I was doing really well with blogs last year but-one… and miserably failed in 2016. I’m sure all y’all are gutted. Well – they are back so buckle-up.We’ve had some changes over 2016 – people have come in to our little #H2OFamily and some have left. Oli moved to the Cayman Islands earlier in the year and his departure was sad. He’d been a Dahab old-schooler and although he’d left our shores before, this time it seemed more permanent. Frank went off to Croatia to work over summer. I found the job in January when things were seemingly more depressing in the wake of the cancelled flights. Little did I know that actually, our summer was pretty good (sorry darling :-/) However Frank’s mini-adventure brought some newer-faces to the front: namely Tamer and Shrif. Tamer has been working with us on and off for a couple of years but now he’s one of our main instructors. I am very happy that we have found a great instructor and a great person to have around the dive centre: he’s calm, patient and relaxed and importantly – a mighty fine instructor; he’s recently done his TDI Advanced Nitrox too. The theory being that the more instructors we have who are trained above the recreational level the better their knowledge will be about Deep & Nitrox courses and also general diving theory. Shrif’s smiling face you will see around too, being a newer instructor we’re still training him up in the ways of “the OWSI” but it’s pretty easy with him being a veteran Divemaster around these parts. We thought we’d gotten ridden of Jenny earlier in 2016 too (jokes ) but she came back in Sept for a mini-break and she’s back again now for 6 weeks over the Dec-Jan period. We’ve put her to work with a few Digital Photography Specialties and helping out H2O Technical with a couple of courses and deeper dives. We’re hoping she’ll be back-and-forth in 2017… (hint)
Ibrahim has gone from strength-to-strength with his diving. Having come to us a few years ago speaking not a word of English and not being able to swim – to being a PADI Rescue Diver and more recently – an ace on a CCR – Advanced Gas Blender and all round top-bloke. It still amuses me when he gets annoyed his Nitrox mixes are “off” – 31.9% instead of 32% … we’ll forgive that one. So all in all what was meant to be a sucky year with no direct flights from major European countries (Italy, Belgium, Germany, Turkey being the exception) we’ve had it pretty good. We’re lucky to have some fantastic repeat H2Oers who have done the non-direct flight option – which actually is easier than you would believe. Turkish Airlines and Egyptair are the best if you can find a trade-off between short transfer times in Istanbul or Cairo airports and grabbing a good deal. Turkish have 300GBP return tickets from the UK – you get great baggage allowance and you don’t have to mess about with your bags in the middle journey: you leave them in the UK and see them again in Sharm. Or, there’s the other option of Ovda airport with Monarch. You can catch a really good deal with them for less than 100GBP. Then, once you land in Israel the bus (which is linked to the airplane so they wait for you) takes you to the Eliat/Taba border and then we pick you up from there.
Major shout out to all of our dedicated divers who have made it here any which way they can. We’ve had some superb new H2Oers too, some of which have returned already making multiple-trips in ’16. So thank you to you too. With the Egyptian currency devaluation – it’s an excellent time to come when you’re bringing foreign cash here. It is roughly 20-22le to the GBP/Euro/USD right now and which means your holiday just got cheaper! Especially for you British folk trying to avoid the Euro-zone this summer; a beer is currently 1GBP – a quid. Can’t say fairer than that. 2017 has started off with a bang… over Christmas we were pretty darn busy and we were running out of lockers; for those of you who have been here before you know we have quite a few of those… It’s quietened down a little – we have divers going out daily so you can come and join the fun – and we’re looking forward to a cracking year. I don’t want to jinx it so I’m not going to say much.. but… watch this space
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