I was pretty lucky with my timing on my month-long respite in Dahab, in that I was here for the First Annual Dahab Festival. Like most “firsts,” there were some organizational problems, but I think all-in-all it came off well and with a bit more practice, it is going to be a nice draw for this town — and you already know I love Dahab, Egypt. Luckily, I found an excellent Dahab hotel to stay for a month, which I’ve already written on… but this time we’ll talk more about their dive shop.
The festival was a full week of activities and included face painting for kids, free yoga classes, windsurfing competitions, various food stands, free diving competitions and lessons, and more, including a Scuba Dive Buoyancy competition.
Why do I highlight that one? Because it was being hosted by Rea Sea Relax Diving, where I did my rescue diving class and assorted other diving for the last month or so and they wanted me to enter. Let’s be very clear about this — the competition was a group of dive instructors, dive masters…. and me. I was there for comic relief.
And I delivered.
The course was a series of five obstacles and things you had to swim through without touching anything. First, a series of triangles, then a cone looking structure you had to go head-first into to pull up a weight belt from the sea floor, then a zig-zag line you had to navigate swimming with a square that couldn’t touch it, then a tunnel made (the above photo), then some squares.
My goal was not to finish dead-last and also not to have the most penalty time (10 second penalty for every time you touched something). On those duel goals, I succeeded, but then again, the judges were all friends that I bought beers for afterwords, so there might have been a slight bit of fudging. I’ll take it as a success anyway.
It was a blast and the folks at Red Sea Relax Diving are incredibly fun, and more importantly, incredibly professional and qualified instructors and dive masters. I couldn’t recommend any shop more highly.
The kick-off activity for the Dahab Festival was a homemade raft race in the main harbor and it was a hoot. There were about a dozen rafts competing and as you can imagine, everyone had the appropriate fun/party attitude about it. It was a heck of a week that capped off a wonderful month for me in this great beach town.
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