Part 7 of Liveaboard Series – Aug 17, 2016 – Little Giftun Island
The boat drove all night and we got to Little Giftun Island, close to Hurghada, just before our first dive. The boat was still moving during our dive briefing and we jumped in shortly after we tied up (all of these marine parks have an no anchor policy but instead have established tie lines off the reef that boats moor up to). Because Little Giftun Island is about an hour and half from Hurghada, it gets busy with day trippers so we wanted to beat the rush. The first dive was a deep wall dive where we dropped down to almost 40 meters to swim above a forest of fan coral in the depths. The second was a nice shallow dive with a maximum of 18 meters. Diving at Little Giftun Island was fun with big napoleon wrass, lots of giant moral eels hiding in the coral garden and spotting the well camoflauged scorpion fish and crocodile fish, but for me, the most special part was getting into the meditation of diving and really focusing on my breath. After all of the advanced diving in this liveaboard trip, I feel like I really improved my diving skill. Trying to relax and control my breathing while fighting current and coping with nitrogen narcosis was hard but it taught me a lot. On my hour long second dive today, I came out of the water with almost 150bar left in my tank! This meant that in approximately 60 minutes at 12-16 meters or shallower, I only used up a quarter of the air in my tank! It was a very meditative dive letting the experience of the fish and the coral flow by and focusing on slowing my breath, especially lengthening my exhale and trying to time it with the slow kicks of my fins to make it even more like a moving meditation. Even though this last dive was number 17 in 6 days, I came out of the water feeling mentally, physically and emotionally refreshed…and ready for a couple cold beers after an amazing week of diving!
We were finishing up our second dive as the armada of day tripper boats from Hurghada came in. Our dive guides were not joking when it gets busy here! It is hard to believe that tourism numbers are down when a fleet of 20 yachts appear out of the blue and moor up to the reef, unleashing an horde of snorklers with blow up arm wings. However, apparently, in the high times when there were many direct flights from Europe and Russia, apparently there can be double the amount of boats here! We left the craziness and moored up to a shallow reef with a small lighthouse just outside of Hurghada harbour for lunch, a quick swim and harbour approval for our landing.