Orchid Magic

Louise, Pete, Steve B, Fliss and I joined others on the Orchid, a boat many of us have been on before. Knowing the crew and the layout of the boat meant we were confident of a good time and a good itinerary.

Now for the story narrated by Lou and Karen …………

The Crabbsac volunteers joined Padi divers to explore the deep southern Red Sea. Pete got a shock when the temperature of the water was too warm for a wetsuit and soon got into the hang of jumping in with tee-shirt (in July the air temp is in the 40's and sea temp about 28 C). Pete also partook in shade-bathing, a new concept where only Pete could get burnt from not being in the sun!

Louise showed the crew how to party on a small island in the middle of the Red Sea whilst they provided food, music, song and laughter. Initially the crew dropped us off on the island and disappeared in the night, back to the boat. We thought we'd been abandoned so Pete kept us amused with a laser display…but they soon arrived with all the food and great enthusiasm for a change in the dinner venue.

Tita, a crew member, was a barrel of laughs and always kept a smile on his face. Watch out for your plate at the end of your meal, he would soon whisk it away and polish the mirrored table before you could say 'dive briefing'.

Sleeping on deck was lovely, but a little chilly in the middle of the night when the breeze got up and as for star- gazing…. Karen and Lou were woken one morning with the rest of the clan sat around them, ready for their dive brief! All that was required was to get out of our open-air beds, put on our wetsuits and go diving.

Ahmed, the dive guide, was a fountain of knowledge and knew exactly where the best sights were. He pointed out many sea creatures that Lou would have swum straight past, including a luminous blue nudibranch.

Lou experienced her first sighting of sharks at forty plus metres. They are truly awesome, especially when watched from behind a large boulder!

Several of the dives started from the rib that cut through the waves with ease. It's important to descend quickly so that your head does not hit the bottom of the boat, as one of our group found out. No names mentioned.

The dive boat team is proud to have a photo album of dive parties from the past. Karen, Steve, Mark Mumford and Fliss featured in every book. A page was reserved for a special signed photograph - who did we see? Ray! They think he's a famous English pop star (so does Ray).

The sleeping quarters were good. How many boats do you know that have air-conditioning and en-suite bathrooms?

Having been to the Red Sea before on another boat, Pete wasn't too keen on going again, but now he's hooked!

This page was last updated on : 06 Sep 2011