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Dive Review of Argos Red Sea/MY Aeolus in
Red Sea/Northern Red SEa

Argos Red Sea/MY Aeolus, Jul, 2014,

by Roger D Roth, OH, US (Contributor Contributor 16 reports with 8 Helpful votes). Report 7725 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I've been diving the Red Sea since 1998. Recently, every time I return to the Red Sea and the MY Aeolus, I continue to be impressed and amazed by the rebound of the marine life in the sea as well as the excellent service on the boat by the captain and crew, including the chef on board. With the lower tourism numbers in Egypt for the last few years, this has taken some of the stress off of the reefs allowing them to proliferate. I can think of one soft coral "tree" that I've watched for the last 5 years from being large and beautiful 5 years ago to looking puny and sickly 3-4 years ago. This year it looked as large and stately as it ever did!

The Red Sea has an abundance of dive sites where the hard and soft corals abound as well as almost a dozen shipwrecks that are mostly all world-class dives for one reason or another, including the SS Thistlegorm which is probably my most favorite wreck dive in the world. It's a British armed merchant navy ship that was bombed in Oct. 1941 while moored in safe anchorage awaiting the re-opening of the Suez canal after two ships had collided. The area that was bombed happened to be a hold where munitions were stored, so that area's deck peeled back like a banana and the cargo of shells, ammo boxes, Bren gun carriers, rifles and the like are strewn everywhere. It's anti-aircraft gun and machine gun still point proudly at the stern above the huge propeller that sits in the sand at about 90'. There are train cars on the main decks and 'tween decks and lower decks in the main holds there are still armored cars, motorcycles, troop carriers, generators, and much more still standing exactly the way they were the day they were loaded.

On the drift dives where there may be light to swift currents, the schools of jacks, unicornfish, snappers and more are huge and easy to access and swim through as they face the current. The walls are filled with very colorful hard and soft corals, whip corals and of course the nooks and crannies are filled with smaller critters just waiting to be found. Some drift dives are started from the Aeolus' dive platform and divers are picked up by zodiac with its vigilant driver. Other drift dives may begin by being dropped off by zodiac and divers return to the moored boat at the end of the dive. The captain is extremely conscious and careful of the reef and permanent moorings are always used. Of course, the divemaster is knowledgeable and very experienced having dived these sites for over a decade.

There are various dive sites where I can predictably find octopus, scorpionfish and devil scorpionfish, lionfish, anemonefish in their various species of anemones, striped eel catfish, pufferfish over 2' long, blue-spotted stingrays, electric torpedo rays, stonefish, sea moth pairs, pipefish (this time of year they were pregnant), cuttlefish and squid, schools of tuna, turtles, large Napoleon Wrasses and groupers, large milkfish and blanquillos, numerous species of shrimpgobies and partner shrimp, as well as huge schools of trevallies, spadefish, and even barracudas.

The Red Sea has a number of species of nudibranchs including the coveted Spanish Dancer as well as other types of Pleurobranchs. The colorful Chromodorid "Pajama slug" (Chromodoris quadricolor) is the most prevalent and the big-horned nudibranch (Nembrotha megalocera) is a striking dorid that is endemic to the Red Sea that I've even filmed mating.

Macro photographers will have a field day in the Northern Red Sea. Besides the nudibranchs and pipefish, many anemones have their respective anemone shrimp as do a few sea cucumbers with their swimming crabs. I've been able to entice these cleaner shrimp onto my hands. On one solo dive this year, I even spotted and filmed a juvenile octopus no longer than about one inch.

Night dives bring out even more macro subjects with almost every branching coral teeming with small crabs while hermit and decorator anemone crabs amble past. The delightful patterns and protruding "mouth" of the sea urchins make for some great photography. While hunting for macro subjects, don't be surprised like I was when I realized a 2' or longer scorpionfish was laying against the reef just watching me!

There are innumerable species of wrasses, damselfish, triggerfish, and butterflyfish with some species also endemic to the Red Sea. On one easy drift dive this year, I watched an expansive school of Red Sea fusiliers in the background as a line of Red Sea fusiliers swam past me endlessly...for a total of 15 or more minutes non-stop. Summer is surely the best time to witness the larger schools of fish of any and all species!

The MY Aeolus has only 4 double staterooms, each with its own toilet, sink and fresh water shower with plenty of hot water and good water pressure. (1200 gallons of drinkable fresh water is desalinated each day.) The dive platform also has two hot, fresh water showers. Internet is on board and available at least 50% of the time if not more depending on the dive site and proximity to the mountains onshore. Typically, the day starts with continental foods, etc. first thing in the morning and after the first dive, the large breakfast is served buffet-style, as are all meals. After the second dive, lunch is served if anyone is hungry after having filled up at breakfast. Different snacks and/or baked goods and milk shakes and/or other cold beverages are offered after the third dive of the day. (When the season and water gets chillier, warm drinks are served.) Dinner is served after the night dives. Nitrox is included in all dive packages for safety reasons.

I have a number of videos posted on Vimeo.com that show the boat, some of the diving, the most famous shipwrecks and more.
Websites Argos Red Sea   MY Aeolus

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 78-82°F / 26-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50-150 Ft/ 15-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Safe computer diving
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments There is a large rinse tank on the dive platform that can accommodate numerous larger housings along with smaller point and shoot cameras.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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