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Trip Report: Fortuna II, May 1998

Matt & Theo Korol (theo.korol@which.net) London

Prior boat dive: Lammer Law (Galapagos).

Other Diving: General Caribbean, Cayman, Bonaire, Belize, etc.

Temps: about 77 degrees Farenheit water, and cool/warm above the water. I was glad I brought my diving parka for windy days.

Vis: about 50 feet.

Profile: Divemaster was flexible, but tended to the conservative side. However, she was very relaxed about it. All but one of the divers were on computers. As long as you were with your buddy, you could leave the group, and dive your own profile.

Diving for Beginners: Yes, except the Thistlegorm was a little rough.

Dive Trip: Fortuna II, Red Sea, 23 May to 30 May 1998

The Fortuna II holds 12 divers and we had been expecting 11. When we arrived, the only other divers were two other couples from London. This meant there were only 6 for the week.

The divemaster was Christine, whose approach was to let us do as much or little diving as we wanted.

Diving: The diving was disappointing. There were often many boats at the dive sites. But we must admit that none of us had been to the red sea, and therefore, we were doing the standard dive sites. We only did one wreck dive the Thistlegorm. We did two dives there, and all felt that was enough. The area was cloudy, and there was a fair amount of current.

Otherwise we did reef diving. There was plenty of colour, and lots of smaller fish, but the large creatures had mainly been evicted by the large number of divers. We saw two mantas,but only one turtle, and perhaps 3 or 4 sharks in the week of diving. We did see a large number of lion fish. We did 4 dives a day most days, with the night dive a short one of about 30 minutes, at the nightly anchor spot before dinner at 8:30. We were glad we went, and had a great time, but would have liked to have been there 10 years ago. The Egyptian government needs to limit the number of divers to bring back the large animals. This could be a terrific dive destination.

Boat: The boat needs some paint, and sprucing up, but in generally good shape. We had to insist on the air conditioning being turned on when the boat was at the dock.

Crew: FANTASTIC!! This is only my second boat trip, and I was amazed at the difference. No one had to pick up a tank, the dinghy was right there to pick us up, the cabins were clean. The cook adapted to the two vegetarian divers. The food was standard boat fare, unfortunately heavy on the meat, but there was plenty to eat. We felt well cared for, and as a group decided to tip more than average, which I heartily endorsed, even though on the last boat, I resented the "forced" tipping for bad service.

Cost: about $2600 for the week for two, including air fare from London, and transfers.

Overall: We would go back, and would try to arrange a like minded group for the boat, and try to get to some of the lesser known sites. We would not hesitate to recommend the Fortuna II and Christine to any other divers.

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Last modified: September 19:th 1998
 visitors since September 19:th, 1998.