Dahab Egypt - Blue Hole Arch, Lighthouse, Canyon, Tiger Reef 7-14 AUG 2021

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divezonescuba

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We just completed our second trip to Egypt. It would have been the third, but that was cancelled due to CV. The first week of our trip we were on board a King Snefro safari boat. The second week we travelled to Dahab.

For this trip, we decided to use Planet Divers. The previous trip in 2019, we had used Team Blue Immersion which is part of Dahab Divers. Team Blue Immersion with Andy Suess is a great tec operation. However, we used Planet Divers this trip as we were staying at the Planet Divers hotel and we wanted to coordinate as much as possible with the other divers on the trip that were only diving recreationally. Our technical dive guide was Zak El-Sayed who is also the technical dive manager for Planet Divers.

On our first day, we set up our gear and made one technical dive right off of the beach in the Lighthouse area. It is literally across the pedestrian walkway from the hotel / diveshop. Even though it is a short distance, our gear was transported by cart to the Planet restaurant where we entered the water. This is a great site for deeper technical dive training due to the convenience and ready access to depth. An interesting thing about Planet divers is the use of AL80s versus AL40s for the deco gas. Since, the deco tanks are taken down to the water for you, the extra bulk of the AL80s is not really a problem and the extra gas is always welcome.

After debugging the gear, we made five additional technical dives that week. The next day was the Canyon in the morning, which I was not able to do the previous trip. We entered near the fish bowl and descended down inside the Canyon to the deep exit point at 50+ meters. After swimming around a bit, we reentered the Canyon and swam back up to the shallow end. In the late afternoon, we dove Tiger Canyon. That was a difficult entrance due to the long walk across the table reef before you can get into the water. I don't think that I would do that dive again.

The third day, we went thru the infamous Blue Hole Arch. This time, we used a different technique than on the previous trip. Here we descended using x32 as a travel gas and switched to our bottom gas at 110 ft. The use of an AL80 made this possible. We transited thru the arch, but were not able to swim back due to the changing tide current. Normally you reenter to do your deco. However, in this case, we did our deco on the outside. Unfortunately, my gopro9 crashed during this dive. Apparently, there is a charging bug in the software, if you don't take out the battery, the computer will not come on.

The fourth day, we did the Canyon again, as one of the divers missed the second and third days of technical diving.

The fifth day, we did the Arch a second time this trip. The diver who also missed the Canyon the first time around was able to do the Arch on this dive. It was not really a big deal because he had transited the Arch several time on the previous trip. But, you can't go to Dahab without diving the Arch, regardless of how many time you have done it before. This time, we were able to swim thru and back as we were able to do the dive at low slack tide. I was able to obtain a lot of video during this dive and will be making a video.

We considered doing Bells just north of the Blue Hole as a technical dive, but decided it was too much to carry the technical diving gear by foot up to the site. We did do the Bells site as a one tank recreational dive toward the end of the week.

It was a fantastic trip again and Zak was a great guide. If we can get reservations at Planet Oasis again next August, we will be diving with them again.
 

Searcaigh

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I missed out doing some technical diving on my trip to Dahab last month as my buddies are not technically trained, but I do plan on returning before the year is out to dive The Arch.

Not a fan of using AL80s for stages though. Are S40s available?

What was the cost for the He?

I understand that using 32% for travel and deco would basically need to be in an AL80 though, however I normally use 50% for my first deco as well as a travel gas to 20m if my backgas tanks are smaller than 10L twins. Is 50% available?
 

divezonescuba

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He was 0.075 euros per liter.

They will blend just about anything you want, but they prefer to use x32 as the low o2, I suspect due to membrane generation rather then blending (they offer free x32).

AL40s seem to be in short supply in general in Dahab.

In 2019 precovid, we used team blue immersion. They only had a few AL40s as well.
 

divezonescuba

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Video of Canyon dive.

 

Fires

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Nice video! Definitely something on the bucket list for me :)
 

divezonescuba

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We have fixed our dates for 2022. We will be doing the non-technical liveaboard with wrecks and reefs between 30 July 2022 and 6 August 2022. Our shore diving week in Dahab, including the blue hole arch is 6 August to 14 August 2022.
 
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