Hammerheads, grey reef sharks and whatnot

And here is what happened during another amazing week! Our last safari this season departed from Port Sudan with Andromeda last week. Right away we met up with grey reef sharks above the south plateau at Shaab Rumi and we counted about 15-20 hammerheads here and at Angarosh as well. We saw an eagle ray at Qita el Bana and we ran into ghost needlefish at Umbria.

Tour date: May 19-26, 2012
Itinerary: Sudan-North
Air temperature: 35-40 °C
Water temperature: 28-29 °C
Visibility: 20-30 m

Thankfully the group arrived in time, at around 11 o’clock at night and boarded Andromeda. The next day our check dives were at Shaab Suedi. Monday started with 15 hammerheads off the bat at Angarosh. Because the waters have already started to get warmer, the sharks have begun moving further south. Nonetheless, we were able to dive with hammerheads during our second dive as well. Our third dive was at one of Shambaia’s reefs.

We ran into an eagle ray at Qita el Bana the following day. Then we went on to Blue Belt and the Precontinent but sadly visibility was not as good as last week. The currents were barely noticeable but this did not bother a few sizeable grey reef sharks who were stationed above the south plateau. The other group noticed a larger school of hammerheads in the distance at about 50-60 metres but even from 40 metres only their shady silhouettes were visible.

Shaab Rumi bid us farewell in style the following morning – a school of 20 hammerheads spent some time with us along with mackerels as you can see from the video here. At Sanganeb a giant school of barracudas circled above us. Visibility was good enough to be able to watch from the outer coral wall the ever-changing circular shapes they were taking on. Our night dive and our 2 dives the following day were at the wreck of Umbria.

A peculiar little creature was snapped by the cameras while diving at Umbria. This little fish is called the ghost needlefish. It mainly lives in Indonesia and it is rare to see in the Red Sea. We saw only a couple of them at wreck of Umbria. They are the Harlequin ghost needlefish (Solenostomus paradoxus). The maximum length is 12cm and they can hide easily among the corals. They can often be seen hanging upside down. Can it be that Umbria proves to be exciting not only to wreck divers but to the lovers of the macro world as well?

Our colleague Daniel Selmeczi was onboard Andromeda this week again and we thank him for this week’s photographic materials.

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