Trip Report Aggressor III Nov 2021

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Darnold9999

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One week on Aggressor III with a back to back trip following the dive week on the Nile Queen. The route was the southern route starting at Port Ghalib with stops at Daedalus, Elphinstone and St John’s reefs and then return along the closer to shore reefs to Port Ghalib. The diving was typical Red Sea diving, a variety of hard and soft coral, lots of small fish and opportunities to see some larger animals. We saw Hammerheads as shadows in the distance, several oceanic whitetips very close up, a couple of turtles, a few octopus and dolphins. It was good to be traveling and diving again.

Aggressor does a very good job of providing a platform to dive from. Briefings were thorough and the dive deck well managed. I tested all my tanks and they ranged from 31 – 32 all week. We dove as two large groups of 10 and 11 divers with buddy pairs doing their own thing on most dives. There were a couple of divers doing “same ocean” buddy diving. Food was good, with plated service rather than the buffet I prefer, but covid!

My only significant complaint was overcrowding at dive sites. At Daedalus there were 16 boats parked at the end of the dock. At least 300 divers on a reef 400 meters long and 100 wide – and I am pretty sure I saw every one of them at some point on a dive - and most of them multiple times. On the first dive of the day everyone was put into the water at the same point on the reef – to see the hammerheads. Which of course stayed away from that much activity. That was the worst site, but others had similar crowding. A minor complaint is the air con in the room. Either on with a small hurricane blowing around or off, nothing in between and it was loud.

Hotels in Port Ghalib were all closed. One residence hotel with no front desk was open and a few days before I arrived one of the hotels in the town started taking guests again. I stayed one night before the trip in an all inclusive which worked out just fine. A bit pricy for Egypt but as they fed me well, I am not complaining. The one and only ATM machine in town had no cash both before and after the trip.

The Nile Queen trip was excellent. The boat is very spacious, the food excellent and the guide for the temples and tombs really knew his stuff. Strongly recommend this as a before or after add on to a week of diving. Did not do Abu Simbal but did tack on a hot air balloon ride and paid extra to go into the tomb of Seti1 both of which were highlights of the trip. (When did you ever regret taking a hot air balloon ride.)

A closeup of an Oceanic Whitetip coming in to investigate me:

Egypt1-5.jpg
 

Brant Emery

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My wife and I are leaving this Wednesday for the same trip, our first time in the Red Sea. Thanks for the review.
 

Trailboss123

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Thanks for the report. A group of us is heading there for 2 weeks on the Agressor 3 (last two weeks of December). Week 1 to the southern route that you did and then week 2 to the northern route. Followed by a week on the Nile Queen. I appreciate you taking the time to do a trip report. How did you go about getting your COVID test prior to departure and return home? Did you use the one that the Aggressor provides and if so, did you have to pay cash?
 

drrich2

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Was it 4 dives/day? Dive off the main yacht or pangas?

On the long distance flights over the ocean, was there inflight wifi available? I'd think it'd make those long flights more bearable. When I flew to and from the Galapagos in Jan. 2020, it wasn't an option.
 
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Darnold9999

Darnold9999

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Thanks for the report. A group of us is heading there for 2 weeks on the Agressor 3 (last two weeks of December). Week 1 to the southern route that you did and then week 2 to the northern route. Followed by a week on the Nile Queen. I appreciate you taking the time to do a trip report. How did you go about getting your COVID test prior to departure and return home? Did you use the one that the Aggressor provides and if so, did you have to pay cash?
Covid test for me is PCR for Canada. Got it in Aswan at a clinic, delivered next day via a web link. Cost was 1,000 EGP and I paid cash. Simple and quick. I stayed an extra five days at the end of the trip so the test offered by Aggressor did not work for me. Most got the test on the boat but I do not recall how they paid, but I am pretty sure it was $125USD. Two people had purchased home tests to do at the hotel over the internet before flying to the US. They are home now so they must have worked. Internet in Aswan at the dock would work if you have an Egyptian SIM. Internet on Nile Queen was not great. My cell worked the entire Nile trip. The on board router did not. I suspect that someone downloading several gigs of photos to the cloud the first night (not me) might be the reason.
 
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Darnold9999

Darnold9999

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Victoria BC Canada
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Was it 4 dives/day? Dive off the main yacht or pangas?

On the long distance flights over the ocean, was there inflight wifi available? I'd think it'd make those long flights more bearable. When I flew to and from the Galapagos in Jan. 2020, it wasn't an option.
Diving was a mix. If the dive could be done boat to boat then off the main yacht. Otherwise it was off RIB’s. Roughly 50/50 as I recall. A couple of dives were off the yacht to be picked up in the RIB. I only recall one 5 dives in a day, most were 4. I don’t do night dives in the Red Sea and nobody came back with sightings that would have changed my mind so was not really paying attention. Don’t log dives any more so can’t go back and count! I seem to recall that the “iron divers” did 21 dives for the week but that is a memory I don’t rely on any more!
 
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Darnold9999

Darnold9999

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Was it 4 dives/day? Dive off the main yacht or pangas?

On the long distance flights over the ocean, was there inflight wifi available? I'd think it'd make those long flights more bearable. When I flew to and from the Galapagos in Jan. 2020, it wasn't an option.
In flight wifi was available except for the Heathrow Vancouver leg where it was broken (on the newest plane on the trip). I was asleep for most of this leg and the tv was working so not an issue.
 

Trailboss123

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Covid test for me is PCR for Canada. Got it in Aswan at a clinic, delivered next day via a web link. Cost was 1,000 EGP and I paid cash. Simple and quick. I stayed an extra five days at the end of the trip so the test offered by Aggressor did not work for me. Most got the test on the boat but I do not recall how they paid, but I am pretty sure it was $125USD. Two people had purchased home tests to do at the hotel over the internet before flying to the US. They are home now so they must have worked. Internet in Aswan at the dock would work if you have an Egyptian SIM. Internet on Nile Queen was not great. My cell worked the entire Nile trip. The on board router did not. I suspect that someone downloading several gigs of photos to the cloud the first night (not me) might be the reason.
Thanks for the response! How was the water temp? I know it will change over the next month before I get there, but just curious.
 
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Darnold9999

Darnold9999

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Thanks for the response! How was the water temp? I know it will change over the next month before I get there, but just curious.
Very warm. 78 or better, Daedelous in particular was warmer than expected.
 
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