Egypt boasts the world's most affordable and, by all means, most beautiful diving sites. The Red Sea corals dazzle with their fantastic colors, and the water is warm and clear (visibility up to 15-30 m). Yet before going to Egypt, be sure to study offers of the tour operators, and check out quality of their services and offered diving sites. Egypt is a mass tourism destination, and some scuba diving companies strive for fast income only. They offer diving spots right next to hotels, where corals are heavily damaged by armies of tourists, and gear sometimes is not of the best quality either. There are about 10 reputable companies, however, from the total of about 200 that offer the best Red Sea dive sites, like Ras Mohammed, Dunraven, Thistlegorm, St. Johns, Big and Little Brothers, Daedalus Reef and Elphinstone.
I would also suggest trying live-aboard services, meaning that you live on a boat that travels from one diving spot to another. That's the best way to make the most of your trip - see more and spend more time under the water as well. The British company www.emperordivers.com offers very good daily dives, knowledgeable guides, quality gear and safety-focused service. It means that no one is ever forgotten in the water, which sometimes can happen.
Another Red Sea bonus is wreck-diving - a chance to explore sunken ships. Some wrecks are protected with access to them being prohibited, yet others are available, and, observing certain precautions, you can dive into their hatchways, passages and make your way between decks.
131 m long military cargo ship Thistlegorm was bombarded during the WWII, while delivering war supplies. It's a breathtaking experience to see it up close, especially for those who have dreamed of a navy career. The ship wreck was discovered and identified by Jacques Cousteau. It was laden with all kind of military supplies that are still there and in a good state of preservation - bikes, trucks, jeeps, even washing machines. It's easy to conjure up in ones imagination what it was like when still afloat.
Blue Hole is a famous diving spot located just a few kilometers to the north from Dahab. It is 130 meters deep submarine pothole or a sort of cave that challenges divers with its underwater arch-shaped tunnel. Latvian traveling & diving agency Big Fish with one of its co-founders, Gunita Jansone, is based at the Blue Hole as well.
Shortly about scuba diving training:
Anyone can learn scuba diving, as no special physical preparedness is needed. There is nothing extreme about it, unless you venture to dive into caves or other risky underwater areas.
Several schools in Latvia offer scuba diving training and issue internationally recognized certifications. The most widespread is PADI training system, which allows diving anyplace in the world, wherever you see PADI sign.
The 1st level initial Open Waters Diver certification provides that you can dive to a maximum depth of 18m.
The 2nd level Advanced Open Waters Diver certification allows extending ones maximum depth to 40m. A total of 5 dives must be completed for this purpose - 2 core dives comprise a deep and underwater navigation. And then you can choose 3 adventure dives - dive into a current, identify fishes, dive with a scooter, etc.
There is a possibility to pass training and obtain a certification abroad too, at the same time getting the first glimpse of exotic underwater world there. Another option is to pass the first level in Latvia, and then continue elsewhere in the world - where visibility is better and water warmer.
To be able to dive in very cold water using dry suit, you have to complete a Dry Suit Specialty training course as well.
Keywords: scuba diving, Dahab, Egypt