Keeping my cool in the Red Sea

Divers enjoying the trip to the dive site.

Teddington Sub Aqua Club organise at least 2 overseas trips a year. Read what Lee Yin has to say about her first holiday with us …

El Gouna Expedition-4-11 May 2015

by Yee Lin

I remember quite vividly my first step into the Red Sea water, trying to keep my cool and control my enthusiastically deep breathing. The first couple of breaths underwater were slightly unnatural but the feeling went away very quickly. In only a couple of minutes, I found myself in a completely new, but not surprisingly stunning world. It didn’t take long to get over my initial thrill but my eyes still looked around wildly at the fish, marine life and corals amongst others or even just gazing up at the rays of sunlight piercing through the surface into the blue. The world is peaceful down there as we were greeted by fish hovering past to say hello or some just too shy and stayed behind the colourful corals

Great shot of a moray by Guido in El Gouna.

Great shot of a moray by Guido.

After each dive, we went back to the boat to exchange cylinders and prepare for the next dive. Harjit, my first dive buddy and also a mentor, reminded me to always get familiar with my own gear and to set the kit up prior to entering the water to avoid looking like an idiot with regs and stuff all over the place when putting them on. Always check air, whether it is on or off. If it is off, make sure the gauge doesn’t fool you by indicating as full tank! I first went in the water with 6 kg of weight and found it a bit of a task to stay neutrally buoyant. I was breathing heavily and pretty much worn out finning, paddling and cycling (might even get a fine for using wrong terms!) to keep myself off the seabed. I got rid of a kilo later and had my buoyancy just about perfect; I could hover comfortably over the beautiful coral gardens and sunken ships. I had also controlled my depths by simply taking deeper and shallower breaths to fine-tune my position. Key was always control breathing, relax and, of course, correct weight.

Nick freefalling in El Gouna.

Nick freefalling in El Gouna. Photo by Guido.

My first experience of night diving was exhilarating and nothing less than memorable. It was pretty much a marmite situation and I do like marmite, err…I mean night dive. It was as if you are on a hunt in a mysterious and rather eerie place waiting for something to appear. I shone my torch everywhere too much and I might have confused other divers and made them think I was trying to signal. The search was deemed successful when I spotted a massive, creeping lobster awakened by our colourful disco lights, and seconds later we surrounded the poor thing as if he was under arrest.

On the last day of diving, we went to Dolphin House and, as the name would suggest, we ran across from bow to stern and port to starboard trying to catch a glimpse of the passing school of dolphins around the reef. After not long being underwater, we were alerted by Horus as he pointed far and straight into blue. With my gopro readily in hand I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw dolphins swimming right towards us and I think I might have stop breathing for a moment, it was that mind blowing. Not only was this my first encounter with dolphins in the wild but they playfully swam around us as if we are another pod and ready for a dance off.

Diving with a pod of dolphins in El Gouna.

Diving with a pod of dolphins in El Gouna. Photo by Guido.

My overall diving experience in El Gouna with talented mentors and great dive buddies (credit to Harjit and Guido) were unforgettable. Along with sweet memories, perfect sunny weather, an abundance of tasty food cooked on board and incredibly entertaining yet wonderful company, I couldn’t ask for a better start to my summer.

As a simple reminder to myself, “ Always relax, be curious, and let the sea surprise you”.

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