Back aboard the El Naghi, we went to our first dive spot, Abu Hashish. We went in with three other divers and two DMs, Yvonne and Basem. Basem went first and Yvonne took up the rear, buddied up with the lone diver. The night before, we had read about how to get accurate coloring in underwater photos – set the white balance manually. For this a white surface is required, so we brought the slate (for writing underwater), which Arthur attached to my BCD. Unfortunately when I was ready to set the white balance, I could not find the slate. I showed Arthur and we started to look around. Behind us, Yvonne caught our attention. She had it; it had fallen off of me. I tried to set the white balance on the whitish sandy ocean bottom, but the photos from this dive came out horribly – accurate color but terrible resolution. Unfortunately I could not tell how bad it was just by looking at the LCD.
Arthur rented a dive computer for the first time. It was easy to use but we noticed that his reading for depth showed about 2 meters deeper than the gauges on our regulators. On this dive, we saw a few Giant Clam, a Diadem Sea Urchin, and Bluethroat Triggerfish. We also saw a Spanish Dancer (a nudibranch, or sea slug).
For the second dive, we went to Malag El Disha. This time we were with Yvonne and Basem and just one other diver. The lone diver buddied up with Basem and they took up the rear. Basem and I both brought cameras. I set the white balance using the dive slate, this time attached to Arthur. This is the dive where we saw the most rare or semi-rare things, in great numbers. I took pictures, but they are all awful. We saw a group of three Lionfish swimming out in the open (very photogenic); two Giant Morays, just posing perfectly; an almost completely black Masked Pufferfish; several swimming Blue-Spotted Stingrays; and even a different kind of stingray, just for a moment, before it disappeared with a shake underneath the sandy bottom. Basem came upon us all looking down in wonder at the empty sand, so Yvonne borrowed Arthur’s slate and wrote ‘Panther Torpedo Ray’ to explain – he had just missed it. The most exciting creature we spotted on this dive was one beautiful Sea Turtle (or possibly a Hawksbill Sea Turtle). Basem swam closer to it, and it swam on totally unbothered, it was really great. Yvonne had spotted it first and used a shaker to get our attention. At 47 minutes this was our shortest dive of the week.
For dinner we took a cab to HRC and ate way too much. We walked back to Cinnabon and ordered four Minibons for breakfast on Friday and Saturday.