Scuba Diving in Egypt: Dahab and the SS Thistlegorm

Welcome to the diving paradise of Dahab! 😀

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Accommodation:
While in Dahab our group stayed at Dahab Paradise. hotelThe staff was incredibly friendly, the breakfast was my favorite of the trip, and the beachfront resort overlooked the water.brfk

Each morning I sat by the pool with my brekkie, while waves crashed against the sand, and camels walked across the palm tree-lined path.

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Apparently the camels couldn’t read the sign. 😛

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Activities:

The best thing to do in Dahab is relax! This place is the ultimate chillax atmosphere, full of cute sea shanty restaurants and Bohemian cafes. dahab

20161207_132857That being said, although it’s a beach town, it’s surrounded by the gorgeous desert landscape, and Bedouin culture is still a big part of life here.20161207_155042Bedouin hospitality is bar none. Everyone here greets me with a warm welcome, and most places offered me complimentary tea. ❤20161207_130850Also, when I walked along the beach shores, I saw women dressed in full hijab throwing bricks into the sea to catch fish. The bricks had rope attached to them, and the women had already caught two fish, so it was surprisingly effective. 😀6874940Now, the Bedouins here herd sheep and goats, so I also saw many of their flocks roaming throughout the town.

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Rollin’ with my homies 😛

If it’s not the goats that were following me, there were plenty of street dogs as well. They were all super friendly, and most get protective when other dogs get close, like you’ve somehow become their temporary owner. 😛2016-12-07-19-57-25

Getting around:

If the idea of walking doesn’t suit you, Dahab has plenty of truck taxis, where you can ride in the cabin or the bed of their truck. Each ride costs about 1 USD.

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Scuba Diving in Dahab

Dahab lies next to the Red Sea, which is why it’s one of the top places to go scuba diving. While in Dahab I chose to go shore diving with Big Blue Divers.

20161205_152209Since it had been more than 6 months since my last dive, I had a refresher dive with my dive instructor, Omar, who tested me on a few skills and afterwards we made our way to the dive sites, Umel Sid and Morray Garden.DCIM111GOPROThe dive depths were a maximum of 30 meters and the visibility was spectacular (>20 meters). I think based on the unique variety of well-preserved coral and vibrant marine life, the Red Sea is far superior to my previous dives. Here are a few shots of the coral reefs, and two short videos as well.

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Now for the top spots in the Red Sea, divers head south to Sharm El Sheikh. Since I’m in Egypt, I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to dive there, so the next day I made my way to dive the famous site, SS Thistlegorm.

Scuba Diving the SS Thistlegorm

The SS Thistlegorm was a British armed Merchant Navy Ship that sunk in 1941. On the ship’s final voyage, the cargo hold was carrying armored vehicles, trucks, motorcycles, cases of ammunition, radio equipment, Wellington boots, aircraft parts, railway wagons and two steam locomotives. During the voyage through the Red Sea, allied German forces suspected the ship may be harboring troops, so they sank the vessel with two large bombs. The wreck was discovered by famed diver Jacques Cousteau in the mid 1950s, and has since become the 2nd best wreck dive in the world. ❤screenshot-2016-12-07-at-14-29-32

Getting there:

As with most amazing places, they are difficult to get to, but worth it in the end. This dive site is no exception. We left Dahab in a van at 4 a.m. bound for Sharm El Sheikh. I was with an American free diver from California, who luckily was a morning person like myself. We boarded a boat in Sharm at 6:30 a.m. and began our 3-hour journey to the site. During our ride, the boat prepared us a breakfast of cheese, fruit, and falafel. 🙂brekfThe boat had a luxurious interior, with comfy suede couches, and the second floor of the boat had a nice sun deck for lounging and sipping tea.2016-12-06-17-29-54As we made our way towards the wreck we passed by miles and miles of mountainous desert. 2016-12-06-17-36-16Finally it was showtime, and we geared up to dive the wreck. 😀2016-12-06-17-36-51I dove with Wreck Adventures, which unfortunately I would not recommend. The instructor gave very little information, barely understood English, and literally fist bumped me under water. Needless to say, I didn’t feel very assured under his instruction, but luckily I was confident in my abilities, and my dive buddy from California had over 150 dives under her belt. Likewise, I had a dive computer watch, which would calculate how long I could stay under, and how long it would take me to ascend to the surface. 2016-12-06-17-32-06Anyway, we dove once around the exterior of the ship and a second time through the interior. Here are a few pictures and a short video of the dives.

Dive #1: Exterior of SS Thistlegorm2016-12-06-17-26-25-12016-12-06-17-26-50-12016-12-06-17-24-462016-12-06-17-30-242016-12-06-17-25-39

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Batfish ❤

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ammunition dated 1929 😮

Dive #2: Interior of SS Thistlegorm
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cargo hold full of Bedford trucks
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captain’s bathroom 😛

After our dives, we feasted on chicken, meatballs, and cold vegetable salads. lunchf

Getting to Dahab from Cairo: 

After a week in Dahab, we were ready to head back to Cairo. It’s an 11-hour drive each way, so we made sure to load up with plenty of snacks.
20161204_042714Anyway, from Cairo, I will be finally heading home for the holidays.🎅🎄🎁home-for-the-holidays1 After 3 months of traveling, I’ll get to spend some much needed time with my family before celebrating NYE in Austria. Happy holidays everyone! Take care and until next time. 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Scuba Diving in Egypt: Dahab and the SS Thistlegorm

  1. Hi Megan,
    Awesome pictures and videos!!😊Can’t wait for your return home! Thanks for sharing your many experiences! The journey for me has been sensational. As always, Safe Travels! Hope to see you soon!
    Your old neighbor Kim

    Liked by 1 person

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