Archive for Taba

On a recent diving trip to Taba in the Gulf of Aqaba, I took literally hundreds of photos underwater as I normally do. There were plenty of the normal suspects such as clownfish, moray eels and lion fish and I was able to identify all of them….except one.

Some of the dive sites in Taba have expands of sea grass and they are fantastic for finding lots of little creatures that live there. Its also a good reason why when you are diving on such sites that its no problem to crash onto the sea bed. It was here that I spotted a little slug which was about an inch long (2.5cm) and I managed to get a good clear picture of it.

One of the other divers had a laptop and we managed to get the image on the screen in between dives to get a good look at it. However, we checked a couple of marine guides and the dive guides had never seen it before. When I returned to the UK, I searched the internet trying to identify it but to no avail.

One possibility is that is a juvenile slug which has not yet developed its adult colours. It is common in the marine world for juveniles and adults of the same species to have very different markings.

I did see a number of Ceylon Gymnodoris and I’m starting to wonder if the little slug I took a photo of is a juvenile.

I’d be interested to know what you think and if you could identify my little mystery slug, that would be even better.

These are just two photos I took in Taba and you can see the entire collection from my diving trip on my Flickr page;
Taba, Egypt in April 2011

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Diving at Taba Heights in Egypt

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Located at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba, Taba is one of the lesser visited diving areas of Egypt and although it doesn’t get the larger life such as sharks and manta rays, the dive sites offer a colourful and diverse selection of marine life.

One of the great things about diving in Taba is that there are only a few dive boats operating so often you will be the only people at the dive site which is in striking contrast to Sharm el Sheikh a couple of hundred miles away at the southern tip of the Sinai. Although the diving is superb in Sharm, the number of boats at popular sites like Jackson Reef or Shark & Yolanda means that it does get quite busy underwater.

The dive sites around Taba Heights don’t take long to get to which means there is usually the option of a 3rd dive of the day…never a bad thing !!  The site that attracts most boats is Farun Island (aka Pharoah’s Island). There is an old fort and lookout post on the island built during the times of the crusades by the Saracen Saladin who was the great rival of Richard the Lionheart. As well as being a popular dive site, it is also the destination for snorkelling trips. Nonetheless, it’s a lovely setting and an easy site to dive.

Taba is a paradise for underwater photographers. The sites are generally quite shallow and there is a superb array of marine life just waiting to be captured on film (or more likely, on memory card). One of the more unusual creatures found in the area is the Frogfish. It is a type of Anglerfish, has a face only a mum could love and is fairly immobile. They are ambush predators and an attack can be as fast 6 milliseconds. Their mouths move so fast that no other animals can see it happen.

Other marine life that can be found in Taba includes a number of species of Moray eel, colourful nudibranchs as well as the ever popular clownfish, lionfish, sea stars and shrimp. The one thing that isn’t allowed in Taba is night diving. This is due to the fact that it is so close to the borders of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel so dive boats aren’t allowed to operate at night. It’s a real shame as there is no doubt that night dives in Taba would be as spectacular as diving during the day.

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