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Dive Review of Red Sea Aggressor in
Red Sea

Red Sea Aggressor: "Northern itinerary - The Brothers / Daedalus / Elphingston", May, 2016,

by Phil Johnston, Bayswater, AU (Contributor Contributor 14 reports with 18 Helpful votes). Report 8942 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 2 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments BOAT & CREW : Red Sea Aggressor isn't a new boat but has obviously been heavily renovated. It used to be called the Susanna, I had some difficulty finding it at the marina as the locals seemed to know it only as the Susanna & kept directing me to the boat by that name.
The boat & its RIBs were all in very good condition, although 1 passenger had to be moved to a different cabin due to non-functioning a/c.
The crew were uniformly excellent both on deck & in the water. The dive guides Mahmoud, Angela & Roberto were very attentive to what was going on with divers & provided assistance to less experienced passengers when required. Angela in particular seemed to be genuinely passionate about her job & shared my excitement whenever I let her know I had seen something that pleased me.
The deck crew & cabin crew were unfailingly helpful in donning/doffing dive gear, & providing drinks prior to & just after our dives. Most of the post-dive drinks were very refreshing tropical fruit juices. Food was uniformly good quality, savory snacks (pizzas, fried calamari, nachos etc) were provided mid morning & mid afternoon. Soft drinks & local Egyptian beer was provided free of charge.
Aggressor Fleet vice-president Larry Speaker was on board during the cruise doing some sort of quality assurance check, he seemed at times to be critical of the boat. I had only one concern, which was the amount of oil that came out of the exhaust pipe, unfortunately we left patches of greyish-brown oil at some dive sites.
DIVING : an initial check-out dive was done at a reef close to shore called Marsa Shoona. The reef is horseshoe shaped with some sea-grass beds in the middle, we were advised there was a chance of seeing dugongs in this area, but none were seen...I gathered from the comments of some of the crew that it's been many years since a dugong has been seen this area. My dive buddy & I dived across the sea-beds hoping to see some macro-life (or a dugong) but saw very little, certainly no dugongs. We ended up at the southern end of the horseshoe, some reasonable hard corals & small tropical fish in this area.
Our next dive was at an off-shore reef, Shaab Abu Dabab, I would rate this as one of the most beautiful hard coral sites I've seen, surprisingly little fish life though, & didn't see much macro life either. This was my second visit to Shaab Abu Dabab, I enjoyed its luxuriant coral growth more than my first visit.
We steamed overnight to Little Brother Island & dived 4 times there that day, & 4 dives at Big Brother the next day (no night dives are allowed at either site). I had high expectations of The Brothers but was frankly disappointed, both islands are basically wall dives with little in the way of attractive hard or soft corals. I was pleased to see a thresher shark at Little Brother & then a much closer encounter with another one at Big Brother, however a single Manta was the only other large marine animal seen during the 2 days in this area.
A further 2 days was then spent at Daedalus Reef. Hammerheads in ones or twos were seen on all but 1 of my 8 dives at Daedalus, other than a smallish school of barracuda, little other large pelagic life was seen. Both the Brothers & Daedalus abounded with very large populations of cornet fish & colorful grouper, good photo subjects due to their complete lack of fear of divers.
Visibility was somewhat disappointing at both Brother & Daedalus, it didn't match the descriptions of crystal clear water I'd read about before coming to the Read Sea
Elphinstone Reef was dived on the last day. As with the Brothers, it didn't quite meet my expectations. Despite a strong current, only a couple of sharks were seen at 100 foot depth, although the immense clouds of orange anthias rising & falling in the current were impressive. I did see a gorgeous dark blenny with bright green stripes, not sure what it was as I couldn't find it in either of the fish ID books on board.
Overall, I would rate the Northern itinerary as just OK, the highlights being sitings of thresher sharks, which I hadn't seen before. In terms of high voltage diving (ie big numbers of fish & sharks) the Red Sea is significantly behind Cocos Island, Walindi Bay in PNG, Galapagos & the Yongala wreck in Queensland Australia.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Australia, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Indonesia/Bali, Cocos, Cozumel, Tonga, Galapagos, Tahiti, Maldives, Mozambique, Bahamas, Red Sea.
Closest Airport Marsa Alam Getting There Internal: 4 flights per week from Cairo via Egyptair,
International: many direct flights from various European countries.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 23-25°C / 73-77°F Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 15-25 M / 49-82 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No deco diving, dive within Nitrox depth limits, Nautilus Lifeline compulsory (provided free) at some sites, buddy system verbally insisted upon but not rigidly enforced.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments A reasonable amount of bench space available for UWPs, could be crowded if all 20 passengers were underwater photographers.
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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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