FULLY BOOKED. “I am excited to be able to tell you that my Whitetips & Wonders of the South, Red Sea Workshop is back!” says Alex.

The Red Sea in southern Egypt is particularly special in the autumn because this is the peak season for oceanic whitetip shark encounters at the off shore reefs. This species will be a major focus of this workshop. “In 2015, we had oceanic whitetips encounters at the Brothers, Elphinstone, Daedalus and Rocky Island. All in one week. We also had scalloped hammerheads, silky shark, thresher shark, tiger shark, grey reef shark and reef whitetip sharks in photographic range. Oh and we swam with 150 spinner dolphins and even photographed them mating. And when we weren’t doing all that we were shooting the amazing reef life and scenery. That’s why I am excited to be doing it all again!”

The workshop is based on the excellent MY Hurricane, run by Alex’s favourite liveaboard fleet in the Red Sea, Tornado (who also run Whirlwind, is used for Alex’s workshops in the northern Red Sea), working with the dive team he has runs 10s of Red Sea workshops with. Hurricane is one of the very few Red Sea liveaboards with a steel hull and is perfect for exploring the offshore reefs. Autumn is a great time to visit the Red Sea. The water is still warm from the summer, but as the temperature starts to drop, so the bigger beasties start to come in to the reef. The aim of this workshop is to combine (hopefully) great shark encounters, attractive cavern filled reefs, dolphin snorkelling and other wonders of southern Egypt.

The main photographic target is the charismatic oceanic whitetip, a species which was once widespread throughout the warm parts of the world’s oceans, but it has been fished near the point of extinction. The Red Sea is one of the few remaining places to see them reliably. The trip will NOT be using any bait, and there can be no guarantee that the sharks will show up, but we’ll do all we can to ensure good photographic encounters. Alex adds “ I cannot guarantee that the sharks will be abundant and posing, but if they are we will maximise our opportunities staying exactly where the action is hottest. If the sharks are scarce, then I will focus more of the week on shooting other subjects, which fortunately are also very photogenic.” On previous editions of the trip, the group has had great success shooting the resident spinner dolphins in Fury Shoal. The caverns in St Johns and Fury Shoal offer particularly attractive beams of light, and other popular subjects are the green turtles and striped mackerel at Marsa Shouna, where there is even the small chance of meeting a dugong.

Hurricane will depart from the elegant Port Ghalib and we fly direct to Marsa Alam, the most southerly airport in the Egyptian Red Sea, which is a much quieter than the other Egyptian airports (within an hour of landing we’ll be on board). Please also note that the trip is based around 3 long dives per day because of the longer travel times between some of the sites, the risk involved in night diving on oceanic reefs and the shorter autumn days. This makes the pace of the trip a little less intense than his summer workshops.

The teaching element of Alex’s Red Sea Workshops is always themed on making the most of the photographic opportunities of the sites we are diving. Alex’s lectures for this workshop are expected cover shark photography (with an emphasis on field craft, making the most of brief opportunities and the differences between baited and unbaited dives), dolphin and cavern photography. Alex will typically give talks during the day and then use the evenings for group image review sessions, which will include post processing tips.

Dates: 26th September – 3rd October 2019

The price is £1745 GBP, which includes flights from/to London, 7 nights accommodation, full board (except alcohol), the diving, the workshop, Marine Park Fees, transfers in Egypt and Nitrox. It also includes day room use and lunch in a hotel on the final day before the flight home. Group size 20 + Alex. Single supplements are available, but expensive (contact Caroline for details).

If travelling through the UK is not convenient, it is possible to book the trip without the flights and transfers for £1495 GBP (boat only). If arranging your own flights please book flights that synchronise with the main group, the liveaboard will not depart late or return to port early to fit with any other flight times.

This workshop is suitable for experienced divers who are capable of diving in open water with inquisitive sharks.

For further information and for reservations please contact Scuba Travel. Email is the best way to start booking this trip – contact Caroline@scubatravel.com. Places are available on a first-emailed, first-served basis! A non-refundable deposit of £450 GBP is required to secure your spot. There are also full trip details on the Scuba Travel website.