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Well, as long as I wrote on line that I was going to my "once every two
months" diving weekend in Eilat, I'll share with the list some of the
events :-)
 
On Friday morning, I loaded my gear, and went to take my regular buddy -
Nimrod, from home.  He waited for me with a daughter of friends - Anat, who
was supposed to join us diving, this time (as a favor to her parents :-)
).  On the 4 hours drive from Jerusalem to Eilat I found out that she
hadn't dived for 10 months, but was relatively experienced (about 60 dives
under her belt).  She claimed to have a good air consumption which I tended
to accept (women are far better "breathers" than men, generally). So we
decided to do a non aggressive profile for our first dive.
 
Dive I Dekel Beach
28.5 meters 28 minutes
vis ~15 meters water temp. 25C
 
We started with a quick refresh session for Anat.  Remove mask, put it on,
clear, take regulator out, retrieve, buoyancy check, at 10'.  She seemed a
little annoyed with the "mask off" drill but did it O.K. so I decided not
to push.  Then, we started navigating according to our compass to the reef.
 This site is kind of special.  The entrance is at one of the popular
beaches of Eilat.  The sandy bottom is sloping down from 2' to 65' very
slowly.  The sandy area is extremely boring, nothing to see, and if one
doesn't know that there is something to wait for, one tends to abort the dive.
 
After about 10 minutes of swimming on the sandy bottom, we got to the reef
that starts at 65' and sloping down gently to about 130' or so.  Due to the
special nature of the approach, it is rarely visited by divers.  It showed.
 A breathtaking reef of corals that can make the best Caribbean reefs seem
boring.  It is covered with all kinds of hard corals, of many colors and
shapes.  You could see bright red and pink and bright yellow corals there.
In those depths you can't see these colors unless it has some kind of self
illuminating system (how the h**l do you call these corals in English?).
On the reef, there were hundreds of fish.  It was sometimes like swimming
in a cloud of fish.
 
Keeping an eye on Anat's bubbles, I noticed that she wasn't breathing long
and relaxed inhales and exhales.  I asked her about her air and it turned
out that she had vacuumed a little more than half of her tank.  We were
only 15 minutes into the dive.  I signaled Nimrod about the situation and
we started going back, on the reef, with me, in hand's reach from Anat.  At
60', on the sand, 20 minutes into the dive, she had only 70 Bars left.  I
stayed closer and at 30', when she hit the reserve line (50 Bars) I offered
her my octo, so that she would not empty her tank before we get to the
beach.  A very promising site with an aborted dive.
 
Dive II Satil.
 
23 meters 34 minutes
vis ~20 meters, water temp. 25C.
 
This is a relatively new wreck.  An Israeli small missile boat that was
donated to the diving community as a 20 meters deep wreck attraction.  A
nice wreck.  Some soft corals grew on the bridge and a decent amount of
fish which made it their home.  A nice and relaxed dive.  Anat was a lot
more comfortable.  She had problems with her ear when we descended but
after a relaxed "move up a little, move down a little and equalize" it all
worked out.  We did another "remove mask" drill on the wreck and she was
O.K. so we were ready for the night dive.
 
Dive III Nature Reserve
 
20 minutes with max 28' and 20 minutes with max 60'.
Night dive.  Water temp. 25C.
 
We started descending immediately and after about 5 minutes we got to the
slope that starts at 17'.  we started descending and Anat signaled that she
was having problems with her ear.  We started doing the "ascend a little,
wait, descend a little" maneuver but it didn't work.  We finished it on the
surface and because we were drifting into the deep end, we swam back on the
surface to the buoy at 12'.  There, the brave girl wanted to give it
another try.  We gently tried to descend slowly but it didn't work at all.
I was monitoring her from ~30 cm, and saw the pain and the disappointment.
 
We surfaced and she asked us to go on with our dive while she would swim to
shore. Not in our book!  We escorted Anat to the shore, and when she was
safe, on dry land, we went in.  We did a short but relaxed night dive in
the Nature Reserve.
 
Dive IV Dekel Beach
40 meters 45 minutes
vis ~15 meters water temp. 25C
 
Yesterday's dive was interfered in the middle and we had some unfinished
business in a great location so we decided to go for a second dive there.
This time, it was just Nimrod and me so we did a swim on the surface and
descended straight to 20 meters, where the reef began.
 
What can I say.  A breathtaking dive.  Corals of all kinds, lots of fish,
sometimes we even swam through large schools of them.  A real treat.
 
Dive V University Beach
24 meters 40 minutes
vis ~20 meters water temp. 25C
 
An O.K. dive.  A more typical reef of Eilat.  A slope with a few corals
here and there.  Not too many fish.  This place is over dived and it shows.
 Nevertheless, it is always nice to dive in the calm and clear water of the
Red Sea so we did one last dive, before having a good meal and driving back
to Jerusalem.
 
 
With best regards,
 
                       Kuty