A bit late this week I know but I’ve been a bit busy – better late than never anyway!
We started off with nine divers but drop-outs reduced this to five by the time we set off. This doesn’t please the Treasurer very much (hi PJ!) but it does make for plenty of room on the boat. Before we left the harbour, there was a bit of excitement when the boat driver who shall be nameless, took a wrong turn and got some mooring ropes wrapped around the prop – what was she thinking? Davidson was the hero who took the plunge to sort out the problem.
The original target was the Neptune to be followed by the Jumbo but as we headed out into an increasing sea state this didn’t such a good idea. Karen’s Dhow used to be the fallback position in these circumstances but these days the Victoria Star is even closer.
At the time we changed plan, the Vic Star was only 2km away so we were soon anchoring the wreck, scoring a direct hit straight into the forward hold. The viz was rather better than we’ve seen it of late which was good, particularly behind the bridge where most of the fish life seems to congregate. There are jacks, snappers, a family of batfish as well as a couple of small groupers that are elusive but occasionally seen. We also had a good look around inside the accommodation deck where the internal partitions continue to collapse.
By the time we headed back, the sea had calmed down, suggesting we could have got to the Neptune had we persevered but hindsight is a wonderful thing. The five were: Ian, Cathy, Mike Dalton, Volker and Davidson. Mike and Sharon from Kuwait Mantas were unfortunately not able to join us on the dive but did join us at the club afterwards.
We had a full dive boat at the weekend trip to the Victoria Star. In truth it was rather fuller than it should have been but one boat keeps things simple particularly with the port engine on SP125 still not in working order. The sea was flat calm going out almost to the point of being mirror smooth. This made for a pleasant journey but the lack of wind meant a hot and humid atmosphere when the boat stopped moving. Still the sea was cooler.
Welcome to Ty making his first dive with us. It wasn’t a very auspicious start with him, me and Cathy getting separated before we even hit the wreck, the anchor line being hooked on to a half buried strop about 5m away. I hope the second dive made up for it! There were plenty of jacks and a family of batfish around the bridge area and we also managed to poke around inside the wreck. The viz wasn’t great but it’s been much worse this year so no complaints.
The jellyfish season seems to have arrived so some care was needed on the anchor line. Overalls or skin-suits are the order of the day at the moment.
Grateful thanks to Brian Lugg and Mike Anthony whose efforts on SP312 have cured the petrol leak
A few photos by Mike Dalton and PJ above.
I ran out of time to send an email last week so there’s a bit to catch up on. Two weeks ago we ran both boats out to the Dara. There were ten divers in total including Alissar who last dived so long ago that when she opened her dive bag some cockroaches came crawling out and Katy and Derbhla who were making their first dives with us. Good to see everybody! The sea was calm and the current was negligible but the viz was average at best as has often been the case this year for some reason. Still we had a good couple of dives, on the second of which we disturbed the viz still further by cutting a few nets off the wreck on the promenade deck near where the anchor had landed.
I had an email from former member Richard Hadfield:
Just a note from an old member of the club (1979 - 81) when you were at the side of Sharjah Airstrip. Great times and wonderful memories (particularly of the entries to the Raft Races and the Christmas Pantomime). Stopped diving when in Hong Kong ..... Wanchai Harbour had low viz and high level of contamination. Not the same as Fujeirah!! Enjoyed the website ...
That was a bit before my time but there may be one or two from that era who get this email and remember Richard. If that’s you let me know.
And so to last Friday. Just one boat this week, partly due to numbers (eight) but also due to the fact that the port engine on SP125 needs a bit of work, something which we aim to get sorted out soon. The target was the Ajman Glory, sunk in unknown circumstances in August 1989. The wreck was believed to exist for a number of years before finally being located and identified in 2012. The full story is in the article below, published in Outdoor UAE.
Last time we were there we left an anchor behind so we hoped we might find and recover it. In this we were unsuccessful but we had a couple of good dives nonetheless. Again the viz wasn’t wonderful and got worse on the second dive but it was snapper city down there plus there some places for penetrating the wreck with some care. After that it was back to the club at high speed for some beverages and a bite to eat poolside.
Ian Hussey and Dive Club writers.