If you want to dive in Dahab, head straight for Red Sea Relax Resort.
They are a five-star PADI operation, based at the Red Sea Relax Resort Hotel – which, very conveniently, is just on the edge of Dahab town centre.
I am not a hugely experienced diver (about 45 dives)….but I have dived in quite a few different places (Sharm-el-Sheik, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Cuba)….and I can honestly say that I have never had such a great experience as I had last summer (2012), in Dahab, with Red Sea Relax.
This was entirely due to the quality of the scuba instructor who led our dives – Sophia McBeath.
Like any great teacher, Sophie can operate at many different levels, according to what’s needed. She is, no doubt, terrific with ultra-confident divers. I, however, needed something different. I’d recently had a skiing accident. This meant that I was more tentative than usual (and I’d always been quite a nervous diver). Sophie made it easy for me. They carried my tank out and I put in on in the water, same on the way back.
But that was just the start of it. Sophie has also turned me into a confident diver. What makes her such a great teacher? A combination of the following:
1/ Absolute rigour both in and out of the water. Most of the other places I’ve been, I’ve been, there has always been a lackadaisical approach to preparation, including buddy checking, followed by a mad rush to get into the water whatever way you could.
Sophie insisted that we take our time, get it right and do it right. The result is that I now feel in control of myself and my equipment in a way that I have never done before. That is the essence of good practice. And that is what gives you confidence.
2/ The actual dives continued our learning experience. She continued teaching underwater – and taught us to do things a whole lot better than we had been doing them. Both my husband and myself have emerged as much more accomplished divers as a result. Too often, you just get taken down, shepherded around a bit by somebody who is essentially disinterested – and that’s it.
3/ The above commitment extended to us too. We never felt like just another couple of customers – she took a genuine and personal interest in us and our development.
4/ She has a genuine passion for what she does. She is interested in everything underwater…from the smallest coral to the turtle, octopus, barracuda etc. And she conveys that interest and excitement brilliantly.
5/ The teaching and guiding is done with a huge sense of humour and personal charm. We never felt patronised or talked down to. We had huge fun.
Perhaps the best proof of my positive experience with Red Sea Relax is that I intend to return to do my Advanced Training with Sophie…something I certainly never intended to do before.
Finally, a word about Paul, the Dive Centre Manager, who was our first port of call when signing up. A man of few words initially, he took on board immediately what we wanted and needed – and made it happen with the utmost efficiency and a very competitive price. (By the way, you get a really good discount if you stay at the Red Sea Relax Resort Hotel itself – which is a great place in its own right.) Paul is somebody, like Sophie in whom you can have absolute confidence.
It seems to me that this operation dives – and encourages diving – for all the right reasons. It has been the very best diving experience I have ever had – by a very wide margin.
Thank you so much, Sophie and Paul.