Monday, 24 December 2007

Merry Solstice 2007!

The darkest days of the year, and the promise of light to come. Once again I am not at home in Ontario or frollicking in snow, but instead celebrating with the bounty of the red sea, a gorillia of dane dive buddy, a town of festive russian tourists, cordial egyptians and a santa on a camel. 

I've already 5 dives, and 2 more tomorrow. The peaceful chaos of mulling coral reef fish is quite different from jittery kelp forests of the pacific or kattegat; not better, just a different splendour. Otherwise, the whole scene is actually quite rediculously fun. In Canada, you might end a dive with a chummy "Nice dive, eh?" "Yes, quite nice", while here, the Egyptians bust out the vodka, dance and clap, and conclude with an immature game of tag ("you're it!")

Jacks, parrotfish, triggerfish, a giant 2m moray eel, a shark, flying eagle rays, an octopus, peaceful beaked sea turtle munching on encrusting algae... Wreck diving was also cool: following the slimy anchor line running into the blue abyss, until at 30m below, the ghostly mass of a sunken russian vessel slowly materializes, a derelict from the war when Israel stole the Sinai desert, now home to avaricious Jacks and many-tentacled lionfish. Night diving was also great... I panicked a bit, I must admit, when I was the first to entire, alone, and suddenly had to clear mask and maintain bouyancy in the dark, 2m underwater, the pressure building on my ears... Coral polyps actually come out at night, so you can really see how they've mostly died here.

Birding is poor, but I did see two Boobies (red sea species?), and lots of plovers of some sort.

Ahh. Awe. Jesus walked over the Red Sea; Moses parted the damn thing; now, at the end of the twenty-first century, we finally know where the divine of creation really resides.

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