Sataya (Dolphin) Reef, Red Sea, off the coast of Egypt

24 10 N, 35 40 E

Now that’s more like it.

We had a comfortable overnight motor sail, 70 miles north from Dangerous Reef to Dolphin Reef. The winds were supposed to be moderate and, shockingly, they were.

Dolphins are supposed to play here regularly, but they haven’t shown up yet. Some did join us for a bit last night, playing around at the bow during our passage. We could see them coming from a distance, leaping out of the water as they swam. It’s almost as if they are saying, “Hey, look, a boat to play with! Follow me!” “No, me first!” “Yippee!” If dolphins could talk.

We’re anchored comfortably inside the reef, which is about ten miles off the Egyptian coast. We can see it dusty and mountainy off to the side

We went for a snorkel earlier today and it was one of the best of the trip. The coral mushrooms up from a depth of about thirty feet, and it is filled with all sorts of branches and colors and globular things. The fish treat it like a hotel. We jumped overboard, and swam about five minutes to the closest one. As you circle it, some new colored fish, of a shape or a color that you don’t remember ever seeing before, greets you. Sometime in pairs, and sometimes by the dozens. Some were striped like a referee. Some, no kidding, were like fat fuzzy potatoes, and grumpily wiggled as they swam. A favorite, chocolate brown on one end and vanilla on the others, with a clear line of demarcation between the two, like those half-and-half cookies you can get in the North End. Some with long noses. Another pair that were much much too yellow. And then on to the next corner!

They coral heads are about a foot and half from the surface, so if you swim carefully you can fly over them, looking down into nooks and crannies and caves as you go.

We’ll stay here for a couple of days. Maybe the dolphins will come.

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