Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Ok, a bit dramatic, but it is true. On our first full day in Dahab I had managed to pick up some snorkeling gear from our hotel's temporarily closed dive shop. It was a really hot day and I asked Catherine if she would be up for a swim to cool off. I had seen a map of the area and new there was a huge reef about 20-50 meters off the shore which ran the length of town. I also happen to notice earlier in the day where the reef tapered back and disappeared into the rocky beach.
We left our key at the reception desk and walked maybe 200 meters up the shore from our room. The "beach" consist of large rocks that are pretty difficult to walk on but the water was crystal clear and we were hot. I went in first and placed by head in the water to take a look around. I could not believe it, just feet from the shore and literally having stuck my face in the water for the first time, the waters were full of an abundant variety of colorful reef fish and some other cool critters like flute fish. I pulled my head out of the water and shouted to Catherine--wait till you see this!
Gently kicking our flippers we drifted away from the shore along a reef wall that extended down 10-30 meters just off the shore. The water is so salty you just float like a duck and don't have to do much other than give a light kick to move forward. It was simply gorgeous and I think we were both taken back by how untouched the reef and the aquatic life seemed. About an hour later we made our way back up the rocks and agreed there would be a lot more snorkeling while we stayed in Dahab.
After the first experience we have set about making this a daily activity. Around 5pm each day we set off to snorkel the reef and see what it has in store. We haven't strayed too far from our front porch reef but have plans to hit at least another 3-4 reef walls in the coming days.
Finishing our second day of snorkeling Catherine mentioned what a shame it was that we had forgotten Steve's waterproof camera which he had generously offered during our month in Nassau. She wondered if there was any way to find another camera so we could share some of the beautiful scenery on the blog. I agreed and set about checking a handful of dive shops over the next day to see if there were any affordable options. Eventually I came across a Taiwanese made waterproof bag that could accommodate the over-sized Leica lens on my Panasonic DMC-TZ3(aka best point and shoot ever). Catherine thought I was crazy to trust my beloved camera to a $30 bag, but after thoroughly inspecting its construction I was willing to take it for a swim.
With that, I present to you real pictures taken by my own hand (no stock photos!) of the reef that sits a stones throw from our bedroom door. They also help explain why we have extended our stay here in Dahab (well, that and the $30/night hotel).