Our guests, before getting to Sudan, took advantage of this opportunity and spent two days in Dubai, had a tour around the city, a tour in the desert and then a bit of shopping. They’ve arrived on Monday, with “Fly Dubai”, regularly and on schedule. This week forecast is 5 knots of changeable wind or absence of wind from Monday to Wednesday. Then, as usual during this season, the wind from SE starts strongly to blow inside the strait of Bab el Mandeb in the extreme South of the Red Sea, so strong to make a weak effect get up to Sudan: 10-15 knots from SE foreseen from Thursday to Sunday.
This means good weather, still and flat sea as last week, humid heat, with the possibility to make without any difficulty our return itinerary, deciding the programme at our pleasure without taking into account the meteorology, even a favourable light push from SE for the transfer Northwards. Waning moon, instead of a sickle it looks like a light brushstroke for our evenings totally becalmed. The beautiful sunsets are rosy and orange where even poor fishing boats seem to shine and gild.
We start the diving programme on Tuesday morning with the check dive around the wreck of Umbria and a second dive entering into the ship for the most passionate. Some of our guests are in Sudan for the first time, some others are back again and the wreck has preserved its fascination and its mystery for everybody, old and new guests. Then we move on to Sanganeb, having the chance to choose as it’s more convenient, for the Wednesday’s dawn, the dive in the North Point, then heading for Sha’ab Rumi.
Sh’ab Rumi is again dedicated to the flight, this morning we spot a beautiful specimen of heron: the purple heron, a few grey herons desperately looking for some protruding rocks of the barrier to have a little rest. Flights in the distance, still herons: they look like confetti, almost like thin Ariadne’s threads joining our continents. A kestrel, a young sweet little goatsucker with a marble plumage, new kinds of turtledove with an elegant delicate plumage.
This morning our kestrel definitely paraded with large whirls and high librates close to the clouds. Suddenly, unexpectedly, closed its wings and nosedived. Since there were no preys nearby and being just under its nosedive, I had the distinct impression that it was a game, a high speed plunge just for pure pleasure: flight inebriation. With the exception of stopping at the last minute, to lean calmly on the radar and look around with its big round eyes...
The dolphins showed up again: stenella of the lagoon of Sha’ab Rumi. Totally absent last week, they rushed toward Sherazade as soon as we’ve put the bow into the pass at our arrival, escorting us up to the anchorage and they did the same, almost flying instead of swimming, when at midday we’ve left Sha’ab Rumi in the direction of Suedi.
They stay on the east side of the barrier, where the barrier is deeper for a few hundred metres and it doesn’t reach the surface. On that side they come in and out the blue water or they play surfing on the undertow waves: the waves become thicker and steeper by passing on the rocks from the blue water to the lagoon, and therefore they are more interesting to play. It’s definitely their favourite spot. Where between a dive and another one it’s possible to reach them in order to swim together: one of the gifts of Sha’ab Rumi, apart from the scheduled dives, to swim along with the stenella, an unforgettable emotion to everyone, leaving a joyful charged emotion lasting for the whole week. Water temperature is always about 30°, with no current. Hammerhead sharks are quite deep, both in Sanganeb and Sha’ab Rumi, grey sharks are rarer. On the other hand there is an incredible explosion of school fish: jack fish, red snappers, parrots called rhinos, so strange and fascinating to seem prehistoric fish, any sort of groupers. Fish undoubtedly increased since last week. Thick swirls of silver barracudas at each dive. The photographers, strict category, are happy.
We stay overnight at Suedi, departure during the night to wake up at Qita el Banna, then it follows Merlo, Abington, Angarosh.
On Friday with the wind from SE a whirling current from SE occurred, current is a synonymous of sightings, and so it was in Abington: during the dive we’ve seen grey sharks, white-tipped sharks and lone hammerheads, beautiful the wall from the extreme East point to the Northern side of the barrier. Wall not always approachable when the winds are predominantly from NW.
Strong tide even at Angarosh: a beautiful school of hammerheads sharks compensated the effort.
We stay overnight at Shambaia.
The final is a surprise, we still have two more days cruising…
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