IT WAS SUCH A FUN DIVE! Well, until we all got horribly lost and nobody could find the boat.
The dive-guide is holding a white board as divers gather on the upper deck. It shows a felt-pen map of the dive-site. A few strategically placed sea-creatures help to liven up the crudely drawn blocks of coral and wobbly gorgonians.
The plan is simple. The boat drops us at the red pen mark. We follow the reef, in the direction shown by green arrows.
More green arrows show where we leave the reef to explore two ergs – big coral lumps. The arrows perform an elegant figure of eight around the ergs, then return to the reef wall, and continue to a shallow bay. The drawn shape of a boat is shown in a mooring position.
A few warnings: Watch your air. Don’t go below 50 bar. The crew will hang a cylinder of air beneath the boat in case you need it on your safety-stop.
Don’t mess with lionfish. Don’t put your hand on a stonefish. Here’s the signal for shark. OK, let’s go! Enjoy.
If you’ve done day-boat diving in the Red Sea, this is likely to sound familiar. It’s relaxed, after all, you’re on holiday and what could go wrong?
People are strapping on their kit and waiting to jump when told. Some fret about a twisted fin-strap. Some quietly worry about flooding a mask or dropping a camera. Others wonder about blasting through their air too fast. Most are just thrilled to be going diving.
Diving is amazing. It engages every part of you. You lose yourself in another world. A dive achieves exactly what those “augmented reality” designers strive for – an immersive experience.
You can be so “in the moment” that you forget to consider how the dive might end up.