Dive 206: Numidia, Big Brother, Red Sea (Egypt)

Dive time: 00:51:00
Max depth: 22.3 metres
Temperature: 27 C
Visibility: 20 metres
Buddy: Nick
Surface interval 03:15:00
Mix: EAN 26 (MOD 42.2 metres – 1.4ppO2)

The Zodiacs dropped us back on the Numidia, although our planned max depth was 20 metres so we didn’t swim down to the bulk of the wreck, which lay mostly below 18 metres. We swam back towards the boat along the southern side of the island to the east, another spectacular wall dive with loads of soft coral, gorgonian fans, and black coral.

I was buddying with Nick, whose regular buddy was sitting out this dive. He seemed to be having a problems with his mask, as he was constantly needing to clear it so his buoyancy was all over the place.

No real big fish this time, but I did see a lion fish hiding under a ledge, trevally off the wall, Napoleon wrasse, a little trigger fish, lots of cornet fish preying on the small reef fish. As we swam along the wall, we glanced down to see the mangled wreck of the Aida starting at over 30 metres.

The plan was to swim back to the boat but if we ran low on air then we could surface and the Zodiac would pick us up. Nick was already running low on air and told me to shoot up the SMB, but since he still had 70 bar left, I thought we could keep swimming for a bit longer at a shallower depth for our safety stop and then surface. Before I knew it, he had shot to the surface and I last saw him swimming back onto the reef.

I ascended to 5 metres to do my safety stop whilst shooting up the SMB, which involved having to unwind all the line from it first and slightly worrying me that I’d have an entanglement situation on my hands! A very limp SMB and 3 minutes later, I surfaced to find a Zodiac waiting for me in the calm water, and the skipper informed me that Nick had been picked up by the other Zodiac. Phew. I’m sure that Nick was not impressed with me ditching him, even though I think he slightly panicked a bit. Hey ho.

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