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February 1998 Vol. 13, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Red Sea Run About

from the February, 1998 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Readers heading to the Red Sea and Peter Hughes’ Moon Dancer have reported good diving, but are disappointed because they can’t get to the best: Brothers’ Islands. We called Hughes to ask why.

“The area had been closed by the Egyptian Government,” he told us. “Part of the problem is environmental, he said. “They want moorings and do not have the money to put them in. Also, many Egyptians use small boats for the European trade and some get into trouble when the weather turns. It’s up to the military to provide rescue services, so they closed the area. Initially it was to be closed for a few months but it is now more than a year.

But, it turns out, trips run by Tropical Adventures and Bob Goddess are headed to the Brothers. Goddess told us “I have written permits to dive the south and the Brothers. We are running two major trips, one in May and one August, using the Ghazala Explorer and the Ghazala Voyager.”

When we informed Hughes, he said “If they are giving out permits, I would like to know about it.” But, when he called Egypt he was told again the government is not giving permits.

Still, Goddess, who has led trips to the Red Sea for years, expects to take these. When we asked how he got permission when Hughes didn’t he speculated that he might have been more adept at the political maneuverings, which are complicated and capricious. After all, he’s been offering trips in the Red Sea for years, and Hughes only began last year.

In fact, the Moon Dancer, a fine boat, is the only Hughes craft operating on franchise. “There was no way that an American would ever get permission to own and operate a boat in those waters, so Moon Dancer is 100 percent owned by Kahled Samy and his wife. We provide a set of rules and procedures for them to follow.

Apparently, for now that’s not be enough for Egyptian authorities.

Tropical Adventures: 800/247-3484; 206 441- 3483; Peter Hughes Diving: 800 932-6237; fax 305 669 9475.

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