Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’

My Top 3 EMEA Dives – Part 1: Million Hope Wreck (Guest blog by Alexandra Dimitriou-Engeler)

Saturday, September 26th, 2015

“So what’s your favorite dive site?” asked a freshly scuba addicted student yesterday.
“Ummm… That’s a really hard question!” I’d replied.
He looked puzzled, “Why?”

Why indeed. I am a PADI Instructor, as are many of you. I am sure you get asked about your favorite dive site all of the time too – don’t you? What is your answer? How do you choose? How is it possible to remember every amazing experience underwater and then pick only one? It is almost always impossible. Diving is incredible in so many ways. You can enjoy a wreck dive as much as a wildlife dive, but we love them each for very different reasons.

So I thought I would write about my top 3 dive sites in this three-part blog series. Surely I can narrow it down to 3!

Dive Site 1: Million Hope Wreck

Location: Nabq Sharm El Sheikh
Description: Wreck
Length: 130 meters
Depth: 0-30 meters

Million Hope

This wreck has it all. It’s huge, it’s in shallow water, it’s covered in coral and teeming with life. This wreck is rarely dived due to its proximity to the shore line, and notoriously choppy waters make it hard to get there. However, if you are lucky enough to dive it you will be in for a real treat. It took me three trips to Egypt and many attempts by RIB before we had the right conditions to dive the Million Hope Wreck!

Why I love it…

Some of the ship is still visible above the surface but the majority is underwater. The shallow depth makes this wreck one of the most colourful and vibrant wrecks that I have ever seen. The traffic of fish was thick and the nudibranch were out in force. Beautiful.

It’s a big wreck! It is possible to get round it in one dive, although the use of nitrox to extend bottom time will make it a lot easier. This wreck sank in 1996 whilst heading for Cyprus. It was carrying fertilizer high in phosphates; the cargo had to be removed following an algae bloom, but there is still lots to see. The cranes that lie on the bottom create overhangs and there is even a Caterpillar crane at 22 meters; a bizarre addition to the dive that’s covered in colourful soft corals. The rotten seat and flooded controls are contrasted by the many scorpion, lion and glassfish that have made their home there.

Million Hope Wreck

White broccoli coral hangs from the ship’s stern but unfortunately the prop and rudder have been removed, leaving a void that the coral struggles to fill. It is one of the places on this ship that makes you feel very, very small! The hull is covered by enormous fire sponges and pajama slugs, as well as there being numerous starfish and pipefish clinging to it. There is a rotary telephone and a toilet seat in the sand surrounded by raspberry coral. There are penetration points everywhere; crew quarters, illuminated by various portholes; a work room complete with spanners on wall hooks, and where a piece of cloth still tied around an old radiator reminds us that this was a working ship.

You can also see the two boilers and twin six-cylinder engines before going up to make your safety stop. My “safety stop” lasted for more than 15 minutes! It was so beautiful between 3 and 5 meters that I could have stayed there forever.  The Million hope is a photographer’s dream – so full of natural light. The contrast of this huge rusty beast next to the multi-colored coral is one of the most breathtaking things I have ever seen.

Million Hope Wreck

If you’ve enjoyed this article, watch this space for Part 2 next week!


Alexandra DimitriouAlexandra Dimitriou-Engeler is a PADI Dive Center owner in Agia Napa, Cyprus. She became a diver in 1992 and received her bachelor’s degree in Oceanography at Plymouth University in 2003. Her love of the ocean has always been her driving force, and this has led to the natural progression of becoming a diving instructor in 2005. She is currently a PADI staff instructor and owner of Scuba Monkey Ltd and is writing a series of guest blogs for PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The post My Top 3 EMEA Dives – Part 1: Million Hope Wreck (Guest blog by Alexandra Dimitriou-Engeler) appeared first on PADIProsEurope.

Women’s Dive Day – Interviews with Leading Women in Diving (Alessandra Sicilia)

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

padi-womens-scuba-dive-day-2015-1024x316PADI is proud to present the inaugural PADI Women’s Dive Day on 18 July 2015, a special day to get women together, in the water and involved in diving. With numerous events being hosted around the world, the goal is to get as many women as possible, at every level, diving on the same day in order to build awareness and interest for the sport.

PADI Regional Manager Jonas Samuelsson decided to interview five leading women in the dive industry during the month leading up to the Women’s Dive Day.First up is Alessandra Sicilia, Manager TGI Diving, with three PADI Divecenters in Egypt and a total of 12 around the world.


Let’s start…

io e lolloThank you very much for taking the time to share your experiences in the diving industry. When and how did you get involved in diving?

I always felt attracted by the diving world, but because of an earlier surgery, I was told I would never be able to equalize. However in 2001 thanks to the passion of a PADI Instructor and a second opinion from a MD who was specialized in diving I was good to go. I had no problems to equalize and I was feeling more free than with my feet on the ground. I never stopped since that day. PAD Open Water Diver led to Advanced Open Water Diver and within 5 months I was a PADI DIvemaster. Diving became my life, part of my soul. That first confined dive was truly life changing for me.

Current position in diving?

I am the Area, Technical and Training Manager for TGI Diving Red Sea. My professional diving level is PADI Master Instructor.

Tips to someone who is thinking about a career in diving?

Well knowing how to dive is not enough to be successful. You need to have many other trades like a good understanding of logistics, accounting, customer care, updated and a great understanding of the importance of protecting our environment and its ecosystem.

Favourite part of working in diving?

io e la mia IDMFrom my point of view is to see colleagues and students grow under my management. To be able to be in charge of a company that touches the heart of so many people. To see previous Open Water Divers grow and become employed in the same shop as a diving instructor where they learned how to dive – its priceless.

Any dream dive you aspire to?

A lot actually! From the South-African Sardine Run, to the Malaysian Borneo, but my biggest dream is to bump into humpback whale passing by during a dive…

What would the next course in diving be?

For several years I have been dreaming about becoming a PADI Course Director, but due to work commitments and daily management I did not have a chance yet, but 2016 is my year! To be able to change someone’s life by teaching them to become a diving instructor and give the person a career in the most amazing industry on the planet is my next goal.

Attributes that makes you more successful in diving?

miaIn addition of being blonde, Italian and pretty cool you mean? I had to be very committed to my career to be successful. Keep yourself updated, take new courses and be pretty firm. Attitude is the most important part of an instructors attributes however. You need to remember how it was the first time you went SCUBA and to show empathy and patience during each course. Make sure that each course you teach is the best one you ever taught and build a rapport with your student during the training.

What is the next step in your career?

PADI CDTC, Course Director Training Course, during 2016 and to establish Pro courses in both our shop in Marsa Alam and in El Gouna. I am dreaming of making TGI into a PADI CDC Center. This is an ambitious goal but with the team I work with all around the Red Sea area I certain we will reach there in the near future.

Best moment in diving?

mia 2My best moments in diving is when I go diving with my husband Lollo. Lollo and I work together and we share the love for diving. Each chance we get we go for a dive together. How many people can say that when they go with their family on a holiday they do exactly the same thing during their holidays as when they work. I consider myself so lucky to choose this path. Choose to work with something you love and you never work another day in your life.

Thank you Alessandra for taking the time by answering a few questions. You are an inspiration for divers all around the world. I am looking forward to see you in August for the DSD Pool Party that we organized between PADI EMEA and TGI EL Gouna.

Thank you Jonas and see you in August.

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Never. Give. Up.

Friday, July 10th, 2015

This article was written by guest blogger, PADI Regional Manager, Jonas Samuelsson. During the 4-6th of June former Navy Seal Officer and PADI Assistant Instructor Walaa Wael Abbas broke the Guinness World Record for the longest dive in the history. Captain Abbas spend a total of 51 hours and 24 minutes […]

Cargo ship sinks in Egypt’s Red Sea

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

Photos: Cargo ship sinks in Egypt’s Red Sea, passengers saved – Politics – Egypt – Ahram Online http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/134564.aspx