Nov 2014

Journey to the Red Sea

By Hannah Harrelson

As a diver, the Red Sea has always been on the top of my list. The opportunity arose when I was kindly offered a spot on a sailing yacht as part of a sailing rally beginning in Cyprus and traveling to Eygpt. The expedition included passage through the Suez Canal, anchoring along the Gulf of Suez until we met our destination point, Hurghada.

Our first introduction to Eygpt was in Port Said where we stopped for immigration and supplies. Unfortunately, one of the first things I noticed was the abundance of trash and abandon buildings. However the second most notable feature was the friendliness of the locals and warm welcomes we continued to received while traveling through the next few cities.

After clearing the Suez Canal and loading up on groceries, we embarked on the 12 day journey that would take us to Hurghada. We brewed our coffee before sunrise and began the day sailing to our next anchorage. A total of 9 sailing yachts and one motor boat composed the rally and luckily for me and my diving buddy/boyfriend, the motor boat featured a compressor to accommodate its’ crews’ affiliation for diving!

On the shorter sailing days, we would arrive at our anchorage point with a few good hours of sunlight left and enjoy those hours snorkeling and diving along the reef.

There is a certain juxtaposition about sailing beside mountains and plains of sandy desert, only to enter into the water and discover a kaleidoscope of colors just below the surface. By merely jumping off the boat, I found myself surrounded by a variety of fish and corals that rival my diving experience in Thailand and the Caribbean.

I am currently residing in Hurghada to continue and expand my experiences in the Red Sea. More detailed blogs to follow!

‘Journey to the Red Sea’ was written by Hannah

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Hannah Harrelson

My father introduced me to diving immediately after my 12th birthday. Family holiday to the Cayman Islands and he needed a buddy. I remind him and my mother of this each time they question my reason for moving across seas, far away our land lock home town.

Dive one of my open water was in 2000 on Bloody Bay Wall, Little Cayman where I was greeted by a variety of colorful tropic fish, rays, eels, reef sharks and turtles. From then on, I holidayed south and on the coast, eager for opportunities to breathe alongside the unique marine ecosystem.

The itch to see what else the ocean had to offer increased proportionally with each dive, and in 2012 I traveled to Koh Tao, Thailand to complete my PADI Divemaster; the first level of professional qualification.

I completed my Open Water Instructor level in Vero Beach, Florida 2012 and began my teaching career in Abu Dabi, UAE. I returned to Davy Jones Locker on Koh Tao in 2013 for my Master Scuba Diver Trainer and have certified over 150 divers.

The enjoy teaching because it gives me the opportunity to introduced a part of ocean like never before seen. The grin, even with residual diving snot, students get after their first experience Scuba diving can be equally exciting as the dive itself.

When I'm not teaching, my diving interest extends to Tech, wreck and cave diving.

Personal Diving Goals:
More Caves! Diving with schools of Hammerheads, no cage Great White dive, and I suppose the Great Barrier Reef

Qualifications:
PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer
PADI Equipment Specialist
PADI Tec Rec Gas Blender
PADI Tech 40
BSAC Compressor Operator
TDI Cavern
TDI Intro to Cave