Day 1 is a relaxed start with a wake up call of 8am. The boat set sail for Shaab El Erg, also know as Dolphin House, for our check dive.
Giannis D was launched in 1969 and was a 2,932 ton general cargo vessel with a length of 87 metres. She sank in April 1983 with a cargo of wood after hitting the reef. This is going to be my first opportunity to try out my new fish eye lens and I am keen to try and capture that iconic shot! As we backwards rolled off the rib and descend the large A frame comes into view – stunning!
After 45 minutes of mooching about I reach 70 bar so we start our gentle ascent and send up the SMB to pre-order our taxi back for breakfast.
The briefing is very detailed and the plan is for three dives so we can split the wreck in to stern, decks and bow. The recommendation for the afternoon is the stern. There is no current so crossing the bomb damaged area and getting back again won’t be an issue. We are moored to a point near the funnel so can follow the line straight down. It’s just us on the wreck and the viz is good. Once cameras are all set up we begin to explore. We see the armoured personnel carriers, a scattering of shells and a stray boot in the sand. Heading further along we reach the stern with 2 large guns still attached and continue down to the prop. One side of the propeller is still quite brassy in colour, I assume from divers touching. There are numerous crocodile fish, spotted rays napping on the deck and huge clouds of fish of all shapes and sizes all around the wreck. Beautiful!
Dive 3 is bright and early the next morning. We all hope over dinner that the current would be gone in the morning to allow easy exploration of the bow.
Day 3 and the cheery knock at the door comes at 6am swiftly followed by the now customary cup of tea. A further detailed briefing is given outlining the rules on penetration, where Terry the turtle lives and the general ‘ambience’ for the dive.