Sharm El Sheikh - diving with depth limit of 15m

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world_traveler

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Hello,
Me and my husband will be in Sharm El Sheikh for 1 week. I'm diving, AOW but now limited to 1 dive/day till 15m and my husband is snorkeling. Anyway, I'll take a private diving guide.
I need some help to make the most of our vacation. The best would be to take a boat for divers and snorkelers so I'll do my dive and we'll snorkel together afterwards.

1. Will I be able to see the best diving sites ( in my depth limit) in Ras Muhamad and Tiran island with a boat that combines divers and snorkelers? the sites are the same?
2. I was recommended Sea World Dive Club, they do trips for divers and snorkelers. Are they good? Any other recommendation?
3. With my depth limit Is private shore diving in Ras Muhamad a good option?
4. is snorkeling from the shore in Ras Muhamad different from snorkeling from the boat?
4. Do you know some good free lancer diving guide that can organize dive and snorkeling with a small boat and another guide for snorkeling for my husband?
5. What are the best sites in my depth limit?

Thank you
 

Parlem

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Hello! I'm guessing this is your first trip to Sharm El Sheikh, so I'll try to answer your questions as well as I can:

1. the scuba sector has been badly hit by the pandemic and it wasn't doing particularly well before that. With the covid situation getting better in most of western Europe, airlines have recently begun to fly again to Sharm and even offer packages, like they used to. You don't say when your trip is scheduled for, but my guess is that numbers will still be low for some time. This means that dive operators will often combine scuba divers AND snorkelers on the same boat. They will even team up with other dive ops to charter a single day boat between them. Therefore, your best bet is to contact one or more of the larger shops and ask them what arrangements they would be prepared to make for you two. In my experience, the "local sites" and the reefs in Tiran lend themselves better to diving + snorkelling trips than Ras Mohamed.

2. I've never heard of Sea World Dive Club, sorry.

3. I think the key word there is "private". If you are prepared to pay for your own dive guide and make separate arrangements for yourself and your husband, then I think shore or boat-based is a secondary issue. Since you are limited to a single dive per day, going on a day boat seems a bit of a waste of time, as you will be stuck on the boat from early in the morning till well after lunch time. Shore diving, either in Ras Mohamed or at the local sites (i.e. off your hotel) would seem a better choice in terms of time management, provided you don't mind a little driving. I also believe a couple of dive operators used to offer single-dive trips to Tiran, on fast ribs, so you could perhaps still do Tiran on a single-dive basis. I think the dive centres in question were in the Four Seasons and also Coral Sea Sensatori. But, once again, if the numbers aren't there, they may not offer it at all.

4. Ras Mohamed is a large national park. There are many sites suitable for diving and snorkelling. Some only for scuba. It's difficult to answer this question.

5. I've never tried them myself, but Circle Divers are an independent dive centre (i.e. not affiliated with a particular hotel) and they might be able to accommodate the sort of arrangement you seem to need more adequately than hotel-based dive op who tend to be more set in their ways. However, this is just a guess, not a recommendation.

6. For many years I dove in the Sharm area with my children, who had age-related limitations (12 metres Jr OWD, etc) and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Jackson Reef in Tiran springs to mind, in particular. But also the local sites and Ras Mohamed. Provided you are not looking for encounters with large animals and realise that water temps in winter are not tropical, you won't be disappointed. At shallow depths the corals are gorgeous in Sharm.

Enjoy your trip.
 
OP
W

world_traveler

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Hello! I'm guessing this is your first trip to Sharm El Sheikh, so I'll try to answer your questions as well as I can:

1. the scuba sector has been badly hit by the pandemic and it wasn't doing particularly well before that. With the covid situation getting better in most of western Europe, airlines have recently begun to fly again to Sharm and even offer packages, like they used to. You don't say when your trip is scheduled for, but my guess is that numbers will still be low for some time. This means that dive operators will often combine scuba divers AND snorkelers on the same boat. They will even team up with other dive ops to charter a single day boat between them. Therefore, your best bet is to contact one or more of the larger shops and ask them what arrangements they would be prepared to make for you two. In my experience, the "local sites" and the reefs in Tiran lend themselves better to diving + snorkelling trips than Ras Mohamed.

2. I've never heard of Sea World Dive Club, sorry.

3. I think the key word there is "private". If you are prepared to pay for your own dive guide and make separate arrangements for yourself and your husband, then I think shore or boat-based is a secondary issue. Since you are limited to a single dive per day, going on a day boat seems a bit of a waste of time, as you will be stuck on the boat from early in the morning till well after lunch time. Shore diving, either in Ras Mohamed or at the local sites (i.e. off your hotel) would seem a better choice in terms of time management, provided you don't mind a little driving. I also believe a couple of dive operators used to offer single-dive trips to Tiran, on fast ribs, so you could perhaps still do Tiran on a single-dive basis. I think the dive centres in question were in the Four Seasons and also Coral Sea Sensatori. But, once again, if the numbers aren't there, they may not offer it at all.

4. Ras Mohamed is a large national park. There are many sites suitable for diving and snorkelling. Some only for scuba. It's difficult to answer this question.

5. I've never tried them myself, but Circle Divers are an independent dive centre (i.e. not affiliated with a particular hotel) and they might be able to accommodate the sort of arrangement you seem to need more adequately than hotel-based dive op who tend to be more set in their ways. However, this is just a guess, not a recommendation.

6. For many years I dove in the Sharm area with my children, who had age-related limitations (12 metres Jr OWD, etc) and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Jackson Reef in Tiran springs to mind, in particular. But also the local sites and Ras Mohamed. Provided you are not looking for encounters with large animals and realise that water temps in winter are not tropical, you won't be disappointed. At shallow depths the corals are gorgeous in Sharm.

Enjoy your trip.

Thank you very much for the detailed answer, it helps me. I'll check the diving centers you mentioned.
 

Searcaigh

Chromodoris gordonii
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1. Will I be able to see the best diving sites ( in my depth limit) in Ras Muhamad and Tiran island with a boat that combines divers and snorkelers? the sites are the same?
2. I was recommended Sea World Dive Club, they do trips for divers and snorkelers. Are they good? Any other recommendation?
3. With my depth limit Is private shore diving in Ras Muhamad a good option?
4. is snorkeling from the shore in Ras Muhamad different from snorkeling from the boat?
4. Do you know some good free lancer diving guide that can organize dive and snorkeling with a small boat and another guide for snorkeling for my husband?
5. What are the best sites in my depth limit?

Hi @world_traveler

Most of the reefs come to the surface and you should be able to do some shore diving around Sharm, but Ras Mohammed as far as I am aware is only accessible by boat.

I don't know what the cost for a private guide is in Sharm but I paid EUR15 for one dive in Dahab a few months ago plus a couple of coffees as it is not allowed to dive without an Egyptian guide in that area, not too sure about Sharm.

Have a great trip.
 

Parlem

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Hello! There is some shore diving at Ras Mohamed. Circle Divers, for example, offer overnight camping + diving trips.
 
OP
W

world_traveler

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Hi @world_traveler

Most of the reefs come to the surface and you should be able to do some shore diving around Sharm, but Ras Mohammed as far as I am aware is only accessible by boat.

I don't know what the cost for a private guide is in Sharm but I paid EUR15 for one dive in Dahab a few months ago plus a couple of coffees as it is not allowed to dive without an Egyptian guide in that area, not too sure about Sharm.

Have a great trip.
Thank you.
The prices in Sharm are much higher/
 
OP
W

world_traveler

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Hello! There is some shore diving at Ras Mohamed. Circle Divers, for example, offer overnight camping + diving trips.
I already contacted them, thank you.
I'm curious as to why you're limited to one dive a day to a max depth of 15meters/49feet.
I had twice decompression symptoms without any known reason and have been in decompression chamber. The specialist doctor said it can be a predisposition to decompression or my back problems. If I dive this way and according to air tables, and I have the symptoms, it's not decompression it's because the back problems. So I don't worry....
 

outofofficebrb

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I already contacted them, thank you.

I had twice decompression symptoms without any known reason and have been in decompression chamber. The specialist doctor said it can be a predisposition to decompression or my back problems. If I dive this way and according to air tables, and I have the symptoms, it's not decompression it's because the back problems. So I don't worry....
Have you ever been checked out for a PFO?

Back to your original question, I have not had any experience with the shop you referenced but I do with Reef Oasis Dive Club in Sharm El Sheikh. Depending on the number of divers and snorkelers and what the schedule is for the day (they have a weekly schedule), they either: have a snorkel boat that's separate and divers go on another boat or if the divers are going to a place that is also OK for snorkelers and there aren't many snorkelers or divers, they will combine. It was a pleasant experience for both space-wise and logistics wise.

I find Tiran better for snorkelers because of the ability to tie the boat off in more instances. There are some areas closer to Ras Mohammed that work for snorkeling. Tiran has some great sites (Jackson reef is incredible) where the best stuff is the top 15-20 meters. All the guides with Reef Oasis run dives and snorkeling - they alternate. If I were you, I'd consider hiring a private guide (it shouldn't be that much in Sharm) so that you can dive within the 15m limit you've specified. Make sure you get a health clearance to dive if you've had DCS issues before - the forms will ask if you've had it before and may require clearance to dive from a doctor.
 
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world_traveler

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Have you ever been checked out for a PFO?

Back to your original question, I have not had any experience with the shop you referenced but I do with Reef Oasis Dive Club in Sharm El Sheikh. Depending on the number of divers and snorkelers and what the schedule is for the day (they have a weekly schedule), they either: have a snorkel boat that's separate and divers go on another boat or if the divers are going to a place that is also OK for snorkelers and there aren't many snorkelers or divers, they will combine. It was a pleasant experience for both space-wise and logistics wise.

I find Tiran better for snorkelers because of the ability to tie the boat off in more instances. There are some areas closer to Ras Mohammed that work for snorkeling. Tiran has some great sites (Jackson reef is incredible) where the best stuff is the top 15-20 meters. All the guides with Reef Oasis run dives and snorkeling - they alternate. If I were you, I'd consider hiring a private guide (it shouldn't be that much in Sharm) so that you can dive within the 15m limit you've specified. Make sure you get a health clearance to dive if you've had DCS issues before - the forms will ask if you've had it before and may require clearance to dive from a doctor.
Thanks for answering and for the advice!
Yes I've been checked for PFO, it's ok and I have also the doctor recommendation
Since the depth limit I dive only with a private guide. I read good reviews about Reef Oasis too, it's good when I can choose between good dive clubs
 
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