Diving at El Gouna, Red Sea, Egypt
Every morning I wake up here in the Egyptian town of El Gouna with a view of the water. My hotel, Captain’s Inn, is one of the smallest of the 17 on offer and looks out on the main marina.
Luxury boats of the wealthy are moored here and I can see them being washed by workers even though their owners may be far away; smaller boats used for private daytrips or other trades come in and out through the deep channel; and larger boats for divers and their equipment prepare before breakfast for their trips out to nearby reefs.
The sun seems to always shine in El Gouna and the water of the marina and the Red Sea beyond is almost too glary as I pull back the curtains shortly after waking. But to avoid the sea here is to miss out on one of the most beautiful opportunities available at El Gouna. Above the surface, the kite surfers race across the small waves and the European tourists escaping the cold paddle in the shallows. Beneath the surface, though… Oh, so many wonders!
Some of the best diving in the world is in the Red Sea, just off the coast of Egypt. There are a few places along the east of the country that you can use a base but El Gouna seems as good as any.
I’m not much of a diver so I’ve opted to explore the sea life with a snorkel instead. Two times I head out on expeditions. The first is on one of the larger dive boats with Orca Dive Club. A sun deck above and comfortable lounges on deck level make for a pleasant journey. When we arrive at a small special reef, I jump in and the colours of the fish are astounding. There are so many of them, with such a variety, I have to check I haven’t jumped into an aquarium.
The second time I head out into the water from El Gouna is much more low-key. This time it’s just me and a captain from Sail La Vie. We’re on a small catamaran – just the right size for the two of us – and we’re at the mercy of the wind. We don’t go out as far but there are still great spots to snorkel within an easy sail from shore.
I thought I would leave you with a few photos from my snorkelling off the coast of El Gouna.