Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Yalla!!!! <-the only arabic word I know

The Andromeda
Oh my god. What an adventure this has been. Don't get me wrong it was well worth it, but wow what an interesting week. So first off we leave at 9 Friday morning. I was baffled about why we would possibly need to leave at 9 for a flight that didn't leave until 1340 but I was clearly proved wrong. We arrived at the airport in perfect time. It was actually pretty tragic how many times we stopped for coffee. So we get to the airport and you know after the compulsory 3 coffee breaks get on the airplane. Right so finally at about 630 that night we end up in Cairo. I am terrified to even be in this city and within about 20 minutes of being there I've already been picked up by like 5 guys. Get to the hotel and realize I have internet!!! Yay mom can now be informed that I'm alive. Ok so dinner that night was pretty non eventful but we got to see pyramids the next day! Honestly pretty awesome. I was still in that whole "I'm terrified to be American" phase so it was interesting for me, but we pulled through ok. Ok so the next day we manage to make it through the Cairo airport and to Sudan!!! Made it through customs and everything else no problem and we go to get on the buses. Well these aren't really buses they're more like vans, but like pimped out vans. Don't worry I've included pictures. Ok so we get to the boat around midnight. Really someone please kill me it's sooooo late and I'm just DONE. Please note I have had my own hotel room and now have my own cabin so I am holding it together pretty well all things considered. Well let's just say they had NO idea what hit them as soon as I set foot on the boat. I think after that night though they knew they had a bit of a whirlwind blowing through. Can I just say that the best part of a live aboard is the fact that there's no shoes allowed on board. It's so great! Ok right soooo I got pretty seasick the first day. It was like 8 hours of sailing and I didn't puke or anything, it was a rough day though. The diving in Sudan was mind-blowing. I saw hammerheads and white tip sharks and cute little blue rays and Nemo and Dorie and ahhhh it was so amazing. I have honestly never been so happy in my life.

Ok but obviously what trip would be complete without a truly special person or 2. The one guy on the boat was literally the stupidest human I have ever met in my life. He refused to dive with a computer. We are doing up to 4 dives a day! Ok so diving nerd moment here but  the profiles are max depth 40m on dives 1 and 2, max depth 30 on dive 3, and the night dive is always between 12-25. Well he refuses to take a computer and is constantly fighting with me and the dive guide and so basically the dive guide says look either you stay within a meter of me the whole dive or you don't dive and he says fine. So we are on the Toyota wreck, awesome wreck btw, and we tell him he can't go down to 40 meters to do a swim through. Insert 30 something year old man throwing a temper tantrum. He plops himself down on a coral and refuses to move for 10 minutes....funniest thing I've ever seen....I couldn't stop laughing.

Ok so let's focus a little on things I saw underwater. First I saw grey tip sharks and hammerheads for the first time...AHHHH so amazing!!!I also saw Nemo. The pilot fish that I've included a picture of was super cute too. He latched onto my leg at the beginning of the dive and refused to leave me alone! He was surprisingly adorable though and he let me pet him. 

The thing that is amazing about diving in the Red Sea is that every dive is just amazing. Sure fine its "just another reef" but it isn't each dive the amount of fish you see and the colors is just mind blowing. 

grey tip
Pilot fish
 I can't explain it to someone who has never been, but surely a part of
my heart got left behind in Sudan or at least underwater in the Red Sea. Part two of stuff to be seen underwater, THE UMBRIA!!!!

Night dive at Precontinent
3 Rolls Royce's in the Umbria
Ahhhhh the Umbria was amazing. It is a 150m merchant vessel that was sunk the day before Italy entered WW2.  On its final voyage in 1940, bound for Eritrea, it was in the hands of the Italians who were transporting over 350,000 bombs amongst other items. The British impounded the Umbria at Port Sudan as the Second World War was imminent and the Brits weren't about to let a boat pass them by who would be carrying weapons for the enemy. The Umbria was ordered to be handed over, but rather than let this happen the Italians scuttled their own ship. It carries a full load of bombs still and was a super fun wreck to explore. The other awesome thing we got to dive was Jacques Cousteau's pre continent. Precontinent was a set of projects by Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his team. The aim of these projects was to show that people could live underwater for prolonged periods of time, while being subjected to the harsh environments of the deep sea.
Typical day on the boat...

Ok so in light of the people I met....I absolutely adore the boat crew. The 2 dive guides made my week/kept me sane and the crew was awesome. Well the last day we decided to go explore Port Sudan. I'm sure my mother just died a little right there, but it's ok she'll bounce back. So I'm including all those pictures too with captioned explanations. Uhmmm and I'm sure there's much more I missed that you will all hear about some other time....

What happens when you get a second degree sunburn in Sudan......
Did I mention they still make twinkies in Egypt?

The main market in Port Sudan.

The boys messing around.....I'm still laughing...you gotta admit it's not a bad view....

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