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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Shark Week

June 14th for one week and June 27th for one week.

As promised we are dedicating a week to spotting Sharks in Sharm.

We'd like to thank our sponsors of Shark Week "STUDIO 808" who is also responsible for our web design and e-marketing and will be represented on one of the shark weeks by Greg and James.

There are a few dive sites where we can see them and we will be doing our best to get our divers in front of some of these creatures as our main objective of Shark Week. There will also be a talk on Sharks from Dr Tina Gauer who is a marine biologist and also from our own Shark follower Alun with accounts of his own sightings in Sharm and on Our South African Shark Tour where he will show actual DVD footage of our divers diving with Tiger Sharks and in the cage with Great Whites.
We have had much experience in finding sharks here in Sharm as a result of the knowledge our experienced guides have built up over the years. They know how to read the currents and tide to their advantage for the best chance of a sighting.

Last week The Count had 3 grey reefs, an eagle ray and a 4 meter guitar shark all on the same dive. We do admit the guitar shark is a chance sighting as it’s not territorial as reef sharks or the Hammerheads.

We also have had a few Hammerhead sightings which tells us they will soon be back schooling in their regular location on certain times of the tide.

We have two weeks put aside dedicated to Shark week. First is from June the 14th and the second is from June 27th. These dates are chosen as this is when we have experienced most sightings of shark in previous years. However we will still be on the lookout for them when the conditions are right.

To book a weeks diving for Shark Week contact admin@elite-diving.com

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March Elite Diver Of The Month in Sharm El Sheikh

Again this award is causing much debate on the merits of the winner. This months runners up were Nathan (Edgar) Edwards for his infectious enthusiasm, Noel Mercer for his durability in enjoying Nathan’s sense of Humour!!!

March’s Diver of the Month award goes to Jonathan (Jamie) Fletcher. Whose love of diving was obvious and his quest for trying new things and learning new skills was insatiable.

Photo courtesy of Rick Hughes.


Jamie Seen here, not wanting to go up, but giving the thumbs up after spotting the marbled grouper on Gordon Reef Sharm El Sheikh. Looked on by his buddy Luke and the Count.

To book your diving with Elite Diving in Sharm El Sheikh click on www.elite-diving.com

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The Gohst of Sharm

With the thousands of divers visiting Sharm each year, there’s not many of them have had a Ghostly encounter.

In our last newsletter issue there was a little article on “The Count” and his spotting of small creatures. Well he’s done it again.

During a shore dive where the main objective was to find small critters to photograph, he stumbled over one of the most sought after small creatures in the Red Sea. The Ornate Ghost Pipe Fish.

Now any guide can find you anthias, angelfish, blue spotted stingrays and gets no problem in Finding Nemo, but an Ornate Ghost Pipe Fish is one hell of a find.

Although it was a marvelous spot and especially on a day when only photography was on the agenda, disaster struck when the camera flooded. Mark, the diver who’s camera flooded, was distraught. Not only as his camera was ruined, but also as he lost a special opportunity to capture the elusive Ghost of Sharm, as Mark was due to fly home the next day, he never got the opportunity to get that elusive shot!

The next day, three of us (staff) decided to revisit the spot to see if we could get a picture. You can see how rare this find is as three staff went diving on their day off to photograph the Ghost. It’s also in a very accessible area where many training dives take place so we wonder how many hundreds of divers have swam over this creature in the past not knowing what a rare opportunity they have to experience the beauty of the Ghost.

To our disappointment the Ghost had vanished, not to been seen anywhere. We stayed underwater for 72 minutes looking in the area for this elusive Ghost, and it lived up to its name. Is that’s why they call it a Ghost?

We assessed the situation and decided two things could have happened. 1st, It may move to a different location at different times of the day as we were later in the day diving at that spot than the dive the day previously. 2nd Something may have eaten it!!

We hoped it was not the later, so we decided to go to the same spot the next day but at the same time when The Count and Mark spotted it.

Bingo. There it was, in the same place (roughly) as it was spotted two days previously.

We managed to get some good shots of it as it is quite a little poser considering its name.

When we were around the area taking time lining the Ghost up for our shots, taking turns with our cameras, a cornet fish came in to investigate what we were looking at. These are extremely predatory fish and often use us for their own stealth when hunting. The last thing we wanted was to draw attention to the Ghost and give his location away so we moved away and started photographing anything and nothing and the cornet fish soon lost interest and moved on.

This particular Ghost pipe fish is a fair size compared to some we have seen, so he’s survived a good few season we think. Long may he do so.



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South African Big 5 Shark Tours

After our successful dive show at LIDS 09 and the interest in our Shark Tours, we are now taking bookings for our Annual South African Big Shark Tour.We have two trips running again for 2010

1st Trip 23rd January to 6th February
2nd Trip 6th February to 20th February .

Day 1.
Fly from Heathrow to Cape Town.

Day 2.
Arrive Cape Town. Meet up with professional guide who will stay with you for the duration of the trip. Transfer to Guest House B&B. via stunning mountain passes and spectacular scenery of the Western Cape area. Dinner.

Day 3.
8.00 am pick up. Breakfast at Dive centre and briefing on Cage dive for Great White. Free time in afternoon. Dinner.

Day 4.
Leave guest house for Cape Town. Fly to Durban. Pick up self drive car for remainder of trip. Transfer to half board colonial hotel. Check in Dive centre.

Day 5.
1st dive early morning.
Back to hotel situated on the Beach Front next to dive centre for breakfast.
2nd dive. Finish diving by 12 noon (approx).
Free time.
Dinner. From 6 pm.

Day 6.
As day 5

Day 7.
As 5&6

Day 8.
One early morning baited Shark Dive (not for the faint hearted). Breakfast. Leave for Natal shark board 2pm presentation and shark dissection.
Leave for the Elephant Coast. Approx four hour drive. Check in. Dinner included.

Day 9.
Drive around game reserve to spot local fauna and flora. Back to accommodation for evening meal. Feb 2008 we saw Buffalo, heard of elephants at watering hole, antelope, Red bucks, Yellow Bucks, Deer (many types), wart hogs, monkeys, zebra, giraffe, dung beetles!!!!

Day 10.
Early morning dive on South Africa’s premier coral reefs close to the Mozambique border
Breakfast on beach. The envy of all others!!!
2nd dive.
Free time e.g. chill by pool.
Evening meal.

Day 11.
As day 10.

Day 12.
As day 10 & 11.

Day 13.
Drive back South to Durban and depart from Durban Airport for Heathrow.

Day 14.
Arrive at Heathrow.

Costs include community levy, national park fees, car hire and road tolls, international and internal flights, diving with tanks and weights, half board accommodation for most of the trip apart while commuting each end of tour.

Arranged on behalf of Elite diving by AFRICAN TOUR

Approx Cost £2200. Prices depending on any change of tax fuel surcharge etc.

Please e-mail: info@elite-diving.com to register your interest in joining one of the tours. Also look on http://www.elite-diving.com/shark_diving_south_africa.htm to view reports on previous tours.

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100th Dive when diving in Sharm El Sheikh

Recently, Jason Morris was surprised as he was awarded with a certificate which denotes his 100th Dive. This was presented on his 100th dive underwater at Ras Ghazlani by the Count while diving in Sharm El Sheikh.

Other recent divers who reached 100th dives while diving with Elite when the same ceremony was performed were Dee Slade, Keith Edwards, Angela Delvin, Gary Decola

Jason Receiving his 100th Dive certificate from The Count.
To find out how to book with Elite diving in Sharm El Sheikh look on www.elite-diving.com or contact info@elite-diving.com

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Monday, April 20, 2009

LIDS 09 Report

Elite Diving Arrive at The Excel for The London International Dive Show.
It was nice to see so many familiar faces. Below is regular Angela Devlin one of our recent 100th dive award winners sporting her elite shirt with some potential new elite divers.
Another two of our treasured regular visiting divers to Sharm El Sheikh Sarah and Julie who combined a trip to the dive show with some London Shopping... WHY NOT?

There was much interest in our South Africam Big Shark tour and now the dates have been set for 2010. Also the Dive and stay packages is very popular with people visiting Sharm El Sheikh to dive.
The Elite Dive LIDS 09 team from left to right. Simon, Sarah, Dee, Susan, Moyra and Alun

With so many names in the free draw it was pretty exciting drawing out the names and the staff took turns pulling the names out as we gave away over ten prizes. “The Boss” dipped her hand in first and pulled out the first prize winner, Dave Hallam from Bristol. We’re looking forward to hosting Dave and his wife when he takes up his stay at the Sheraton 5 Star hotel in Sharm El Shiekh including free diving.
His wife was very excited when we spoke on the phone to confirm the winner, saying “they had never won anything in they’re lives”.

Well they have now!!!!!

A MASSIVE thank you goes out to the team above who helped on the stand, Dee, Sue, Sarah and Simon also STUDIO 8O8 for the poster designs, e marketing and web designers. Thanks guys, awesome job.

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