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Dive Review of Red Sea Diving College/Eden Rock in
Red Sea/Sharm el Sheikh

Red Sea Diving College/Eden Rock, Feb, 2011,

by Peter Korn, CA, US ( 2 reports). Report 5935.

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 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I had the luck(!) of going back to Sharm - where I had first learned to dive 14 years ago - just at the start of the protests that led to the ouster of President Mubarak and the military takeover of the country. With Internet access down, no ATM machines would function, and by gov't order the banks were closed - and I hadn't arrived with much cash. I cannot thank the staff at Red Sea Diving College enough for how they helped in this somewhat challenging time - allowing me to overpay by credit card and then refunding the difference so I could have some cash, and then arranging an inexpensive taxi to take me to the Taba border in Israel, where I needed to be for business meetings.

I arrived on an overnight flight from the UK on Friday morning (a few hours after Internet access was lost), and two hours later was on the boat for my first dives. Not surprisingly, these weren't particular great (Ras Katy & Temple dive sites). They were local - and not the stunning corals that the Red Sea is known for - and I was tired. The second day was far better, with two calm seas allowing unusual access to two sites in Tiran - Woodhouse & Jackson - that had lots of lovely corals. Less tropical fish than I remembered from 14 years ago though. I had planned a 3rd day diving on Sunday, but elected to sit that day out, as next was a planned 6 day live-aboard trip with the Torpedo Fleet. However, concerns about a potentially deteriorating security situation (Mubarak had pulled back police in Cairo and Alexandra and Giza and all-but-invited looting) and worries about future gasoline deliveries to Sharm from the port of Suez lead me to cancel the live-aboard and travel earlier than planned to Israel. The U.S. State Department directive to all U.S. Citizens to leave Egypt immediately also influenced my decision.

I took advantage of Red Sea Diving College's winter package: multiple dives at a 10% discount with free Nitrox. I also paid extra for 15L tanks, which helped with my bottom time. I used their wetsuit (5mm separates) and fins.

At the recommendation of Red Sea Diving College I stayed at the Eden Rock hotel. It was clean, relatively quiet, with a nice view from the balcony and a lovely shower. The hotel is set above the port, and is an easy walk to Red Sea Diving College (as well as the boats). I would stay there again. And I would dive again with Red Sea Diving College if/when I return to Sharm.

A separate comment on DAN Travel Insurance: I was disappointed to discover that it doesn't cover missed trips due to "civil unrest" - which meant that the insurance I had taken out was useless to me in attempting to recover my pre-paid liveaboard trip. Unfortunately those funds are gone, and I will avoid pre-paying (and forgo any discounts that provides) in the future.
Websites Red Sea Diving College   Eden Rock

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Fiji, Cozumel, Hawaii, California
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas currents
Water Temp 74-75°F / 23-24°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 30-80 Ft/ 9-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Varied depth limits - depending upon experience & buddy. But in no case deeper than 30m
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The dive boat was spacious - plenty of room to set up gear. Dedicated rinse tank for cameras - but this wasn't so big, and when 3 divers had gear (one a very large rig with twin flashes and a housed SLR), it was borderline full. A fourth photographer wouldn't have had enough room. to share it. Staff were sensitive to camera gear, and helpful getting into/out of water with 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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