2007_Saudi Arabia

From January 26 - February 2, 2007 Mario claimed his award, a 1 week dive safari to the Farasan Banks in the Red Sea  in Saudi Arabia. The journey was part of the 2nd. prize of the contest “Il Mare a Milano” in May 2006 in Milan/Italy (see also Awards) and was sponsored by the  Italian travel agency and Red Sea specialist Mar Rosso. The trip started with a meeting of the party at Malpensa Intl. airport of Mailand and a flight with  Saudi Arabian Airlines. The service on board, the individual entertainment system with integrated monitor in front of each seat as well as the quality of catering were excellent even though they didn’t offer  alcohol on board. After the arrival in Jeddah and a 3 hour transfer to a marina in Al Lith, South of Jeddah, the group entered the MY Dream Voyager.
The next morning at 6.00 a.m. the ship started its 2 475 HP  strong Diesel engines to move directly towards Farasan Banks. It is equipped with many systems like GPS, radar, sonar as well as satellite telephone to ensure a safe navigation and for availability in case of  emergency on the open sea at anytime. The cabins were a little small but individually climatised by AC.
The Philippino crew on board did a great job! At anytime they excelled in all issues like help to put on the  equipment or to get in and out the water, they ensured a perfect stay on board.
Diving! The Farasan Banks lies app. 40 km West off the shore of Al Lith (250 km South of Jeddah) and offers an absolutely untouched  underwater world. The reefs are in best condition and littered with hard and soft corals. Huge shoals of reef fish, Barrakudas and Mackarels are there and even Dolphins can be met under water. The drop offs are  exciting and often reach depths below 200 m. But even above water there are many things to discover. Besides breeding sea birds we met a sea turtle just laying her eggs into the sand - a great experience!
Following the dive safari we visited a part of the historical district of Jeddah’s centre. During archaeological excavations they frequently find relics of the historical past. Recently they discovered cannons  of the 15th. century from the defence against the Portuguese aggressors. The historical houses built of coral stones and wood are protected by the government and can only be restored with authentic material.
The  temperature changed between 23° and 30° Celsius above water and between 25° and 27° Celsius under water. The climate was quite comfortable and it rained only one time in combination with a storm (level 8).

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008 Beach-k

Pick-up from airport

Departure with the “MY Dream Voyager”
towards Farasan Banks

Farasan Banks

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035 Meeresschildkröte-k
034 Meeresschildkröte-k

Farasan Banks

Sea Turtle digging a nest

Tired she has to do a break

039 Fischadler-k
041 Eier Fischadler-k
037 Weissbauchtoelpel-k

Fish Eagle

Fish Eagle’s eggs

Red Sea Gannet with chick

009 Schiff-k
010 Delfin-k
011 Delfin-k

“MY Dream Voyager”

Dolphins almost...

...every day,...

012 Delfin-k
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...and sometimes under water

Amazing, kid with mother

Preperation of the briefing

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Abtauchen

Briefing

Equipment check

Let’s go diving!

013 Drop Off-k
014 Napoleon-k
015 Yves-k

Drop Off

Napoleon Lipfish

Yves Gladu

001Mario-UW-YG
016 Faecherkoralle-k
017 Barrakudas-k

Mario Cembolista

Gorgony-Seafan

Barracuda shoal

018 Goldkoerper-Stachelmakrele-k
030 Korallenblock-k
021 Weichkoralle-k

Goldbody Trevally

Soft Coral

Soft Coral

022 Weichkoralle-k
023 Weichkoralle-k
024 Arabischer Kaiserfisch-k

Soft Coral

Soft Coral

Arabian Angelfish

019 Lichteinfall-k
026 Maskenfalterfisch-k
029 Riesenmuschel-k

Roof of the reef, view from bottom

Masked Butterflyfish

Giant Clam

028 Riesenmuschel-k
031 Doppelpunktsteinkrabbe-k
032 Krabbe-k

Giant Clam

Variable Coral Crab

Red Coral Crab

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043 Dinner-k
045 Rückreise Jeddah-k

Good dive, everyone’s happy

Delicious catering

Jeddah

046 Rückreise Jeddah-k
001 Jeddah-k
003 Jeddah-k

Women have to wear black robes

Historical district of Jeddah

Historical buildings built with...

004 Jeddah-k
005 Jeddah-k
006 Jeddah-k

...corals and wood

Historical canons

Tea time

007 Jeddah-k

Sunset in Jeddah


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