The Borderlands

by Tony Gilbert, August 2011

Red Sea, Deep South Borderlands

As a veteran to the Egyptian Northern Red Sea I’d seen many wrecks & reefs down to Brothers Islands, but never further.  The Deep South Borderlands trip presented great opportunities for 26 fellow divers & I to experience relatively un-dived Egyptian/Sudanese reefs; the emphasis of the itinerary is to dive sites further south than normal southern itineraries.  And, for me it was also a first to shoot digital in Red Sea!

Blue O2 Blue Voyager at 37m is both spacious & comfortable, with an efficient & professional crew onboard.  Dive guides Chris & Anders were very knowledgeable, the latter having written books on Red Sea sites.  Our first few dives took in several lesser known reefs in the more known areas such as St. Johns, our first taster of the wild.

After some overnight hopping (& night diving), with calm seas & full moon, we arrived at Habili Ohrob, a series of huge coral towers spread across a wide area.  Buddy Steve & I dived a portion as marine life was so prolific & diverse.  The succeeding 2 days were made on several Habilis, with no land in sight.  Most notably the Abu Fandira reefs, with huge towers some 22m high, swim through caves, bumphead parrotfish aggregations & dragon nudibranchs. 

The time of year isn’t for shark sightings, although sleeping baby white tips were spotted, on return Oceanics were seen at Elphinstone. 
There was also a chance to visit the tugboat & yacht wrecks with lagoon swimthroughs, providing exciting & rewarding diving.

Before we knew it, diving was over; and the last night was spent in a Port Ghalib hotel. 

With a very good experienced group (and Clarence the crab), it made for an excellent trip, depths ideally suited to Nitrox as most of the 18 dives never exceeded 25m making for longer in-water times & safer repetitive diving.