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Dive Review of Royal Evolution/Pickalbatros-Port Ghalib in
Red Sea/Egypt - Deep South

Royal Evolution/Pickalbatros-Port Ghalib: "Terrific Bucket List Trip", Apr, 2024,

by Dean C, CO, US (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports with 7 Helpful votes). Report 12957.

Photos Submitted with this Report

Click on an image to see an enlarged version and captions

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

Accommodations For Subscribers Only Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude For Subscribers Only Environmental Sensitivity For Subscribers Only
Dive Operation For Subscribers Only Shore Diving For Subscribers Only
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ For Subscribers Only
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced For Subscribers Only
Comments Underwater Delights
On LOB trips to other destinations with European guests, I heard captivating stories and saw pics and videos from the Red Sea. These depictions, and others from multiple sources like Undercurrent and books by John Bantin, piqued my interest enough to add the Red Sea to my bucket list of dive locations. I was not disappointed when I finally dropped below the waves. I found the clear water, colorful and healthy coral, and array of dazzling creatures to be a reward worth the effort of the long journey to get there.

On nearly every dive there were schools of bright orange anthias the size of your thumb with purple eyes (scalefin Fairy basslet) swarming around the coral tops. They glowed nicely in the sun which also illuminated the vibrant soft corals that had a range of colors from off white to purple and red. A nice variety of species of small fish like purple tangs, yellow box fish, unicorn fish, sergeant majors, and titan trigger fish were in view all at once at times. At other times, inquisitive trumpet fish would hover inches from your mask checking you out as much as you were checking out them. Nemo could be found in anemone gardens at many places too. The colorful blue spotted ray made frequent appearances and cooperated for photographers. Small Napoleon wrasses with their bluish hues were often shyly following us about. There was a rich mix of smaller fish, eels, and, rarely, octopus wherever we splashed down. Canít forget the colorful nudis including one named after our DM. Listing all of the colorful varieties that we encountered would be boring but seeing them made every dive rewarding.

Occasionally, we saw large schools of fish. A small column of maybe 50 chevron barracuda gracefully floated in the mid water slowly making their way along the reef. A large school of silver bonita, with their backs striped black, paraded past us another time. In caverns, schools of green headed fish the size of your pinky finger enveloped us by the thousands at times rushing to get away from us fearsome bubble spewing aliens. Returning from a dive on the RIB, we encountered a cooperative school of spinner dolphins. Quickly tumbling into the water, snorkeling with them was a real treat.

The dives sites themselves were surprising to me. Some were interesting looking and had a history like the lighthouse at Daedalus which was built by the Brits or Zabargad island. Zabargad was surrounded by a mix of azure waters, like Polynesia, and was the site of mining operations by the Romans. Many other dive sites did not even break the surface - only the outline and flat top of the reef was visible underwater. Here, the boat would tie mooring lines directly into the reef which was just a couple of feet below the surface and use the wind and current to keep it at a safe distance. Underwater, the diving varied from walls which dropped to the depths, gently rising bottoms with large plateaus full of coral gardens, wrecks, and caverns, to a couple of blue water drift dives in search of sharks.

We also explored a couple of wrecks. In Elba, the Levanzo is a 100+ year old Italian freighter. It was fun to see the cargo of wine bottles still in place. Later, in the depths we spied the wreck of a LOB. This was a somber reminder of what can happen. Another recent wreck of a fishing boat, with nets still rigged, appeared to have plowed into the reef provided an interesting photo op.

Sharks are some of my favorite denizens. Here, I found the sharks to be mostly shy and keeping their distance. I saw a few ha ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here
Websites Royal Evolution   Pickalbatros-Port Ghalib

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Indonesia, Fiji, Australia, Malaysia, Mexico, Florida, California, Colombia, Costa Rica, Hawaii, French Polynesia, other inland reservoirs.
Closest Airport Hurghada Getting There Colorado to Hurghada on United, Swiss Air, and Lufthansa. Using frequent miles resulted in trips with 4 legs and 30hrs of travel time. Swiss air lost my bag and it was a tense 4 days waiting for it to catchup to me after I boarded the boat but before we departed.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 72-80°F / 22-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 80-150 Ft/ 24-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Buddy diving with no planned deco dives.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish For Subscribers Only
Small Critters For Subscribers Only Large Fish For Subscribers Only
Large Pelagics For Subscribers Only

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

Subject Matter For Subscribers Only Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's For Subscribers Only Shore Facilities For Subscribers Only
UW Photo Comments There are two dedicated rinse tanks for cameras and computers. A large table in the center of the dive deck is good ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here
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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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