Today I am mentally singing Underwater Love, by Smoke City. Yesterday I had the wonderful experience of over an hour on the semi-submarine, viewing Ras Katy reef in Sharm el Sheikh.
I snorkel at Ras Katy beach, but I do not have an underwater housing for my camera, so this was a chance to photograph and video and share with you a little of what I see. Also a chance for me to enjoy the beautiful underwater world while I am dry and do not have to concentrate on breathing and expelling water from my snorkel.
Submarines are not permitted in the Red Sea, so this is a semi-sub. The deck stays above water, the hull has large windows for you to watch from, and you can move from one side of the sub to the other as more interesting marine life presents on each side. This is a much more immersed experience than a glass-bottom boat.
Banks of corals, schools of fish, and the simple pleasure of sunlight filtering through the water, were accompanied by exclamations in Italian, Russian, German, English and a few other languages from the tourists around us. A guide drew our attention to different species of fish and coral as they passed us, or we passed them.
Enjoy this video and photos and multiply the beauty by 5, and you will get some idea of the experience. Neither the video or photos can capture the colors or the depth of perspective of what you actually see, because the camera draws in the interior light of the submarine and changes the vibrancy and depth of what you are looking at directly through the windows. The fish appear suddenly and move fast, making it not so easy to photograph them and giving you no time to focus or zoom in, and you miss some of the best shots as a fish darts close or flashes below or above the windows. “Keep still for just one minute so I can catch you!” I said to the fish. The challenge of photographing with the movement of sub and the movements of the fish is part of the fun, or you can just sit and take everything in.
For anyone who does not swim, snorkel or dive, this trip is an excellent way to experience the Red Sea underwater world, and it will have you not wanting to return to land.
I am a little claustrophobic and I was unsure how I would feel in the sub, but it is spacious and I was surrounded by many other people including children, so I did not feel even a second of discomfort. It actually made me more determined to learn to dive, either scuba dive or free-diving (deeper than snorkeling, diving using only your breath, no equipment), because I feel I can and must overcome my fear to get the out-of-the-boat underwater experience and really begin to see the Red Sea I am blessed to live beside.
Special thanks to Samir of Real Egypt http://www.realegypt.net/, and to Australian visitors Megan and Matthew who shared their experience with me.
“This must be underwater love,
The way I feel it slipping all over me.
This must be underwater love,
The way I feel it.
This is it: underwater love.
It is so deep, so beautifully liquid.
After the rain comes sun,
After the sun comes rain again.
Follow me now
To a place you only dreamt of,
Before I came along.
When I first saw you, I was deep in clear blue water.
The sun was shining, calling me to come and see you.
I touched your soft skin and you jumped in
with your eyes closed and a smile upon your face.”
Underwater Love, the song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUz3fLncTTs