Wednesday, 27 November
Awoke to another perfectly calm morning. The water is calm but alas, no diving. Because of the added nitrogen that dissolves in your blood while diving, you should not dive for twenty four hours before flying. Today I will relax and eat. I spent a little time snorkeling and taking some underwater photos. These have some color without the blue tint since they are not very deep.
Met Nicole at the usual spot on the beach and went to breakfast. At the dive staging area, we turned in our rented equipment. We stopped by the dive shop to sort out our expenses and were told to come back after lunch. Also headed over to the front desk to see what time for transportation to the airport. Nicole leaves for the airport at 11:45 tonight. I have a later flight and leave at 1:00 pm tomorrow. Resort checkout is after dinner. Had another chicken shawarma sandwich for lunch. I think the beef and chicken shawarmas are the best things on the lunch menu. After more sun and reading on the beach, we paid for our diving. I received my official Orca Dive Club Card entitling me to some free dives and discounts on future visits. Had another Egyptian beer, Stella, tonight before dinner.
Dinner was good as usual. After dinner, another Egyptian beer and head over with Nicole to see the checkout process here. Lots of slips of paper and not many computers used. Then it was time to bid farewell to my dive buddy for the two weeks. A little sad but also made plans to keep in touch. I have a feeling that any of the trips to Europe by Dolora and myself will include a detour through Munich and there are some tentative plans for diving next year.
Tomorrow, I fly to Munich where I will spend a couple of days before making it back to Virginia.
Diving here at Coral Garden is incredibly relaxing. My prior ocean dive experience was in Florida. We always had a sort of dilemma about making dive reservations. If you made reservations, the boat would go out in weather that might make you feel uncomfortable, rather than refund your money. On the other hand, if you did not make reservations, they might not take the boat out if they only had two or four divers. Then there was a schedule to adhere to. You had to be at the dock when the boat left and there were always two dives.
Coral Gardens offers shore diving with two reefs, a north reef and a south reef. The dive center is open from eight to five each day. If you want to dive before they open or a night dive, you just sign up a day ahead of time. Whenever you want to dive, you head over to the dive center grab your gear and they bring you a tank. You walk about twenty five yards to enter the water near the north reef and walk about eighty yards to enter near the south reef. You can do this any time of day, one, two or three dives a day. No rushing to the boat on a schedule. You walk to the beach, look at the water and wind and decide if you want to dive. Want two hours between dives? Or four hours? No problem. You only pay for each dive. Along with consistent weather, 80-88 degrees everyday, warm water, 80 degrees, this eliminates the stress of planning all your dives. The only variable has been the wind. Some days have been calm, others had a steady breeze. The wind usually picks up in the afternoon and dies down overnight. You are able to go to sleep at night without worrying about having to be some where at a set time. This along with a dive buddy who was relaxed, concerned about safety, and matched my style it made for a wonderful vacation. This is the way to dive.