Brendan ran an East Coast Dive on the 30th. He says:
“The East Coast trip was a fantastic, camping on Friday’s moonlit night was excellent and it wasn’t cold at all. Saturday diving was at the Car Cemetery, which was quite disappointing for marine life, and also a strong current (as expected). After this we managed to buy fresh fish from a local boat followed by a lazy BBQ on Martini beach, needless to say only 2 out of the total 6 attempted the second dive at Hole in the Wall, which was reported to be quite good. Thanks to all those who participated and also to DSDC for use of their boat.”
There were some fierce waves on Thursday the 28th (14-16ft according to the report) and although these had gone down a bit by Friday, it was still too much to take the boats out on the West Coast. We’ll try again next week.
Friday the 22nd was the first two-boat dive of the year with 11 divers in total. We went to Karen’s Dhow to pick up a bit of glassware, then on to the Anchor Barge. The sea was dead calm and there was almost no current on the surface at least. This may explain why the DM thought we’d hooked the Anchor Barge when in fact there was only sandy bottom underneath. Thus David’s first dive in three months turned out to be an inspection of underwater desert. Next time…
On the 15th, Mike took a team out to look for some new stuff. There was nothing at the first co-ordinates tried but at the second there was a small barge – not in very good shape evidently but with both ends more or less intact. Exploration over, the team headed for the Jumbo to be rewarded with 50 – 70 dolphins in various pods. Must have been awesome. Mike said the following about it:
“From the initial 7 signed up, only 4 set out to dive last Friday. Excuses of having to work and having a cold were accepted. We investigated target No 1042 thoroughly with the echo sounder before concluding that there was nothing there. The next entertainment was Derek learning how to steer the boat to the next target. It is harder than it looks, steering a boat! Further experience in boat handling was gained in just seeing how difficult it is to drive to the target and put the anchor into the wreck. We dived on an almost completely rotted away barge - scrub target 1015 as being uninteresting! Next was the Jumbo and most notable there was many pods of dolphins between 1000m and 40m from the boat swimming around for several minutes. Uwe and Derek missed them unfortunately. We found a fish pot full of fish but left it as there were ropes attached. But upon discovering that there were no floats on the surface and descending this time with the goodie bag we failed to find the fish pot. Such is life!”
Diving in 2010 got started on Friday the 8th. We went to the Zainab, the trip that got blown out last week. This week the sea state co-operated and at 9am we were sailing out of Umm Suqeim 2. At 9.20am we were also sailing out of Umm Suqeim 2, this time with the right number of wet suits.
The viz on the wreck was pretty poor so we decided against a second one and went instead to Sheikh Mohammed’s Barge (should this now be called Barge Khalifa?). The viz still wasn’t great but it was infinitely better than our last visit to the SMB and a good dive was had by all. (not least Mike and Uwe who spent the time brass mining though nothing was brought up).
Happy New year divers and friends of BSAC 406 - let's make it a good one!
Ian Hussey and Dive Club writers.