. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: October 4, 2000

Wednesday, October 4, 2000
Dahab, Egypt
Egypt's FlagSouthern Sinai's Flag

Dahab, Egypt:
Latitude: 28° 29' 27" North
Longitude: 34° 31' 29" East
Altitude: 17 feet
From Seattle: 8597 miles
Lodging: Hotel - Yasmina

Today's Travel:
Country: Egypt
Region: Southern Sinai
Weather: Sunny

Available Photos:

Coast towards Dahab North of Dahab, Egypt

The Village Dahab, Egypt

Saudi across the water Dahab, Egypt

Saudi across the water Dahab, Egypt

All photo images © 1997-2000 Anthony Jones - Images may not be used without prior written approval.

Click on map to Zoom in...
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 1273
Linear Dist: 239714
Countries Visited: 70
Regions Visited: 268
More stats...
Hotels: 488
Friends / Family: 302
Camping: 130
Hostels: 261
Transit: 78
Other Lodging: 13
Beers: 4284

Journal Entry:
There was a possibility that Nesima was going to need us to work tomorrow (since we are technically divemasters) so we were up early to pack and check out of the hotel and then get down to Nesima a little early. The dive center was an absolute mad house but after the dust had settled it turned out that they didn't need us to guide. Stacy and I walked down to a neighboring center and rented a camera, then arranged transport and gear to go dive the Canyon. The conditions were amazing the water was mirror flat with not a breath of wind to disturb it. A perfect day to dive - especially since it was going to be to hot to do anything out of the water.

At the dive site we quickly donned our gear and headed for the water to get out of the heat. It was so cal that we snorkeled out the lagoon and over to above the main canyon entry to conserve air. We dropped through the large opening and headed down the narrow semi enclosed passage. We'd intended to go deeper than the guided dives are allowed to go, but we didn't want to commit to going through the entry at the end as neither of us had ever been that deep (50 m / 160 feet) so we decided to turn around when one of the computers entered decompression mode and to make the final choice in the water. Our camera was only waterproof to 36 meters / 120 feet so we tied in off midway down the canyon and dropped lower to have a look. At the final arch I still had four minutes time and wasn't feeling at all narced so I signaled Stacy to ask if we were Ok to go through the end - she signaled Ok back and down we went. On the other side of the arch wasn't the outside, but a largish chamber with an obvious exit to the outside - it was beautiful with the light streaming in, and swimming out on the the sloping wall at the end of the canyon was an incredible feeling - and an adrenaline rush. We swam perpendicular to the contour slowly ascending to stay out of a decompression mode then went to drop back in to the canyon through the main entry (back at 20 m / 65 feet) but had to stop due to there being an advanced open water class already there. It would be bad etiquette to enter while they were there, plus I didn't feel comfortable since it was a class and what we were doing was sort of a gray area as to whether it should be allowed (there is a 30 m / 100 foot floor for the guided dives in the South Sinai) plus our wet suits clearly say "Nesima" on them so we'd be easy to complain about. It was a bit of a dilemma since I wanted to spend as little time this deep as possible to give our bodies the maximum time to off gas nitrogen at a more shallow depth. We ended up swimming down the canyon a bit and squeezing through one of the narrow openings in the roof of the canyon. There was an anxious couple minutes where I didn't see the camera but then it was right where we left it. We retrieved it then swam back up the canyon and out the main entry (passed the class which was still there). We reentered the canyon at the fish bowl. This is my favorite place in Dahab and I wanted to say goodbye, but there was only time to and snap a few quick pictures as the class had finally started up the canyon and was coming up the chimney into the glass fish chamber. We made our way to shallow water and spent a very long safety stop exploring the shallow reefs and taking pictures to remind us.

After the dive we decided that we had pushed the limits a little close and decided not to do a second dive - even though the computers said all was well. We headed back to Nesima very excited but not sure whether we should admit to what we'd done. At Nesima we hung out and filled in the paperwork associated with our dive masters application. I had a late lunch and spent the afternoon calling clubs in Sharm el-Sheik to see if I could arrange a dive on the Thistlegorm. I found one place that sounded like they could do it but when I called back they refused me. Since I couldn't find the dive I wanted Stacy and I decided to stay another night in Dahab. Nesima had a dive trip going to Ran Mohammed National Park (down past Sharm) tomorrow but it was uncertain that we could get on it. We decided that if we could we'd go do that, otherwise we'd spend tomorrow in Dahab - either way we'll be on the overnight bus back to Cairo tomorrow. I headed into the village to check the internet and see if I could buy a couple books since I have a lot of travel hours ahead. When we got back to Nesima we had our spaces confirmed for the Ras Mohammed trip - so it was back to the Yasmina to check in. We'd were planning on going snorkeling on Nesima reef to use up the rest of the film in the camera, but ended up just shooting it around the pool bar.

Had a few beers then I ran out to pick up laundry and buy a couple T-shirts, then returned to the bar for a couple more beers. Ended up having lunch with Mick, Elizabeth, Danga, and Stacy. Then said goodbye and headed home to pack again. It was really hard to say goodbye, the month has flown by and I think it's lucky that I have my near future planned - otherwise it would be very tempting to stay and try to work for a month or twenty.

Related Sites:
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: Egypt
CIA World Fact Book: Egypt

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