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Eilat, Israel: Shore Diving

Shore Diving in Eilat is a great way to spend 2-3 days
I highly recommend 2-3 days of shore diving there before heading off on a boat trip.

July-August is the high season when waters are up to 29 Degrees.
September-October: fewer people and water is still warm
December-February: water temp can dip to 18 Degrees

You can try and contact the organizations beforehand, but you might find that they are too busy to return emails, especially during the high season; and phone calls... well they are usually busy, but will tell you to show up in the morning and sign up. (Live-aboard Safaris are a different story, more on that in another post)

I tried four diving organizations in Eilat:
Marina Divers
Dolphin Reef

Deep-Siam, previously ‘deep divers’, have tech courses, and run safari boats to deco-dive sites, but I really enjoyed them for a few shore dives as they are a bit smaller, and ‘boutique-ish’ and are next to two bar/restaurant places on the beach. It’s less hectic than the other dive centers. They have lockers for free, and guided dives throughout the day. They accept the SDI solo cert card, and you’ll have to ask about the PADI independent diver card.
I shot this video foxused on some of Eilat’s beautiful coral during a 110 minute dive with one of the tech instructors. Rebreather divers make such good models!

Marina Divers is busy, but efficient, and they provide large lockers for free that you can keep day and night, for as long as you are diving with them. You can rinse and dry your gear before putting it away
(I took all my own gear, but they rent everything as do all the places).

Out the front of Marina Divers is the rather nice wreck of a Naval Rocket Launcher:

Aqua-Sport, next door to Marina Divers, is the busiest and biggest. There’s a divers’ dorm which is cheap, and gets booked up, so if you are under 20, it’s probably the place for you. I took a look in one of the dorm-rooms and was happy I was staying with a friend, dirty undies and socks, puddles of water...

Read more about their boat Safaris (which I recommend).

Dolphin Reef is a one dive experience. It’s a factory, pumping tourists through the system with it’s desk workers soured by the constant ‘dumb-tourist’ trade.
I recommend the dive, as my experience was a positive one: four of the imported dolphins came to my guide to be scratched, like friendly dogs. No touching is the rule, but the dolphins can get very very close to you.
No cameras allowed, but they will provide you with a personal videographer for.. a charge... of course.

In General:
You can’t dive with a knife, so don’t bring one.
Take all your equipment, rent tanks and weights, or rent everything, as their equipment is very good, if heavily used.
Check the water temperatures for the Month you intend to dive. Some of the guys I dived with do use drysuits during the colder months.
Security at the airport can act as if they have never seen a regulator before... amazing. They might make you put it in your luggage.

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