Friday, 15 November
It stayed warm and humid last night with no wind. I slept pretty well and awoke at six local time, sunlight and birds. I took the opportunity to walk around the resort and get an idea of the layout before most people were up. The Coral Garden Resort and Hotel Coral Sun Beach are located on a small, isolated bay of the Red Sea, Gassous Bay. We are about 20 minutes from the town of Safaga. The resort is next to a highway so there is some noise from trucks all night. The dive center, bar, dining room and rooms have a fairly compact layout.
Breakfast included made to order omelets, an assortment of cheeses, fruit and vegetables, as well as cocoa puffs and cornflakes. I found the coffee and juice while waiting for Nicole. After breakfast, it was back to my room to gather my dive records to present at the dive shop. I registered and everything seemed to be in order except that they needed my passport to register with the coast guard before I could dive. So my welcome dive will be tomorrow morning. Since Nicole was here last year, she did her welcome dive this afternoon. I got over the disappointment of not being able to dive today by snorkeling around the reef a bit. Visibility was not great but it was a chance to get in the water. Water temperature is 81 degrees! There were a number of fish, a whole bunch of clear ones and some jellyfish.
I spent the rest of the morning enjoying the warm weather and sun in one of little shelters with beach chairs. The wind started after the sun came up and it got pretty windy by the afternoon.
It turns out the WiFi is pretty fast when it is working, so photos and maybe videos should not be a problem. Also found out the WiFi works in my room so the problem of trying to look at the photos on the screen in the sun goes away!
Spent the afternoon enjoying the sun and listening to the waves. Finishing up a book that won a 1981 Pulitzer prize, A Confederacy of Dunces, but I am about three quarters of the way through and still not sure about it. Might as well finish it now. I did get a chance to give Dolora a call. She is visiting a friend in South Carolina and having rainy weather. Not much chance of rain here,
Nicole did her welcome dive and was happy to see a couple of moray eels. Dinner starts at seven but people were lined up a little before. We went in and there was really nowhere to sit. So about 45 minutes later, enough people had left to find a seat. Fortunately, still plenty of food left.
There was a free dive workshop going on for the last two weeks here. Free diving is diving with a mask and snorkel, no scuba gear. Like snorkeling but hold your breath and go deep. Hopefully, many of those folks will leave tomorrow. Nicole has to change rooms. She had been in a suite and gets moved to a regular room around noon. The wind made it cool enough for long pants even though it only dropped to 75 after the sun went down. I’m sure that will elicit sympathy back home.
I am anxious to do my welcome dive in the morning. After that, we will be able to dive when we want. Probably will do two dives a day most days. The reef begins 10 yards offshore and has a walk in entry. It would be nice if the wind dies down a little. Visibility is good by my Florida standards but would improve with less wind.