no big shoals of fish this time) and one diver saw what appears to have been a triggerfish. Dogfish in abundance.

Final dive was the Far Milberry - by now, the wind had lessened and we had a smooth ride out..........visibility good (6-9m); blue sky meant that the light was good.

Overall three good dives ........definitely Dry Suit diving weather with some of the best visibility we have had so far this year; fingers crossed that we have a few more days like it before Christmas.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Marsa Shagra Holiday - Sept / Oct 2010

For the second year running, a group of us went to Marsa Shagra Eco-Lodge / Village (just north of Marsa Alam) for a week of very relaxed diving. Having survived the Thomson Airline flight (the re-fitted 757 interior looked nice but had a fundamental weakness - the redesigned seat backs gave an extra inch of legroom by moving the storage area to the top of the seat - however there wasn't even enough room for a small paperback so essentially everything had to kept around you :-(.......we also have a sneaking idea that the aircraft was responsible for the colds that a few of us developed at the end of the holiday) we arrived in the early evening and had  a smooth trip down to the village.

The new diving shade is very impressive (details here http://www.redsea-divingsafari.com/index.php?p=61) with plenty of space, dunk pools and shade...........the relaxation area has also been rebuilt and there is now a Bubbles tent for inhaling aromatic oxygen post dive :-).

The wind was kind to us all week - in particular we had a very smooth trip out to Elphinstone and a relaxing dive along the wall,spending some time hovering over the Southern Plateau. No big pelagics or even Napoleon Wrasse..................overall , our impression was that the number of fish was lower than previously and even the anthias clouds didn't seem so dense.

Other highlights included sightings of a black tip shark along the House Reef by several group members, a few sightings of a turtle....no dolphins :-(.............many sightings of free swimming morays.....very large Napoleon Wrasse on the House Reef...........many Octopus sightings (including some free swimming). Most people managed to spend more than 24 bours underwater during the week; it was very hot on the surface (upper 30sC most days) so it was nice to have the freedom to plan your own dives at times to suit you. For me, the Scribbled Filefish remains a favourite along with the shrimps to be found in the coral at night.

We'll review the photos at our November social event (October's being focussed on Selsey Fireworks).