To liberally quote The Beatles, this morning ‘We lived beneath the waves in our yellow submarine’. Yup, my and Rebecca’s next adventure was an underwater excursion in the SeaScope Yellow Semi-Submarine off Port Ghalib Marina’s pier. But unfortunately the SeaScope’s male-only crew members weren’t Beatles’ fans and preferred to entertain us with booming Egyptian techno music and dodgy belly dancing moves while we sailed out to the reef.
But what an expedition it was! Just outside the marina, which can house up to 1 000 larny yachts, we spotted not only five spinner dolphins gliding through the luminous blue waters but also our first turtle. It was incredible watching the turtle sail past us through large panoramic windows built into the bowels of our yellow submarine. Thankfully the bowels were air conditioned, although we did start feeling a bit seasick after an hour of avid watching.
The submarine’s windows actually contain magnifying glass, so we were able to get rather intimate with loner balloonfish and schools of angelfish, trumpetfish and zebrafish, amongst many others. The reef is a veritable veggie patch filled with vivid-coloured coral including Mushroom Coral, Cabbage Coral, Leather Finger Coral and the aptly named Elephant Skin Coral. It was a bit unnerving getting so close to the coral, as it looked as though we were going to crash into it thanks to the magnifying glass – a crew member explained that it was in fact three metres below us. At one stage it even looked like we were going to flatten a scuba diver below us but thankfully he waved and smiled, so we knew he was safe.
We’d also been hoping to spot an elusive Dugong, which is a large grey mammal related to the manatee and elephant, but this enormous vegetarian obviously wasn’t very impressed with the variety of veg in this specific patch of Red Sea.
To celebrate another day in paradise, Rebecca and I decided a sunset cocktail at The Palace’s Look Out Bar, which looks out over the picturesque saltwater lagoon, was long overdue. I couldn’t stop giggling though when Rebecca asked our waitress what cocktail she would recommend. ‘I’m sorry but I’m not a professional alcoholic,’ the young Muslim woman replied sweetly, completely oblivious to the shocked then guilt-stricken reaction on Rebecca’s face. Lost in translation indeed.
Thankfully though, our waitress’s strict religious leanings didn’t influence the yumminess of my Nefertiti cocktail (vodka, watermelon liqueur and pineapple juice) and Rebecca’s Banana Daiquiri. After all, both Rebecca and I are devout COSMO girls and what is a beach holiday without the worship of wicked cocktails?