We got the year started at the weekend although there were points during the day when we wished we hadn’t. First though some thanks are due to Joff for helping out with some repairs to 312’s trailer. Being dipped into the sea regularly doesn’t do much for the moving parts and all the springs were in dire need of replacement. Not a job that’s normally beyond us except that some of the nuts and bolts had seized to a point where no spanner could shift them and some professional help was needed. We also had the front post moved forward by a few cm to compensate for the heavier engines that the boat now carries. Friday was the first outing since the work and it towed fine.
How do you tell someone’s been an expat for a while? Possibly when he turns up at the club pre-dive and explains that he couldn’t bring any sandwiches today because “the maid isn’t back until Monday”. Actually I’m not sure he was serious but I can’t let that spoil a good story and anyway I wouldn’t dream of causing any embarrassment by naming him.
The original plan was the Ajman Glory but leaving the harbour it was soon clear that the sea was not co-operating so we changed course and headed for the Dara instead. It was not exactly a smooth ride out there but we persevered and hooked the wreck at the second time of asking. The wreck is still covered in nets and the viz was mediocre but Mike and Marc did manage to spot a large stingray, about 1.5m across. Peter, Brian and Derek meanwhile did their bit for conservation by freeing a large hammour that had become caught up. Hopefully the fish will celebrate it’s rescue by having lots of baby hammour. The population urgently needs it thanks to over-fishing for too long, particularly of juveniles who haven’t spawed. Something to think about next time you see hammour on the restaurant menu. OK sermon over.
The ride back was wet, cold and miserable for all of us apart from Marc who found the only sheltered part of the boat and crouched down there, staying comparatively comfortable. For the rest of us a warm shower and a beer couldn’t come quickly enough.
A big welcome back (albeit temporarily) to Marc De Ruyter (he who has to duck to get through doorways). For the next couple of months Marc is in the area and should be diving as much as he can (not every week – the dredging business doesn’t work like that).
Ian Hussey and Dive Club writers.