Got up about 7:30 and still had a bad stomach but trooped off to breakfast anyhow – had some eggs and a bit of bread with tea. Then to the lobby to meet with Said. Walked about a block down the street to the snorkeling shop and got some gear, then onto the “Golden Eagle” yacht for our daily adventure.
Went to take a picture of our hotel and as I picked up the camera the battery fell out! Not good. The cover to the battery had snapped off... The only way I could take picture was to hold the battery in with my thumb while working the lens and shutter with the remaining digits – difficult. Later discovered that the plastic rivet that held the piece together had snapped. Still under warranty, and a couple of rubber bands should fix the problem – I hope.
Anyhow, we sailed for about an hour in heavy wind – 15 mph or so – followed by a large flock of sea gulls. The crew fed them so they followed the boat – nice tourist touch. We finally landed at a desert island – not a living thing in sight except lots of people! We trooped down the beach a bit and found out that the only shade was in a bar that cost money to get in and, of course, we left it with the stuff on the boat so it wouldn't get sand in it from the blowing sand. So an hour and a half on the beach in the noon day sun.
Went out into the water to snorkel and discovered that the diaphragm on my snorkel was missing – by inhaling a moth full of VERY salty water. The guide said the Red Sea is 4.0% salt, and the pacific is 0.4%. Salty. After a bit I borrowed Alice's and got to see a lot of sand. Walked inland a bit and had to turn around because of all the broken coral that seemed to be what the island was composed of. Did discover a half conch (?) shell that was quite interesting so grabbed that and headed back to the beach.
During the day more and more boats started showing up and there were well over 1000 people stretched along the beach – reminded me of Ocean City in the summer – wall to wall people. By the time our boat came back to get up were were all quite tan – or burned, even with 50 sdf sun screen.
Traveled about half an hour and anchored with five or six other yachts (about 40 people each) and had another dive, but the waves were so high and choppy that it was almost impossible to do any snorkeling as water kept washing over the top. Looked like some interesting stuff, but too rough.
After lunch we headed to our final dive spot – about 1000 yards from our hotel! The waves had subsided a bit and we had a good dive with many beautiful fish and coral – all quite spectacular.
Back to shore, dropped off our equipment, then back to the hotel. Alice and the kids were in the pool immediately and the adults sat around and tried to rehydrate while planning tomorrow's adventures.
Dinner then a show at poolside of twirlers and dancers, ending up with a sort of line dance by many people from the audience – they all seemed to know the dance or I would have joined in as well. Ended the day by (I hope) connecting to the internet...