The Red Sea Newsletter Issue 57
23rd February 2004

Packed full of information, articles, advertisements,
jobs and hints & tips for easy living in The Red Sea!

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El Gouna

Features & Articles

Emperor Divers
Emperor Divers

voted No 1 dive centre,
fourth year running
and two liveaboards in top 4!

Emperor Divers has been voted ‘Dive Centre of the Year 2003’ for the fourth year in succession. Voted by readers of Diver magazine, the annual awards saw Emperor Divers’ Sharm El Sheikh centre sweep the board with first place, followed closely by Emperor Divers’ Hurghada centre in second place.

In a change to the format, divers were asked to vote not only for their best dive centre overall, but also their best dive centre in resort – Emperor swept the board clean on both counts.

Another new category was Best Liveaboard. Emperor’s fleet saw both Emperor Fraser and Pegasus placed in the top four.

With dive centres in Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, Nuweiba, Soma Bay/Safaga, Marsa Alam and Sudan, Emperor Divers continues to hold the coveted title of Best Dive Centre overall, as well as now proving itself exceptional in two Red Sea resorts and in the liveaboard category.

Terry and Theresa Simpson, Directors of Emperor Divers, said, "This is another fantastic achievement for us. Thanks to everyone who dived and voted for Emperor this year. We never forget that it's the guests and our remarkable team of staff that keep us where we are … at the top!"

For more details, please visit and go to Red Sea News or email [email protected]

2004 is a Leap Year!

A Leap Year is the traditional time when women can propose marriage. In many of today's cultures, it is OK for a woman to propose marriage to a man, however, that hasn't always been the case. When the rules of courtship were stricter, women were only allowed to ask the question on one day every four years. That day was February 29th. It is believed this tradition was started in 5th century Ireland when St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick about women having to wait for so long for a man to propose. So, according to legend, St. Patrick said the yearning females could propose on this one day in February during the Leap Year.

The first documentation of this practice dates back to 1288, when Scotland passed a law that allowed women to propose marriage to the man of their choice in that year. They also made it law that any man who declined a proposal in a Leap Year must pay a fine. The fine could range from a kiss, to payment for a silk dress or a pair of gloves.

Local News

The SS Maidan

The Discovery of The Wreck of The SS Maidan
By Sonia Goggel
(Dive Guide on the MY Excel, Tornado Marine Fleet)

If you think there are no more secrets hiding in the deep waters of the Red Sea you are mistaken. Many rumours as to the whereabouts of the wreck of the British Steamship Maidan have circulated among Red Sea wreck lovers, but no precise location had been established so far.

The Steamship Maidan, an impressive 500 feet (152.4 m) long cargo vessel, displacing 8205 tons, was built by W. Hamilton & Co. (Glasgow, UK) and launched in March 1902. Owned and operated by T. & J. Brocklebank, she covered the trade routes between the main European Ports and India.

Her final journey started off from Calcutta, India, heading for Europe, across the waters of the Red Sea. She hit the southern shores of Rocky Island in the Southern Egyptian Red Sea, on the night of June 9th 1923, and sunk the next day into “deep water”. Her passengers and crew, who had landed on the island in the morning of June 10th, were rescued that same day by the SS Warwickshire.

With this information in the back of their minds, a team of Trimix Closed Circuit Rebreather divers, set out to find the wreck of the SS Maidan on the MY Excel. They followed the lead given to them by Captain Nagy, on the MY Excel. The team, composed of Grant Searancke; co-owner of; Guide and Search Engine, and permanent liveaboard guide and videographer on the MY Excel and Kimmo Hagman; professional photographer and Manager of Colona Diving Centre in Hurghada, searched the area indicated to them by Captain Nagy on several occasions from May 2003 onwards.

Finally, in October 2003, after many dives and many unsuccessful attempts, they were able to establish the exact position of the wreck, and to obtain the first photographs and video footage of the vessel, thus discovering the final resting place of the SS Maidan.

The SS Maidan now lies at a fair distance from the shores of Rocky Island at a depth of between 80 to 120 meters of sea water, partially on her side. She exhibits vast coral growth, even at that depth, and her structure is almost intact, making her an exceptional wreck dive. Nevertheless, the dives carried out on the wreck make it clear that she can only be accessible to experienced, Advanced Trimix divers, catered for on a liveaboard vessel fully equipped for technical diving. In addition to the great depth in which the SS Maidan lies, a free descent into the blue to reach her, as well as the changeable currents around Rocky Island, have to be carefully taken into account when planning to dive this wreck.

To finally be able to dive the SS Maidan in a safe and controlled way, after months of dedicated exploration and search, has been one of the most rewarding achievements of the team's diving career.

For further information please contact:Grant Searancke at; Guide and Search Engine.

What's On ... in Cairo

Cairo Jazz Club - Jazz Sunday - Sunday 29th February
197, 26th July St.
Agouza, Cairo
Tel: 02-345 9939

With “resident” jazz ensemble - drums, bass, piano, sax, flute and your favorite jazz classics. Only jazz!

What's On ... in Alexandria

Learn Hieroglyphics

As part of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina’s role in increasing general knowledge and cultural awareness in all fields, the Calligraphy Center is organizing a language training course to teach the ancient Egyptian language (Hieroglyphics). Courses will be given in four levels, adequate to all age stages and all specializations. Certificates will be given to applicants upon passing the assigned levels. Courses will also be provided to children and teenagers during mid-year recess, as well as summer vacations, so that they too have the chance to know their Ancient Egyptian Heritage.

What's On ... in Hurghada

Seagull Cinema

Parents & Kids

Diwan (159, 26th of July St. Zamalek, Cairo) will be holding it's first live children's musical event on Wednesday 25th February at 6.30 pm. Folk songs and sing along with guitar, banjo, autoharp and more! Educate and entertain your children in an evening full of merriment!

In Egyptian folk music, particularly in villages along the Nile, a wide variety of instruments exist. Instrumental music plays a prominent role, and larger ensembles of melody and percussion instruments are typical. Doubling, or using more than one of the same instruments in the same ensemble, is fairly common. The instrumentalists are usually professionals who perform under the direction of a rayyis, a leading instrumentalist.



Among Egypt's folk instruments is the salamiyyah, an open-ended reed-flute, characteristically breathy in tone and commonly seen in folk-oriented Sufi performances. The double-reed mizmar appears characteristically with a large double-sided drum called tabl baladi. Typically, three mizmars play together. The rababah, a two-string spike fiddle whose sound box is made from a coconut shell, is characteristically used by the sha'ir to accompany folk epics.

The percussion instruments of Egypt are numerous and play an essential role in the music. They include the riqq, a tamourine-like instrument, the tablah, the tabl baladi, the tar, a large frame drum, and the mazhar, a large tambourine, with sets of cymbals. Small brass finger-cymbals, or sajat, are used by the dancers.



Find out more at :
For Sale/Rent
Really cool, trendy, yellow, family Size, Swiss fridge - brand Passap – 1000 LE. 3 piece sofa (large), arm chair with foot stool – cream colour with teak wood (very comfy for afternoon DVD viewing!) – 2000 LE. Please contact : Contact Jayne 010 1141 581. Hurghada.
Sony TRV-50 Digital (NEW!), plus Nimar housing with wide angle - 2,350 Euro. Light System FA & MI - 330 Euro. Cannon EOS-50E with lens 19-35. Plus lens 28-50. Plus lense 100-300. Plus electronic strobe. Package deal - 1000 Euro. For information call: 065 444675. Hurghada.

Second hand wetsuits for sale:

Monosuit, Mares, Icelander, 7mm, Size 5
New long-john, Dacor, Size 4
Monosuit with hood, Coltri Sub, Size 3
Monosuit, Easyjet, Green/Black, Size 2
Shorty, Size 3
2 piece suit, Cressi Sub, Size 3
Woolly Bear, Mares, Size XL
Long-John, Size 2, Pink
2 piece, Pink/Green, Size XS
Monosuit, Protype, Size 3
150 Euro
85 Euro
50 Euro
50 Euro
30 Euro
35 Euro
85 Euro
20 Euro
40 Euro
50 Euro

For information contact: 012 563 0130 Hurghada.
Two Underwater Camera Systems for SALE:
1x Pro Set including:
Camera MM2ex (black), Strobe YS120TTL, Viewfinder 16-35mm, 2 x Wide Angle Lense 16mm & 20mm, 2x Makro Lense 1:3 & 1:2, Color Filter 20mm, Lense Holder, Multi Stay Set, Strobe Arm S&S 160cm, Lense holder and Camera Case Pelican 1500.
1x Limited Set including:
Camera MM2ex (yellow) , Strobe YS120TTL, Viewfinder 16-35mm, Multi Stay Set, Strobe Arm 6 and S&S Camera Bag.
For more info and price please call : 010 546 8800
. Hurghada.
Car for sale, GMC 95 as new, wheel drive, auto transmission, ABS, heavy duty
suspension, elec driver seat, velour miters, dark red metallic, central locking, rear wiper. P
lease contact Wessam El Sebai : 010 578 3697 or Dr Dia El Sebai : 012 733 3322. E-mail : [email protected] or [email protected]

Car for sale. Dodge Crysler, 1982 model with A/C, power steering, central locking, electric windows. Excellent condition, contact 012 747 2899 (Hurghada)

Hurghada Dive Centre for Rent. The centre includes:
18 metre boat with Caterpillar engine - 250 horse power
Compressor - Power K14
50 Aluminium Bottles
Complete Diving Equipment
Boat Permission for 25 tourists
Tourist Permission for Dive Centre Operation for 12 Months
Accommodation - 2 Studio Apartments
Total Centre Size - 350 square metres - including newly built equipment room
& classroom
PRICE PER MONTH: 3800 EUROS. For further details, please email: [email protected] 
Apartment for sale in Moubarak 2 area, Hurghada. Fully furnished, 1st floor flat with 3 bedrooms. A/C, satellite TV, telephone and automatic washing machine. Please contact : 012 747 2899
Person needed to work in Nursery. All nationalities considered, but must speak English. Hours - 10am-6pm. Please call : 065 447 314. Hurghada.
H.E.P.C.A. is looking for a part-time Secretary with a love for the enviroment for the Hurghada office. English language must be fluent, while other languages are a bonus. Looking for someone to start immediately. Salary is to be discussed. Please email : Amar or phone 012 398 8108.
Searching for a Training partner in sports, running, biking. No competition. Just for fun. Running distance from 5 km upwards. Biking to Gouna or Safaga, maybe more. Please call: 010 545 9991 
A property in El Gouna in $35,000 to $45,000 price range. Please contact : Mr.Thompson at [email protected]
Second-hand outboard motorboat with the following specifications :
Power : 80 to 115 HP
Size : 17 to 22 feet
Polyester or semi-rigid.
Please contact : Hervé Siegrist in El Gouna - [email protected]
Person required to work part-time as Nursery Assistant. Must speak fluent English. Nursery experience preferred, but not essential as full training will be given. Salary dependent on experience. Please contact: Marika 012 393 4407. El Gouna.
Second hand Jeep Wrangler wanted as soon as possible. Please contact Andy. 010 356 4925. Hurghada.
Features & Articles
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