Tess' first book “Leap: Leaving A Job With No Plan B to Find the Career and Life You Really Want” was published in August 2015 by Random House Harmony. For more information on the book, go here.

Tess Untethered | Aqaba, Jordan: Diving the Red Sea
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Aqaba, Jordan: Diving the Red Sea

Nov 08 2017

Aqaba, Jordan: Diving the Red Sea

One of the most valuable aspects of travel – aside from meeting wonderful people in every single country – is what it teaches you about geography. Here, on my first journey to the Middle East, I find myself gobsmacked by the proximity of the four countries surrounding Aqaba, at the southern tip of Jordan, where I’ve been the last three days. The photos below are from two days of diving in the Red Sea, which I failed to part. Day one was a shore dive — my first! — and looking out from the dive site, you could scan across the Gulf of Aqaba and see Jordan, Israel (the city of Eilat) and Egypt, and the Saudi border was just behind us. I can’t wait to come back to this region for more exploration.


As for the diving… I’d heard the Red Sea was a dream, and it’s true. The wreck is a ship that was sunk on purpose by the current king when he was crown prince because he knew divers would enjoy it. One of the dive sites is called The Aquarium, and that’s exactly what it is.


I crossed the 70-dives mark on this trip… not bad for less than two years of diving! My German dive buddy was on his 100th dive and was told that international dive rules required him to observe the occasion by diving nude in 24C water. He took a pass on that one. Pretty sure I will, too, when I hit that number.


The red marker is Aqaba, and the dive site is just south of that.


View of three countries from the dive site, with Saudi Arabia just behind this area

I have obsessions with camels and turtles — and Jordan provided both!

At the Aquarium dive site, somebody set out tables and chairs… perhaps for some Bedouin tea or Turkish coffee… I’ve also never seen a dive site with grass on a sandy bottom.

Nature having fun with mazes

Bubble coral — I’ve seen this in Thailand, too


The wreck of the Cedar Pride

Lionfish are not an invasive species in this part of the world, as they are in, say, the Caribbean


This is the world’s 5th tallest flagpole… 130 meters. It can be seen from Egypt, Israel and Saudi Arabia (and the dive boat).


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  • Andrea Andersen

    Amazing under water photos, Tess.
    I especially liked the photo of the ship wreck.
    You are doing something the rest of us dream about.

    November 17, 2017 at 11:26 pm

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