AQABA: GOING WITH THE FLOW
Seahorses, skewed golf swings and King Abdullah’s Star Trek surprise are among the highlights of a trip to the Jordanian city
I can’t be certain the seahorse is giving me a dirty look but I’m fairly sure it isn’t happy. But, then, it’s not every day you get eyeballed by a 1.5-inch-long hippocampus.
Sometimes it really is the small things. I’m 25 feet below the surface of the Red Sea, a 40-minute sail south of the Jordanian city of Aqaba. The ship, Cedar Pride, had been scuttled in the 1980s to create an artificial reef. Now I’m hovering above it with an aqualung strapped to my back, as my dive guide, Belal, points out the tiny seahorses that have made it their home. And despite their size, these two creatures put on an August display of territorial defiance.
Just as impressive are the scorpionfish, stonefish and lionfish on the real reef nearby. “A friend of mine was stung by a lionfish,” Belal warns after we surface and tuck into one of its aquatic cousins that had been barbecued on the back of the boat. “It was so painful he begged the doctor to cut off his finger. They didn’t; he’s fine.”
Not far away is an army tank that was sunk 20 years ago to make another artificial reef. T