Hayes and Jarvis travel agent trip to Sharm El Sheikh
Those fellows at Hayes and Jarvis decided to send us another bunch of travel agents to teach them the delights of diving. Of course this was a working week for them! There was not just the diving, but they had to get to know the answers to the questions potential clients will want to know about courses, diving, us guys at Camel and Sharm El Sheikh itself. So if you think it was just another paid holiday in the sun that travel agents get, then you were right!
We finished off with a fine soiree on the Camel Bar roof with a great tub of Chris's special punch. If they asked me (Carrol) any questions that particular night, then I hope they didn't write down my answers. Got to get that punch recipe!
So big thanks to them and to Rob, Product Co-Ordinator at Hayes and Jarvis. He's the one lying down in the front of the picture. Great guy, but if someone could just try to get him to stop wearing old, bright red, see-through Speedos!
Rain in Sharm El Sheikh!
You might find this an odd item for a news page, but for us here in the dry, hot desert, rain is a sensation!
Early morning on 30 October the rain started, and it poured down from heavy, dark clouds with such intensity that small streams immediately formed and started moving towards lower ground. There were even reports of hail stones coming down. This rainy morning was preceded by a night lit up by constant lightning. Just before the rain began, the thunder started and got louder and louder as the storm rapidly approached Sharm.
Our first thoughts, as always when you get rain in the desert, were whether the rain was going to lead to a potentially hazardous flash flood. These lands aren't able to hold much rain due to the lack of vegetation and soil. So flash floods are common when desert countries finally receive rain and often with tragic results. More people die from drowning in the world's deserts than from thirst. Something to remember!
Yes, the flash flood came but wasn't as bad as the previous one, in 1996, and the rain lasted for only two days. However, some of the residents in Sharm were pretty badly hit and got their houses flooded by wastewater and sewage. Water came in through windows, balconies, toilets, under doors and even through the air conditioning units. Traffic was at a standstill in some places with broken down cars and deep pools of water in the lower parts of the roads.
The best place to be was in the desert! Roaring rivers, waterfalls, pools and streams could be seen for a painfully short time before it was all over and quiet again. The pools will be there for a while and then the aridity will take over, as it always does. These were truly magical two days of nature showing its awesome power and reminding us of how insignificant we are. But now we have something else to look forward to! Within weeks and months, seeds that have been sleeping for years will finally get a chance to sprout. The previously dry and barren desert will become lush and green with trillions of flowers, plants, butterflies, and other insects. The landscape will transform itself into a temporary Garden of Eden and will take on a rare and beautiful shroud of life until the unforgiving heat returns. But hopefully some of the new plants will be able to withstand the sizzling temperatures of summer. Bedouins will come from all over Sinai with their animals and tents to take advantage of nature's generosity.
Thankfully nobody was hurt or killed in this flood.
Outcome of the Cleanup Day 21 September in Sharm El Sheikh
The day was bright and sunny and the sea warm and calm. There was a buzz of excitement as the guests were informed that we were going to be cleaning up some dive sites and that Camel Dive Club offered them a free dive to do just that. There were 35 participants, who had their work cut out for them, since happily there wasn't a great deal of rubbish to be found. What they did find included the usual suspects: steel rods for re-inforcing concrete, plastic bags, coke bottles and cigarette butts, which disappointed our guys, because they were hoping for the odd lost computer or torch! Ah well, perhaps we'll clean the Thistlegorm next year.
For a job well done, the day finished with freshly baked cakes, biscuits and sandwiches, as well as tea and coffee, and Chris from the Camel bar made a delightful punch from his very own recipe. Next year, however, we will be cutting down on the tea and coffee. For some reason it just didn't seem as popular as Chris' concoction. All those involved were awarded certificates from PADI Project Aware.
The very next day after this cleanup event, the desert received a well needed facelift too. A large group of volunteers and various local organisations collected rubbish from an area roughly 2 kilometres long, near Sharm El Sheikh. The sun was beating down on dusty and sweaty but very committed desert cleaners. Around 300 people took part and gathered nearly 7 tons of garbage. They ended up with almost 1400 big plastic sacks filled with broken glass, plastics, cardboard boxes, and anything that you would normally find in a rubbish dump. On behalf of Camel and the environment, a big thank you to all who helped and see you again next year.
International Cleanup Day 21 September 2002 Sharm El Sheikh
In association with the Ocean Conservancy and PADI Project Aware, thousands of scuba divers around the world will participate in the years largest seas and beach clean up effort. Dedicated scuba divers will embark on dives in search of something they hope they won't find - rubbish. Here at Camel Dive Clubin Sharm El Sheikh, our commitment to the environment is as strong as ever. We would like to ask our clients who are diving with us on the clean-up day, as they dive, to check our dive sites with us. Our instructors and the more experienced clients will collect any small items of rubbish that we find. Our other clients (snorkelers and less experienced divers) we ask to take a note of any rubbish they see.
The environment will thank you and Camel Dive Club will thank you, by asking you to join us for some punch and pastries at the end of the day. PADI Project Aware certificates and stickers will also be given to all those who helped.