Friday the 6th: Had a good dive on Friday which was a bit surprising because a couple of days earlier the weather forecast had been announcing 8-16 ft waves offshore. Fortunately it had calmed down by the time we set off and Karen's dhow yielded a few candlesticks for the Wanderers. Second dive was another dhow close by labeled "Bigpro" because the boat's GPS only displays 6 characters. We hope to be renaming the dhow shortly. Highlight was the grand-daddy of all cow-tailed rays which looked about 2m across even allowing for the fact that things look larger under water.
Boats now need a name to be registered by the coastguard so SP312 now answers to the name of "Haze Saeed" which apparantly means "Good luck" in Arabic. If anyone knows differently please tell us!
Boat is registered: Thanks to Mike's sterling efforts, SP312 is now re-registered for another year. To celebrate we're going out to Karen's dhow at the weekend plus somewhere else nearby to be decided. Although purely coincidental, to the trip, the Wanderers have asked us to find some candlestick holders for the Valentine's dinner. We'll do our best to oblige.
The desert camp out: on Friday/Saturday 20/21 February. For those who found the water too cold put their dry bags away that weekend and practiced bonfire/barbecue skills instead! - a good time. There were some divers and some dogs, the barbie was excellent and a number of beverages were consumed.
Red Tide: On a sad note we read in the Gulf News that the red tide that hit the East Coast late last year and the beginning of this year has killed an estimated 95% of the coral on that coast and just about all of the sea life - and they ponder whether this is "natural phenomenon" or not!! See this link from the Gulf News for more info.
A good dive on the "Bigpro" on Friday the 27th - It's a nice little wreck as well. Being little known it's little fished and there were lots of big jacks and baracuda. It also seems to be home to very big cow-tailed rays. I don't know whether it's just me but since all the dredgers got credit-crunched the visibility seems to have got a lot better. It was around 12 - 15m on Friday which was amazing although a bit less on the second dive after the current got up.
Shaun is organising a fast boat trip to the Musandam on 13 March. You should have received a separate email from him by now but if not and you're interested call him on 050-4599775.
Ian Hussey and guest writers.