There were twelve divers last Friday, meaning that we had to take both boats out again. Whether we can keep this up remains to be seen, particularly with the Land Rover temporarily out of action but it was good to have a large party. Out with us for the day were Paul and Adri, who we met last weekend at the Vic Star. The day didn’t get off to the most auspicious of starts as we set off for the slip without the boat keys. Fortunately, Brian noticed the problem and Mike rectified it before we left the petrol station.
The target for the day was our old friend, the Dara. The sea state was a bit choppy but nothing to be too concerned about and we made it out there in reasonable time. The anchor landed just above the lower entrance to the cathedral, making it fairly easy to find on the way back although one or two, diving the wreck for the first time, used SMB’s to ascend. The wreck is broken up and can be confusing for those unfamiliar with it. The story of the sinking can be found at the link below:
The viz wasn’t the greatest I’ve seen (though not the worst) and there were a few batfish to keep us company amongst other fish including some clownfish with anemones which I’ve never seen on any other west coast wreck. The current was minor except around the stern so we were able to swim the full length of the ship.
On the second dive however, both the sea state and the current had picked up significantly so we stayed in the lee of the current around the stern section and in the cathedral. To go outside of this and swim against the current was very hard work. After that it was back to the club for some well-earned refreshments.
Although we’re the British Sub-Aqua Club, we’ve always tended towards the cosmopolitan and Friday was a case in point. On board were divers from South Africa (Brian), Ireland (Denis), Germany (Connie), Netherlands (Paul), Hungary (Adri) as well as Brits: Ian, Mike, Polly, Peter, Angela, Allen and Jess. It’s a pity Rayan didn’t come!
Chris Head writes:
Whilst writing I'd like to give you all advance notice of a one-day-dhow we're running on the 21st September from Dibba up to the Musandam. This is for the DSDC anniversary and should be an excellent day out and a great Musandam introduction if you haven't dived it before.
To Andy and Emily and Whitney and Katie and other Americans who have crossed our path from time to time, we wish you all a very happy Independence Day!
The Dive Club meets every Tuesday night in the Dive Bar.
See you there!
Wendy writes from Australia:
Today I went on a viewing north of Hervey Bay about 20 km off the coast of Bundaberg to witness the sinking of an old navy warship being sunk for the sole purpose of being a dive site. It’s in about 25 m and I hope when the weather warms up to be able to go diving on it. Really interesting to watch. It was filled with water slowly but then took on a mind of its own and instead of going straight down decided to list to the left and sank in about 20 seconds!!
Please see the photographs taken by Wendy below. We all wish Wendy safe diving in Australia.
We arrived at the Dibba-Fujeirah marina at 8.30, to meet Michelle on the jetty at the dive boat. There were no facilities close to hand, so a quick return was made the ADNOC service station at the entrance to the harbour to use the restroom! We then changed.
Our first dive began as a video dive for Steffen’s training, but my camera was not seated correctly inside its housing so no control of colour balance. Just enjoyed very good viz, first around back of the rock, then up and into the Aquarium. Water temperature was around 32 degrees, but still with some distinctively cool thermoclines at 27 - we felt the difference, especially in skins only. A shoal of Indian mackerel close up showed their silver reflective gills perfectly when they opened their mouths wide. A dead ray on the bottom was beginning to become fish-food. Final highlight of a 60 minute dive were two cuttlefish in the shallows where we were unsuccessfully seeking sharks. Shy, and displaying a variety of phosphorescent colours, they seemed to be a mating pair.
For our second dive, my camera was checked and re-checked, before we rolled into the water. The viz had deteriorated to 5-6m, but still pleasant enough. Connie and I were joined by Soline, while Steffen completed his last qualifying training with Michele. We soon found a small moray, a group of lion fish, and a larger shoal of Indian mackerel. Connie and I both managed to get punctured by sea urchins - unfortunate for Connie as she has an allergic reaction. Again strong thermoclines, and increasing current. We shared our enthusiasm for the site with Soline, on her first instructor-less dive, pointing out all the usual suspects, and she pointing out some to us! We surfaced at 49 minutes, with no boat in site and drifting away from the far side of the rock. A lone full-mask snorkeler approached u slowly. We waited and waited for a boat, which then was tied up beyond the north end of the rock - we were now south of it! The snorkeler came closer, and we heard him/her crying out. We swam across and found a very frightened and tearful young French boy, maybe 10-11 years old, name of Joseph. He had become separated from his parents, after being caught in the current. We waved and were spotted by a nearby cruise launch, who in turn waved down a Divers Down boat, which we able to get him on board. Joseph was lucky that we were close by. We assume the family were later safely reunited. Eventually we too were picked up, and then collected Michelle from the same Divers Down boat still with Joseph on board! While somewhat unimpressed by the quality of boat handling shown by our driver, once all were back on board, we duly celebrated Steffen’s qualification as a Padi diver, with Soline, Michele, in a photo with our BSAC406 flag.
At the marina, we changed as discretely as possible into our dry clothes on the boat, said farewell to Michelle about to take out her next group, and returned to use the ADNOC facilities - very clean by the way! Back at the Club, Ian and Richard were keeping the bar warm, later soon to be joined by our SP312 divers.
Ian Hussey and Dive Club writers.