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Dolphin dive , Shab Abu Nuhas

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This was the last dive on my Amorina trip, the story really begins after my second dive at Thistlegorm, which is said to be one of the biggest and best wreck dives in the world for recreational scuba divers. We where supposed to do 4 dives there but after 2 dives all the passengers pretty much agreed upon that we rather would see more coral reefs than an old sunken wreck. So we talked to the captain who told us that sure we could go somewhere else but there are no good dive sights here, we say better a bad coral reef than Thistlegorm for 2 more dives so we went to Shab abu nuhas where we had been only the day before diving on Giannis!!, cement plate carrier wreck and Chrisoala but, now we didnīt dive any of the wrecks. We did a slow twilight dive and then had the last night on the liveaboard that we had been living on for 2 weeks, some did a little to much partying becaus they trusted the captain who said that this was not such a good dive site, they missed the morning dive and they did regret it. In the morning we went out for the very last dive, we didnīt say much in the dingy, all was quiet and nice, the divemaster told us to get ready and started slowing down and then a dolphin jumped just a few meter infront of the dingy, we looked at each other and all got in the water very fast!

Unfortunately we saw no dolphins, but we where in the water now so we started our dive, didnīt see anything very interesting but heard the dolphins all the time, after about 10 minutes I was last in my group of 5 divers I turned around and saw a single dolphin swimming towards me only 10 meters ( 30 feet ) away, I looked at my buddy, who was 5 more meters away looking straight ahead (as usually :-) ) and the 3 other divers even further ahead and though īforget about them this will be over in 10 seconds lets enjoy it while it lastsī. The dolphin came towards me and took a turn around me watching me all the time I looked at him and started swimming towards him, he started circling around me and I started playing with him trying to catch him ( HaHa fat chance :-) ). He seamed to like it because he continued to circle around me WAY out of reach, but still so close that I thought I almost had a chance to catch him. When I tried he easily evaded me, we continued to play and circling and I saw that the other divers had seen us and they where just hanging there and watching, now more dolphins appeared, I counted 5 but I was pretty busy catching the leader <G>, my buddy that also started playing with the dolphins counted 7 and the 3 other divers saw 9 to 12 dolphins ( I was pretty concentrated on catching the leader :-) ). In the school I saw at least one young dolphin, you could not get that close to it. As time went on they sometimes went up to the surface to breathe ( this was at 15-10 meters, 45 to 30 feet ) but came back down to play, at one or 2 times they all dissapered only to be back the next instance. We played with them for seventeen!! (17) minutes and then they where gone for good. They where bottlenosed dolphins and I have seen in some dive magazines that there is a school of dolphins at Shab abu Nuhas so they where not temporarily passing by.

On this dive we where 9 diver in the water all together and we never saw the other 2 dive teams after we split up at the start of the dive, but the dolphins found ALL divers that where in the water on that dive. One buddy pair said that more than 20 dolphins had just swam through them never stopping and the other pair had seen them for 1 or 2 minutes but they didīt stay long.

This is my best dive yet, I hope to do something better someday, maybe cocoīs will do it? If it where not for el-nino .....

Since I wrote this I have done 5 dives on Sanganeb in Sudan, each with 20 or more minutes of close contact with grey reef sharks, I still think the dolphin dive is my best but it is a close match!

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Last modified: August 24:Th 1998
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Đ Stefan Sarin 1997-99