Dive the Red Sea in January, it has clear, warm water and there are very few people diving the dive sites.
This trip was both my first live-a-board and my first diving trip to the Red Sea, and it was brilliant! I went with my dad and having only dived using day boats. We were both pleasantly surprised how stress-free and convenient each dive was and how helpful and knowledgeable the crew were. Everyone on the boat gelled instantly, I will be looking back on the time spent between dives as fondly as my time in the water!
Dive the Red Sea in January – Setting off
After spending the night moored and a brief visit into Hurghada, we set sail in the morning. The dives advanced nicely, starting with easier, shallower dives. As we had both had a large gap in our diving, this gave us time to find our buoyancy and re-familiarise ourselves with our equipment. The dive guides gave excellent briefings for each dive with plenty of detail (including hand-drawn maps of the reef!) and options for each dive depending on your comfort and ability. The reefs were all teeming with life and the visibility was great on pretty much every dive.
Dive the Red Sea in January – The SS Thistlegorm
It would be impossible to cover all the highlights, but diving the SS Thistlegorm definitely stands out! Having dived the smaller wreck of the Dunraven the day before, we were all ready for the big one. We had three dives on the Thistlegorm and, despite being warned of the usual currents the wreck is exposed to, the conditions were excellent. What made the dives extra special was that we were the only boat diving the wreck the entire time. At one point during the night dive, there were only 6 of us on the dive (not counting the stingrays, crocodile fish and stonefish). We were told that the yearly average for the wreck is 150 divers a day (!!!), which definitely made braving the cooler January waters entirely worth it!
Dive the Red Sea in January – Turtles, Dolphins and White Tip Reef Sharks
As far as experiencing the larger wildlife of the Red Sea, the second half of the trip definitely had the most to offer! I was doing the first dive of the PADI Digital Underwater Photography course, when seconds after descending, I was given my first subject, a turtle. The Turtle swam out of the blue and right up in front of me and my camera! Our visit to the dive site ‘Dolphin House’ also provided me with my first experience of – you guessed it – dolphins! The three dolphins that visited us were extremely playful and seemed to swim round to each diver individually out and stare you right in the eyes!! On the final dive, we were ascending from checking out a nice little cave and I see Sammi, the trip leader, making the shark signal and turn around to see a shark swimming by!
Dive the Red Sea in January – It is incredible
Outside of the incredible diving, everything in between was also exceptional. The crew were all lovely and jokey and went above and beyond to make the trip as enjoyable and safe as they could. The boat itself was great and I could give an entire report of the food alone – it’s safe to say it was the most I’ve ever consumed in a single week! The New Horizons staff were all incredibly warm and helpful. The collective experience of everyone on the trip improved my diving and meant there was always a cool story to hear over a couple of beers in the evening. I couldn’t recommend this trip more and can’t thank everyone enough who was involved!