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The Blue Ocean? No, The Red Sea - June 2019

Discussion in 'CHUM Dive Trips and Events' started by Heidi Ho, Jul 25, 2018.

  1. Heidi Ho

    Heidi Ho Grand Pooh Staff Member

    The Blue Ocean? No, The Red Sea - June 2019

    Join us as we go intercontinental; we're going to the Red Sea and will literally travel from Africa to Asia.

    We're doing the Wrecks and Reefs thing with OTA Diving on the M/Y Galaxy.

    Here's the scoop:

    We board on Saturday, June 1, 2019 by 1 pm and depart at 8 am on Saturday, June 8, 2019.

    We're diving Wrecks and Reefs; we'll visit The Thistlegorm (here and here and all over the interwebs), sites in the Ras Mohammed National Park and the Straits of Tiran. As usual, the actual sites will be determined but the OTA site lists their normal stops.

    The cost includes:
    7 nights accommodation
    Soft drinks, snacks
    Air (Nitrox) and weights
    Marina and gas surcharges, taxes
    3 dives a day plus night dives, conditions and captain permitting (approx 7 am, 10 am and 2 pm) Conditions permitting, we could do multiple dives on the Thistlegorm
    Airport transfers
    The cost does not include: (see note below re: alcohol :))
    Equipment Rental
    Videographer – if we can get/want one
    Alcohol - The beer available on the boat is Heineken, an Egyptian Stella, and Sakara. We can bring 2 750ML bottles of liquor or 2 bottles of wine into Egypt. If you want to drink alcohol on the boat, pack it in your luggage or buy it at a duty-free shop in a USA airport. OTA doesn't recommend getting it at a duty-free store in Egypt.
    Dive or trip insurance. Dive insurance is required; trip insurance is recommended.

    There are an upper and lower cabin options; the uppers are suites with king beds but there are only two upper cabins on the boat so if you want one, you better snag it. Every cabin has its own head and air conditioning.

    The lower cabin is $1685/per person/double occupancy; the upper cabin is $1800/per person/double occupancy.

    You can pay via PayPal, bring a check to a meeting, bring a credit card to a meeting (adds 2.7%) or mail a check to CHUM at P.O. Box 980573, Houston, TX 77098.

    If you want to be sure to make this trip and you're not a Tiger Shark (paid CHUM member), that's an easy fix - just add $35 to the first deposit amount.

    Lower cabin
    Deposit $285 (PayPal = $293.82) due August 1
    $500 (PayPal = $515.24) due Nov 15
    $500 (PayPal = $515.24) due Jan 17
    $400 (PayPal = $412.25) due March 21

    Upper cabin
    Deposit $285 (PayPal = $293.82) – due August 1
    $505 (PayPal = $520.39) due Nov 15
    $505 (PayPal = $520.39) due Jan 17
    $505 (PayPal = $520.39) due March 21​

    Our hosts, Jeanne and Morad, have been visitors and speakers at CHUM and we're happy to say that they're chartered the entire boat for this week so be sure and tell your buddies. Even though the trip is far off, we want to get our initial deposits in by August 1. OTA has charted the entire boat so we can fill it entirely if we want to. But we need those deposits pretty quickly. And as an added incentive for us to fill the boat :), there is a possibility of reduced pricing.

    You want to get to Hurghada at least one day before so we'd stay at the Marriott Beach Resort in Hurghada for the night of the 31st. They like flying Turkish Airlines into Hurghada because they have the most direct route but as usual, you do you. As Jeanne said, flying Turkish from Houston to Hurghada has a long (8 hour) layover but that does allow you time to go into town and have dinner before you make that connection. As airline travel questions or issues come up, please ask them here and we'll get you the answers. There are lots of options for flying in and out of Egypt especially if you want to get there a couple days early, leave a couple days later and/or take advantage of the land excursion to Cairo for after we depart the boat.

    OTA is working with their local tour group to arrange day excursions of Cairo after we dock. We'd leave the boat in the morning of June 8 and spend a day or so in Cairo. The details are still being worked out in terms of site and prices but you could expect to budget in another $500. The land package would typically include 2 nights at a hotel, a visit to the Egypt Museum, the pyramids, entry into the Great Pyramid, an afternoon at an Egyptian bazaar and lunch. Other sites (Cairo Citadel, Cairo Tower) and days may be added and as that happens, we'll let you know. Airfare from Hurghada to Cairo (right now about $120) is not included so be sure to factor that in. It may be easier/cheaper/better to fly from Houston to Cairo and do the puddle jumper from Cairo to Hurghada. As long as you get to the dock by 1 pm on June 1, you're good.

    I'm excited for this opportunity to visit Egypt and the Red Sea and to travel it with Morad and Jeanne. They are very experienced with living in and traveling to Egypt. Peter and I are co-julies for this trip so if you have any questions, please let us know.

    We're gonna have a blast! Who else wants to go???

    1. PegLeg (deposit paid via PayPal)
    2. Heidi Ho (deposit in the mail)
    3. Seaagg05 (deposit paid via PayPal)
    4. K-Jenn Diver - upper cabin (deposit in the mail)
    5. Ms KJenn Dives - upper cabin (deposit in the mail)
    6. ReefHound- upper cabin (deposit in the mail)
    7. watermonkee- upper cabin (deposit in the mail)
    8. wanderwoman (deposit paid via PayPal)
    9. Jen (deposit paid via PayPal)
    10. CajunDiver (deposit in the mail)
    11. deepbubbles (deposit paid via PayPal)
    12. sharkbaitoohahah (deposit in the mail)
    13. sharknado (deposit in the mail)
    14. hebep (deposit in the mail)
    15. cpostali (deposit in the mail)
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
  2. Seaagg05

    Seaagg05 Vice President Staff Member

    Im in
    Heidi Ho and Ms KJenn Dives like this.
  3. K-Jenn Diver

    K-Jenn Diver Tiger Shark

    K-Jenn Diver and MsK-Jenn Dives both in.
    Upper cabin please.
    Deposit in the mail
    Heidi Ho and Ms KJenn Dives like this.
  4. ReefHound

    ReefHound Divemaster

    watermonkee and ReefHound are in. We'll snag the other upper cabin.
    Heidi Ho and Ms KJenn Dives like this.
  5. Seaagg05

    Seaagg05 Vice President Staff Member

    Looks like it’s turning into a party!
  6. Jen

    Jen Tiger Shark

    I'm in
    Heidi Ho and Ms KJenn Dives like this.
  7. wanderwoman

    wanderwoman Tiger Shark

    I'm in. I'll figure out a way to make it work!
    PegLeg, Heidi Ho, Jen and 1 other person like this.
  8. ReefHound

    ReefHound Divemaster

    That's what I said. It'll be the most I've spent on a dive trip but I figure it could be once in a lifetime.
    (Of course, I'll probably be saying that again next summer when someone puts together an amazing trip for 2020.)
  9. Jen

    Jen Tiger Shark

    I think this is one of those "take my money!!!" situations. Good thing it grows on trees!
    Siren, Ms KJenn Dives and Seaagg05 like this.
  10. Heidi Ho

    Heidi Ho Grand Pooh Staff Member

    Yay! I'm happy that you guys want to come play.

    wanderwoman, Jen, watermonkee and ReefHound, please note when you make your deposit. The earlier the better. Thanks.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
    Ms KJenn Dives and Jen like this.
  11. ReefHound

    ReefHound Divemaster

    Definitely by check. Fees no good.
    Ms KJenn Dives likes this.
  12. Heidi Ho

    Heidi Ho Grand Pooh Staff Member

    ok thanks. I'll put it as in the mail for you and watermonkee. wanderwoman, I just saw that you paid as well so we're good. Thanks everyone. Really appreciate you jumping on this so quickly and getting the deposits in.

    And just so you know, the future payment schedule works great with our meeting schedule so if you want, you can just bring checks to the meetings.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
    Ms KJenn Dives likes this.
  13. Jen

    Jen Tiger Shark

    I just sent my payment through PayPal
    Heidi Ho likes this.
  14. wanderwoman

    wanderwoman Tiger Shark

    Wait, where are those trees????
    PegLeg, Jen, Sushi Boy and 1 other person like this.
  15. Jen

    Jen Tiger Shark

    You mean you don't have one?? You gotta get on that!
  16. PegLeg

    PegLeg Tiger Shark

    Yeah, I have to look under really big rocks.
    Jen likes this.
  17. K-Jenn Diver

    K-Jenn Diver Tiger Shark

    I think someone cut my tree down.
    Jen likes this.
  18. Cajun Diver

    Cajun Diver Tiger Shark

    Count me in for lower cabin.
  19. deep bubbles

    deep bubbles Tiger Shark

    Just sent my deposit through PayPal.
    Heidi Ho, Jen and Seaagg05 like this.
  20. Cajun Diver

    Cajun Diver Tiger Shark

    I mailed a check for the deposit today.

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