Scuba diving the Red Sea had always seemed nearly impossible. It was faraway, expensive and, let’s be honest, seemed a little dicey. However, when opportunity knocks, you open the door, and when a friend called with a plan to charter an entire boat and dive the Red Sea, the D&C said yes. In the end we did not manage to fill up the whole boat, but it was close enough, and we got to meet some cool new people in the process. Win-win.
There’s no real way to easily do justice to a city like Cairo, so please indulge me. I’m on a small ship just south of the Sinai as I write this and it has been a few days since we left, I wanted to jot down my observations earlier, but you know, between drinking by the pyramids and diving on a WW2 ship that was sent to the bottom by the Luftwaffe, time was both a rare commodity and wisely spent.
Cairo is hot, dusty, dirty, sprawlingly huge, polluted, loud, ancient, intriguing and hides secrets and treasures. You also get the feeling of a city trying to burst free from its broken shell, without quite managing it just yet. An imperial ugly duckling so to speak.
The motto emblazoned on their license plates isn’t overselling it, Bonaire really is a diver’s paradise, specifically, a shore diver’s paradise. First however, a little context.
Bonaire is the easternmost of the ABC islands and is essentially part of the Netherlands, expect wheels of gouda cheese (not kidding) to be found in the most surprising places. The upshot/downside (depending on your point of view), is the strong European influence and the presence of a very clean, large and rather well stocked super market, the Van Der Tweel, where on some days, you can find (in the parking lot, sold from the back of a modified Land Rover) a perhaps famous smoked chicken. I don’t know about famous, that’s a claim on the flyer, but I can tell you about delicious, have some if you have the chance.
Excuse the slightly juvenile double entendre, but it can’t always be arthurian lore and Jewish mysticism you know. BTW, guess what, we were in Bonaire…
Everything was perfect that day. It was my birthday, I was in the tropics rather than the frigid north (at that time in the grips of an ice storm), I had the best buddy divers with me and a pick-up truck (did you know they are called “utes” in Australia? Me neither). There really aren’t many ways to top that.