Dive Site: The Alternatives, The Red Sea, Egypt

Date(s): 03/04 October 2015
Visibility: 20+m
Water Temp: 29°C
Max Depth: 19.2m
Bottom Time: 58mins

This was our first real experience of diving in the Red Sea (apart from our check dive, which doesn’t really count).  The first thing that is really noticable is the sheer abundance of life.  Everywhere you look, there are shoals of fish; particularly anthias, which seem to swarm everywhere over the reef.  Hard and soft corals litter the landscape, making it quite difficult to focus on just one thing.

With all that going on, I don’t think we really focussed on looking for anything in particular, and instead just took it all in.

The alternatives are a series of pinnacles, smothered in corals.  For the first dive there, a fairly simple dive plan saw us jump straight off the back of the boat, and travel around and between two of the pinnacles in a figure-eight.  Nice and relaxed, we almost lasted a full hour in the drink.

We did a second dive on The Alternatives the next day, after having visited several sites in Ras Mohammed.  Having completed three dives that day already, this was to be our first night dive of the trip.  Again, a simple dive plan; descend down a line from the back of the boat to the pinnacle, drop down and then circle around, ascending as we go.  The plan was to complete the safety stop whilst still around the pinnacle, find the shot line and head back to the boat.  This was a far better night dive experience for us in terms of the dive plan, as we didn’t end up hanging in mid-water in the dark (which is what happened on our previous night dive in Mexico, not a great experience).  Lots of varieties of sea stars dotted the corals, and loads of lion fish using the divers’ lights to hunt.

Although this seemed like a bit of a transit dive site, being halfway between Ras Mohamed and the infamous SS Thistlegorm, I still really enjoyed these dives.  A great introduction to Red Sea diving!

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