Sataya Reef Hamata – Marsa Alam Dolphins Spinners and corals (October 2016)

Sataya Reef is a horseshoe-shaped reef 30 Km south of Hamata and 50 Km north of Berenice, it is the main reef of the Fury Shoals, it is just the most beautiful reef I never saw in the Red Sea! Fantastic!….and not only because it is the playing garden of the spinner dolphins but also because the corals are huge and not broken! It is 12 years that I live part-time in Egypt and I saw the corals of the Red Sea going down and down every year due to the climate?… I am not sure but what I am sure it is due to the wild fishing and the tourists…. no respect or not enough informations to know how to protect this beautiful world? To see a place like Sataya Reef make sun in your heart!pa130229_800x600
To join Sataya Reef from El Quseir means to drive for 2 hours and half with a mini bus and 2 hours and half with a boat….. so it is really far! If you are lucky the sea will be calm….if not take half a tablet not to be seasick!… not too much like that you will not sleep during all the trip …the Sea is so beautiful!
We arrive in Sataya Reef and immediately we saw the dolphins….and not one or two but so many!!!pa120047_800x600pa130261_800x600
The books say that 200 Spinners are in the Lagoon! The spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris – in French dauphin à long bec – in Italian delfino Stenella dal lungo rostro) is a small dolphin found in off-shore tropical water all around the world, the name is due to the acrobatic way of moving (spins) in the air when he jumps (to advise the other dolphins that there is fish to eat) or under water when he moves. The adults are long from 150 to 235 cm and their weight is between 25 and 80 kg. It is amazing to see in Sataya Reef so many babies Dolphins…Good that means they are healthy and the place is not polluted by too many boats and tourists. Usually the Spinners arrive in Sataya around 6 in the morning all together, they stay all the day there to play, to grow up the babies, to make love and in the evening around 5 pm they go out of the reef all together to hunt for food. They are not too much disturbed by the tourists (if the tourists are not hystericals and “run” to touch them)
…. once there were 12 boats in the lagoon and so many snorkelers running after the dolphins…. it was terrible to see the tourists fighting to reach the dolphins…. but the dolphins are so clever….they bring the group of tourists out of the reef, in open sea….and they came quietly back inside!

the reef by another way…..I was looking their “cinema” from the boat and I laugh so much!!!!
Sataya lagoon is 5 km long and 2 km wide in the very south side of the lagoon you have a nice shallow plateau with coral gardens, in some spot the sea is so low that you can walk in the sand!

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Trip to Sataya Reef with the Boat Aqua Star 2! (October 2016)

We were in a very comfortable boat named Acqua Star 2 with a crew so kind and so professional I feel safe and happy all the week! Thanks to Captain Nasser, Chef Ali, Mechanic Tecnician Shazly, so clever Zodiac driver Ali, Waiter Mustafa. The week holiday was organized by a Belgium tour operator Dolphin Heart. My dream is to go back once more with the same Boat and Crew but organized by a local tour operator to give benefit direcly to Egyptians, it has been so hard for them for so many years with so few tourists. Wish all Nationalities come back to this wonderful country!
I want to give a huge thank to Zodiac Driver Ali because he helps us so many times to climb in the Zodiac….and we are not so “light”!!!!!

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Enjoy life with the Spinners Dolphins of Sataya Reef (October 2016)

pa130097_800x600Dolphins are  mammal of the order of Cetacean. There are almost 40 species, ranging in size from 1.2 meters to 9.5 meters and 40 kilos and 6 tons (Orcas). They are predators

The name dolphin perhaps come from the Greek Delphis, whe means or “uterus” since the dolphins give birth to their babies, or in an other translation of Delphis it can mean “spirit of the sea”!….for me both can match with my idea of Dolphins!

In Greek mythology, the dolphin is an animal beloved by Apollo. Friend of man, kind with children, liking music, sailors’s comrade that announce calm waters and safe routes, he is a help for fishermen. His capture was a sacrilege.

The dolphin sleeps with half a brain at a time: while one half rests, the other remains vigilant.

The dolphins are the only ones, among the non-human mammals, that can be attributed a proper name. In social group, the members recognize themselves by their “speech”: every individual corresponds a special vocalization, a sound that in their very intelligent mind is a real name.

The dolphin is the only animal, besides humans, to have in the midbrain the “black substance”, which indicates a high intellectual development. If captured he feels anxiety. For an affective pain, as in the case of a mother separated from her baby, she can suicide, voluntarily stopping to breathe.

After mating, the female dolphin makes prenatal gymnastics. Gestation lasts one year.

Dolphins can realize that they do not know something. In one experiment, some students were rewarding the animals only if they answered correctly but they were allowed not to complete the test to think it over. The “do not know” option was often chosen by a dolphin. For the searchers, their behavior in face of doubts is similar to what humans feel in similar situations.

To reduce friction with the water, the skin of the dolphin is renewed every two hours.

The dolphin emits with the head some high-frequency sounds (called click) that spread in the water and then come back in the form of echo. Like that they are able to navigate and locate objects and bodies in the water (so they can, for example, find a coin up to 80 meters and a shoal of small fishes to more than 100 meters).

The dolphins are the only animals with the elephants and men who can recognize their own image in the mirror.

Before eating a squid, dolphins dragged it on the clean sand (so to pop off the bone), and hit it repeatedly (to squeeze out all of the ink).

In nature a dolphin lives 45 years. Half of those in captivity “playing” in some performance shows die within two years, those who resist may not exceed five.


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The colours of Sataya Reef! (October 2016)

If you have the chance to go to Sataya Reef…. take time to snorkel in the very South of the Lagoon in the shallow plateau you will find the most beautiful coral gardens that I never saw …and not one coral broken….and we met Napoleon fishes… and all the fishes are just relax like us ….because I think ….not a lot of fishermen!!!! We went only once in the South part of the Reef that is why I want to go back …because I really wish to snorkel for hours in this shallow part….and have all the freedom to enjoy time, not to be stressed by the tour organisation.

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Sun and Sea in Sataya Reef and in Hamata (October 2016)

Nothing very special…. but it makes me feel relax….hope the same for you….
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…and why not the moon?DSC_0407_800x532PA160845_800x600