Diving Dahab | Underwater Photo Essay

The Red Sea is on every scuba diver’s bucket list, ranking way up there alongside the Great Barrier Reef and the cenotes in Mexico.  Unfortunately, my first Egyptian dive was  a huge, scary disaster, as my rental mask fogged up almost immediately and I couldn’t clear it while I was under.

That meant during my trip to Dahab’s famous Canyon dive site, I was about 75% blind. The Canyon is a crack in a coral garden with a depth of 30 meters, or about 90 feet – my deepest dive to date. Not a great place to be blind.

I snapped pictures randomly hoping I could later see what I hadn’t been able to make out through the fog.

I used the underwater housing for my Canon G12 for the first time on my Red Sea dives, after retiring my Olympus Stylus Tough because it just didn’t take very clear underwater photos. The G12 housing was about $200, and I’ve used it dozens of times since the Egypt dives with amazing results.

Best money I’ve spent on an electronic upgrade in a while – check out the photos!

What I couldn’t see on my dive, from about 90 feet down

I was pretty spooked throughout the dive, and I nearly talked myself out of the second one. The dive master gave me a new mask and some new defogger and convinced me to give it another try, and I’m glad he did. I would’ve missed out on one of the top 5 dives of my life if I’d given up! 

A huge clam at about 12 meters
How fun is this guy?
Brain coral

The Red Sea was the perfect balmy temperature — a crucial element for my dive enjoyment, and visibility was pretty good, too. Not as good as The Bahamas, but 2nd place in all my world dives, for sure.

It was really rewarding to see so much colorful, vibrant sea life while diving in Dahab, and so many species I’m not used to seeing in the Caribbean! My only complaint is that there were no sharks or other big critters – but turns out, I was just in the wrong place for those.

Ultimately I only did the two dives in Dahab. I was a bit too wiped out for more extensive adventures after the Mt. Sinai hike and the coral reef/lemon juice snorkeling incident a few days before. My leg burned with every underwater kick, so after two rounds under the Red Sea, I called it a day.

Getting to and from Dahab for a dive vacation isn’t necessarily the easiest proposition in the world, but it’s certainly possible. My On the Go tour took an 18-hour bus ride from Luxor which I certainly wouldn’t recommend, but you can bus from much closer destinations like Sharm El Sheikh or Cairo. If you want to spend even more time in the Middle East (and you should, you came all this way!) you can find direct flights to Dubai and Amman from both airports.

9 thoughts on “Diving Dahab | Underwater Photo Essay”

  1. Your photos are gorgeous considering the fact that you were half blind. That would have freaked me out by the way. I am not good in the open waters at the best of times, but if my mask was to fog up all the time that would have made me really panicky I think. Pathetic I know.

  2. Fantastic photos! I love the colors you were able to get. I think I would be afraid to put my expensive canon in a the underwater casing for fear it would leak. I had a dive once where I couldn’t clear or sea, was really scary.

  3. What a story! I did not expect Egypt to have such amazing diving, and I bet the camera helped in making it appear so well! My and my bfs’ cameras have both broke and I will look into the G12 you use. Best thing I can say from diving myself is – use your own equipment if you can 🙂 masks and snorkels at least so you can fit them into your travel bags if possible

  4. We haven’t been to Egypt, but did snorkel in the Red Sea at Aqaba the coral is just incredible and so colorful! I can only imagine the beauty had we been dive certified and gone below.

  5. It has been 11 years since I did a live aboard trip in the Red Sea, but it will always be one of my best travel experiences ever. Looking at your pictures makes me want to book a ticket back there tonight!

  6. This was a trip down memory lane for me. I used to live in Dahab. I can’t believe you got the bus from Luxor! It’s only a little over an hour from Sharm!

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