This is written from the not so sunny UK where I’m spending a couple of weeks chilling out. I would have preferred that phrase to be metaphorical rather than literal but I suppose that less than tropical conditions are to be expected when you go to northern Europe in February.
Still the diving goes on even without my name on the board and Mike took a boat out at the weekend. The intention was to have another look for the Beatrix Maria which we thought we’d spotted the previous weekend but couldn’t locate despite a promising signal on the echo sounder. The story was not one of unqualified success however as Mike describes it:
“Ok Friday. Well the crew were Derek and Geoff and Polly and me. Peter sounded like someone had sandpapered his throat when he rang to cry off. So with the trees rustling just a bit but blowing off the land we launched at Hamriyah. Slightly worrying was the return of 3 fishing boats as we set out. As we cleared the harbour and set out to sea due north for the Beatrix coordinates the sea was following us. I could see that things were getting lively but we were not shipping too much water and Geoff was doing a good job driving. We arrived at the spot and turned on the echo sounder. We circled the zero point several times but all we got were spikes due to the rough seas and the transducer leaving the water and otherwise a steady 23.3, 23.4m so a flat bottom and nothing there. So I do not know what it was that you saw but there is nothing there.
We set course for the Dara but after 30 seconds abandoned that idea as we were directly into the waves and instead turned at right angles to them and ran for the shoreline landing off Umm Al Quwain. Tight inshore the waves were a lot less and so we turned south and battered our way south to Hamriyah. On the trip back the canopy completely collapsed but was fortunately still attached to the boat. So back at the yard we removed the canopy completely and it now lies in the yard. We removed the fixings from the gunwales as well as the broken ends of the canopy uprights were still stuck inside. They are at my workshop now getting pressed out. A new disc in the angle grinder will trim the uprights and then maybe on Tuesday the canopy can be reinstalled.
Thus sadly not a tale of a new wreck but one of no dives and a broken boat although it will be put back to full health shortly.”
No doubt the disappointment was alleviated with some refreshments by the pool afterwards!
Ian Hussey and Dive Club writers.