Blue Force 2 liveaboard
The liveaboard is running four dives per day, an affordable choice for those who focus is to get to most dives out of a dive trip. The entire boat crew really makes you feel home and comfortable. The vessel itself would benefit from make some refurbishment here and there. The itinerary was a bit annoying with two nights in the harbor and on top the last night in a hotel instead with the liveaboard at sea. The dive operations are managed well and there are amazing dive spots like SS Thistlegorm or Tiran Island. See the details of BlueForce 2.
Arrival to Sharm el Sheikh
I was traveling from Dubai for a liveaboard week in Egypt. Actually I planned to set sails from Hurghada – just the flight connection from Dubai to Hurghada had no direct convenient and would require an overnight stay in Sharm el Sheikh. Therefore I decided for a 3.45 hr flight to Sharm el Sheikh and board the liveaboard there. However there are just two weekly connections not synchronized with the liveaboard departure. And i spend this days in the local Jolie Golf and Beach resort.
From Sharm el Sheikh international airport to the marina is around 30 min and it is organized by the Blue Force team. The marine feel like a very authentic fishermen harbor presenting some amazing photo motifs. Just it is a bit noisy and the exhaust smell is disturbing and a for sure a pity we spent the first night before we set sail and the penultimate night there. And for some reason the last night we where irritatingly booked in a hotel with all the hustle of packing, transportation and check-in.
The Blue Force 2 layout
The board restaurant and the salon are located on the main deck as the dive deck is. The small self-service bar on the upper deck offers non-alocoholic beverages, beer, coffee and tea. My preferred relax space was the sun-deck with great view and two big size sun lounges. the liveaboard crew is friendly and always have a hand to help and support the guests.
The dive deck is spacious enough to prepare the equipment and is located on the main deck. The work stations are around a central dry desk. And in the shelves beside the salon door you find battery charging stations. Also on the dive deck is the air compressor located with sometimes is a bit noisy and stinky. The Blue Force 2 liveaboard has two zodiacs to access remote dive spots conveniently accessible from the dive deck.
The vessel has 9 cabins each with two single beds and with ensuite bathrooms. All cabins have the same size and similar layout. They are located on the upper and lower deck. The cabins are practical, not really spacious and a bit limited to cover personal luggage items. Anyway on a liveaboard you spent most of your time under water, preparing the equipment, eating or relaxing on deck anyway.
My cabin was on the upper deck nicely located close the the bar and the sun deck. The caveat was the broken wooden blinds which prevents to open and see the beautiful Sinai landscape from my cabin. And there was bit of a bad smell coming from the AC. But honestly with the very nice temperature in Egypt in October we preferred anyway to spend the night on deck under the stars rather than the cabins.
Which route did we follow?
Out tour was aimed to focus on wrecks and we did indeed many interesting wrecks. The weather just limited the vessel to cross the Suez Channel and we remained on the Sinai side. But we had very nice dives on the eastern Suez Channel side to dive the famous wreck of SS Thistlegorm, SS Yolanda, Dunraven and Kingston. On the way back to Sharm el Sheikh we went to the Ras Mohammed National Park and Tiran Island, with the reef Gordan, Thomas, Woodhouse and Jackson.
My trip was beginning of October and the water temperature was around 25° C, this temperature claims for me a 3mm wetsuit plus hoody or ideally a 5mm. Towards fall with a bit stronger wind the swell in the Red Sea become higher. The air temperature is still convenient, just the fresh wind gives a chilly moment after the dive back on board.
How was the scuba diving?
The dive experience on Blue Force 2 was good. The dive guides and instructors spend a lot of efforts to ensure a brilliant dive experience for every guest. The briefing was spot on supported by power point and providing all necessary information. The dive condition in fall are a bit more challenging than summer due to currents, swell and in some cases visibility.
Underwater we saw rather limited pelagic life in October, limited to some silhouettes of reef sharks in the distance. However we had an abundance of blue spotted stingrays and particular at Tiran Island very nice macro dives for underwater photography. The day and night dives at the 80th anniversary of SS Thistlegorm shipwreck were definitely the highlight of my Blue Force 2 liveaboard tour.