Connect with us
background

News

Diving with…Hannah Brown, Eagle Divers, Sharm el Sheikh, Red SeaDiving with, Eagle Divers, Egypt, featured, Hannah Brown, holiday, Ras Mohammed, red sea, sharm el sheikh, Travel, vacation

Red Sea DTA Team

Published

on

In this ongoing series, we speak to the people who run dive centres, resorts and liveaboards from around the world about their businesses and the diving they have to offer…


What is your name?

Hannah Brown

What is the name of your business?

Eagle Divers, Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt

What is your role within the business?

Marketing & Reservations Manager, and PADI Dive Instructor

How long has the business operated for?

6.5 years

How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?

I’ve been diving for 10 years, with the first few years based in Scotland before moving to the Red Sea for the slightly warmer and clearer water. I’m currently a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, certified in 2013.

What is your favourite type of diving?

I’m equally as happy in the shallows searching for macro life as I am hanging deep in the blue looking out for Hammerheads.

If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you what would it be?

That we’re not just a business! We’re friends and family who work hard together with a shared passion and aim to provide some seriously great diving and course experiences during your well-earned holiday. We’re really proud of the comments our previous guests have left on TripAdvisor, referring to ‘family atmosphere’, ‘fun’, ‘trusting’, ‘friendly’ and ‘safe.’ Feedback like this doesn’t make us complacent, quite the opposite in fact, as it pushes us to continue to provide the best level of service we can. We’re developed enough to be able to provide you with any type of diving or course you might want, but small enough to still provide that personal service which I believe is why people keep coming back to dive with us.

What is your favorite dive in your location and why?

My favourite dive site is Shark Observatory in Ras Mohamed, either from the shore or boat. From the shore, the entrance is the coolest, dropping through a hole in the rock before moving through a small cave and coming out to a drop-off too deep to see the bottom. The site is mainly a steep wall dive with inlets and overhangs, which are completely covered in colour and life. The site obviously got its name from being a place where sharks were easily observed, although nowadays they’re not as common but there’s still potential. If you don’t get a shark you won’t be disappointed; you’ve got a great chance of spotting giant trevally, tuna, eagle ray, turtle and huge napoleon wrasse instead.

It might not be one of the best known or most talked about sites in the Northern Red Sea, but for me it’s one of the best……second up would be Small Crack, but you need to come dive it for yourself to find out why.

What types of diving are available in your location?

Nearly every type of dives/diving you can get are possible in the Northern Red Sea. We have a couple of cracking shore dives, my favourite being at the site where we camp in Ras Mohamed, but mainly dives are conducted from purpose built dive boats. We’ve got drift, mooring, wall, deep, canyons, plateaus, lagoons, blue water, macro, wrecks… the list goes on. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to diving or a seasoned pro, dives are geared to the level of the diver with routes altered so no two dives are ever the same.

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?

I love seeing the excitement on someone’s face when they jump into the Red Sea and realise how amazing the visibility is, or when they spot their first turtle/shark/manta/eagle ray. However, the most rewarding part of being a Dive Instructor for me is when you take a non-diver and help them become a really confident and capable diver.

What is your favorite underwater creature?

Hammerhead sharks because they are just incredible to watch underwater, or torpedo rays because of the way they shake their butt’s when swimming – it always makes me laugh.

Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?

YES! I am beyond excited to announce that our diving centre has just acquired its very own dive boat, Eagle One. This has been a dream of ours since the beginning and through hard work and dedication to that dream from our entire team, we’ve managed to get there in not such a long time. I get the great job of accessorizing items such as the mugs, flags and reusable water bottles, so I’m excited about that also!

2017 also saw us run our first three Southern Red Sea liveaboards, after primarily focusing on Northern routes the previous years. Due to the success of the trips we already have the dates for 2018 ‘Best of the Southern Red Sea’ in the diary with flights available to book now. If anyone fancies joining us for a week exploring Daedalus, Rocky, and Zabargad feel free to get in touch, we’re hoping for more hammerheads and maybe even a tiger shark this year!

There’s one more development on the cards which will be announced very soon, so keep checking our Facebook, Instagram and newsletter for more details.

As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?

Well, it would be nice if the UK Government would finally lift the direct flight restrictions currently still in place. Although that being said, many of our British guests who have been diving out in Sharm with us for the past 6 years have been finding alternative routes out, so the impact is really not as big anymore. Combined with all the other countries who do provide direct flights, the diving industry as a whole has picked back up which is really lovely to see. The direct flights would just make it that little bit more convenient travelling here. The restrictions will be lifted in the not too distant future I’m sure, but I guess the UK Government has a lot on its plate at the moment so it isn’t much of a priority.

Is your center involved in any environmental work?

Absolutely; now that we have our own boat we are working hard to reduce the amount of daily waste, specifically with reference to disposable plastic cups and bottles, which are all too common in Egypt. We encourage all passengers (during the initial boat briefing) to fill their own water bottles throughout the day and to ensure any rubbish from snacks are secure in the bins to prevent it from accidentally blowing into the sea. Every dive is a dive against debris, with divers and snorkelers encouraged to remove any rubbish they find during a dive and dispose of it properly, and obviously it goes without saying that the no touch policy for coral and marine life is emphasized and enforced during dives.

In general the dive community here in Sharm is really good at looking after the marine environment and it’s not uncommon for organised clean-up dives to recover very little in terms of trash because of the positive attitude to keeping the sea clean. There’s always room for improvement of course, personally I’d love to see the whole country rid of single use plastic bags, there is just no need for them.

How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkelling industry overall? What changes would you make?

I feel like the industry is growing at a natural pace, especially with SCUBA and freediving becoming more accessible around the world and to people of different abilities. The whole trend for mermaids which started lasted year has seen a massive increase in popularity of water-based activities, especially for children, and in turn has also increased people’s awareness of the different sports which is great.

What would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?

We want you to have the best dives, and the best holiday possible, so if you’re looking for a top notch experience with some of the best diving on offer at a competitive price, you now know where to find us!

 Where can our visitors find out more about your business?

They can check out our website at www.eaglediversegypt.com and if they like, sign up to the monthly newsletter which includes special offers, events and blogs. Of course we’ve also got the Eagle Divers Egypt Facebook page which lists the available services, upcoming events and daily diving updates plus the dive centre Instagram account. If you need a question answered quickly, then the best route is to either email us at info@eagle-divers.com or send us a message on WhatsApp at +44 7598 007375.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

News

New Red Sea Aggressor IV to explore Southern Egyptian Red Sea

Red Sea DTA Team

Published

on

Aggressor Adventures® introduces new Red Sea liveaboard in March 2023

On March 4, 2023, the new Red Sea Aggressor IV® dive yacht will cast off from Port Ghalib, Egypt for the liveaboard’s seven-day maiden voyage exploring the magnificent dive sites of St. John’s Reef, Marsa Shoana, Sataya Reef and Daedalus Reef.

Up to 26 guests will cruise the southern Red Sea aboard the 143-foot/44-meter liveaboard, which features the ultimate personal amenities including 13 spacious staterooms, a restaurant serving chef-prepared meals, state-of-the-art dive center with Nitrox fills, multiple open-air lounges with wet bars, two hot tubs and a fly bridge for enjoying memorable sunsets. All scuba dives are safely conducted from three, 21-foot/6.4-meter dive tenders.

The yacht’s St. Johns route is just one of three thrilling, southern Egypt itineraries explorers may choose. The second dive program, Brothers-Daedalus-Elphinstone, begins at the shark-filled waters of the two Brothers Islands, then moves to the Daedalus Reef. The week culminates with stops at Elphinstone and Sha’ab Maksour with its pristine hard coral gardens.

The third Red Sea Aggressor IV® itinerary ventures even farther south beyond Ras Banas. The Deep South dive schedule makes stops at Fury Shoal and Habili Orman before reaching its destination—the remotes sites of Habili Aly, Habili Gaffar and Dangerous Reef. All three itineraries provide guests underwater pelagic encounters with sharks, manta rays and friendly dolphins, and up-close views of the Red Sea’s trademark brilliantly colored soft corals.

“The southern Egyptian Red Sea is a very special place to the Aggressor Adventures® family. It has been an Aggressor destination since 2014 and we are so excited to welcome the new Red Sea Aggressor IV® into our fleet,” says Wayne Brown, CEO of Aggressor Adventures. “It’s a spectacular yacht operated by a five-star staff.”

Saturday-to-Saturday from the Port Ghalib, Egypt yacht marina, Red Sea Aggressor IV® adventures start at $2,699.00 per person and include scuba diving, snorkeling, deluxe onboard accommodations, scrumptious meals, snacks, soft beverages, beer, wine and service from a professional staff.

For more, visit www.aggressor.com

Continue Reading

News

Into the Blue: Part Two

Sean Chinn

Published

on

By now, you will have hopefully read the first blog from my recent trip to the Red Sea with The Scuba Place on M/Y Big Blue. If you haven’t, you can find the link to the blog here.

I’ve been diving since 2011, although I didn’t get really serious about diving until 2013. In the November of that year I joined Scuba School on a trip to Sharm El Sheikh to complete my Advanced Open Water course. That was the first time I heard about the famous SS Thistlegorm and its cult status in the wreck diving world. Unfortunately, as I, along with a lot of the group were novice divers, and so we were unable to dive it on that 2013 trip, along with a lot of the other famous wrecks from the North. Little did I know, I wouldn’t return to the Northern Red Sea until this trip in September 2022 with The Scuba Place. The wrecks remained mysterious all those years but I was soon getting the full experience. After the first two and a half days exploring the amazing reefs, it was time to break my Thistlegorm virginity and get the true “lust for rust” experience of the Northern itinerary.

A school of batfish greeted us on our safety stop after an amazing introduction to the SS Thistlegorm.

As we moored up at the SS Thistlegorm for the afternoon dive, I got a strange sense of anticipation run through my body. More so than at any other specific dive site. Strange really, as I don’t normally get excited about wreck diving, but here was a site that I’d heard so much about but was still so mysterious. I’d always thought it was a difficult dive and had a slight fear of it, as I wasn’t allowed to do it all those years back. Then, after watching a 20 minute film explaining the story of the wreck and listening to the stories of survivors,. I knew it was a site that demanded respect. As Mo went through the dive briefing, I quickly realised it seemed a lot more simple than I had in mind. I then became more excited than fearful as me and my dive buddy went through our plan. 

A diver explores one of the decks inside the SS Thistlegorm holding some of the vehicles onboard.

There was an eerie feeling as we submerged below the gentle swell. The visibility was a lot more milky compared to the clear blue I was used to in the Red Sea. However, the wreck soon came into view as we dropped down the shot line. The first thing that struck me and in my opinion just made the wreck extra special, was the life on it.

Instantly, crocodile fish and scorpion fish were spotted resting on the wreck, as we made our way to the anti-aircraft gun on the stern. I made a quick visit to take some photos before we turned back and penetrated the wreck for the first time. A surreal experience but the numerous glassfish and lionfish at the entry point kept me entertained before seeing the remnants of yesteryear. The different vehicles that still keep their place in the decks are the main highlight, but it was the boots that struck a chord with me: signs of the human lives that were present on the fateful day the bomb hit. I got a real buzz from my first time on the Thistlegorm, with a school of batfish greeting us on our safety stop finishing off the adventure. John and I ascended from a great dive with a high five, knowing I’d fulfilled a special memory.

A blue spotted stingray makes a quick turn on top of the SS Thistlegorm, on a memorable night dive.

I enjoyed three more dives on the Thistlegorm, giving me chance to explore a little more and see a little more life. Some cool nudibranch and a cuttlefish making their home inside the wreck added to the array of life I’d already seen. It was the night dive that truly hit the marine life spot. It really came to life at night and I soon lost count of the amount of scorpionfish I saw. The contrast of the dark and wreck against the blue spotted stingrays made their colours really pop as around six or seven were spotted. Eels, lionfish and crocodilefish making up the rest of the weird and wonderful sights on the wreck at night. Amazing memories from my first time exploring the Thistlegorm that will last forever.

After the two morning dives on the Thistlegorm, we headed off to the Barge wreck site for an afternoon and night dive. It’s not much of a wreck when you compare it to the others on the trip. It lies like a flat platform on the seabed with some sides rising out from the reef providing extra space for coral growth and marine life to enjoy. While it doesn’t provide a real wreck fix with penetration, it is a haven for marine life, littered with all types of hard and soft corals. Look closely and the Barge is a great spot for the weird and wonderful. The numerous nudibranch and grey moray eels provided my macro fix on the night dives, while the occasional buzz from huge hunting giant trevally provided the entertainment. A nice contrast of wrecks before moving on to Abu Nuhas.

The stern of the Giannis D remains largely intact and provides a dramatic underwater scene.

Abu Nuhas is a really unique place. Its submerged reef has been bad luck for five passing ships, with five cargo shipwrecks lining its northern slopes. While it was more than unfortunate for some, the wrecks have provided fortune for those looking for a wreck diving haven. Our day consisted of diving three of the wrecks  – The Carnatic, Giannis D and Marcus/Chrisoula K in that order.

Going into the trip, it was the Giannis D that I was most keen to dive. I’d always admired the wide angle stern shots I’d seen over the years, with it staying pretty much intact and creating a dramatic image as it lies on its side. It was a fantastic dive with some interesting and easy penetration; I also took some shots of the stern in all its glory. A huge grouper sitting inside the wreck provided the wildlife fix, as it floated with ease looking out into the blue from an opening on the wreck. I think it was the Carnatic that stole the show personally though. Her open windows out to the blue that are covered in soft coral were unique, and glassfish dancing in formation inside mesmerised into a truly memorable dive. The Marcus provided the adventure as penetration was a little more difficult to work my way through the wreck.

Bottlenose dolphins provided amazing entertainment as they came and played while we snorkelled at the surface.

The day at Abu Nuhas was the best of the trip for me and that wasn’t solely because of the wrecks….. YES!! Once again it was marine life that had me screaming with joy underwater and a buzz through my body like no other. FINALLY!!!!! After 9 years of taking photos underwater, I was able to share the water with dolphins (bottlenose in this instance) and shoot them in all their glory.

Our journey to and from the wrecks on each dive took us through the channel on the ribs, where dolphins were seen on every pass playing in the slight waves. After the second dive, the guides asked if we wanted to try to snorkel with them. It was a resounding yes and as the speedboat whipped up a wave storm, the dolphins headed to the surface to play. I dropped in with no elegance at all, as my excitement took over. I was wondering whether they would stay once we entered, but how they stayed and played was beyond anything I could imagine. Bringing seaweed to us and then, with a flick of their tails, speeding off after teasing with a slow approach. There were nine in total and they even came by to show off the baby of the group. It was definitely up there as one of my greatest moments in the water. 

One of three cuttlefish seen on an amazing night dive, on the house reef of Roots Red Sea.

We finished the liveaboard trip with three more amazing reef dives, with the highlight being a small cave full of glassfish and MANY lionfish. I entered to take photos of the glassfish before the lionfish started to sneak out of every crevice and reveal themselves from their camouflaged rest spots.

It got a little hairy but made for a truly interesting moment to finish the week on Big Blue. The fun wasn’t done though, as John eluded to the fact that I was on the same late flight as them on the Saturday and asked if I’d like to join his group for a night at Roots Red Sea. Sounds like a good plan!! Also, if we got there in time, a night dive on the house reef that’s a haven for the weird and wonderful would be on offer. What an amazing surprise end to the trip at an amazing dive resort: secluded, with a beautiful desert backdrop, sitting just metres from the sea. Thankfully, we made it for a night dive and it was as incredible as John said it would be. Reef squid, numerous cuttlefish, a bouncing stonefish jumping over sea moths AND a dwarf lionfish made this one of the best night dives ever, and a perfect end dive to a perfect trip. A final day of relaxation at Roots pool and enjoying the beautiful food finished it in style. 

For more information about diving on Big Blue:

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

john@thescubaplace.co.uk

Roots Red Sea lies in a secluded area of El Quseir, with a stunning desert backdrop and the Red Sea on their doorstop. It’s a perfect location for a relaxed dive trip.

Continue Reading

E-Newsletter Sign up!

Trending