As I write it’s the UAE National Day so the roads were a bit quiet this morning. A working day but I’m not complaining as we got yesterday off, the country having lately adopted the enlightened habit of attaching public holidays to the nearest weekend. Even the moon now seems to appear at more convenient times than it used to although National Day being a secular holiday that wasn’t a issue on this occasion. As promised a few of us (me, Mike A, Geoff and Brian Lugg) spent some time on Saturday and Sunday cleaning up the equipment room and the yard which are looking a lot better as a result. And the big boat…
As you may know, 2-stroke engines are being phased out over here so we’ve taken the plunge and ordered a couple of 4-strokes which as well making for a quieter ride out to the dive sites, should future proof us for a while at least. On Saturday we took the old engines off and shipped the boat up to the workshop. By next weekend hopefully, we should be back in action with some new machinery. Needless to say it’s not a cheap course of action and has all but wiped us out of funds. We have two parallel strategies to overcome this problem: Fridays – dive as much as possible, Tuesdays – drink as much as possible. I trust I can rely on your full support.
After last week’s wash-out we were back in the water at the weekend. This was the Dara trip that we should have made last week but weren’t able to. On the boat with us was photographer Olivia Arthur, who is preparing an exhibition of images of Dubai as seen through the eyes of a fictional Dara survivor. Olivia had a piece in Time-Out Dubai this week which is attached for your interest. We guided her around the stern of the wreck where the anchor was hooked, through the cathedral and up to the promenade deck. She got some good pictures which hopefully will be useful for her exhibition (for details see the attached article).
The wreck is covered in nets again and a clearing operation looks called for. Mike and Cathy did their good deed for the day by cutting out a large leopard ray that had become entangled. Although struggling to start with, the ray seemed to realise it was being helped and settled down while Mike went to work with the scissors. Cathy meanwhile, mindful of what happened to Steve Irwin, was mentally rehearsing a controlled buoyant lift. Fortunately this wasn’t needed and the ray swam gracefully away having lived to hunt another meal.
Speaking of nets, the word from DSDC is that the Victoria Star is now covered in them although less so now after 2½ hours of hacking and cutting. Cheers guys! Having spent years doing the same on the Dara, to call the fishermen “slow-learners” is to severely overstate the speed of their thought processes – in this respect at least.
The sea got up a bit for our journey back but nothing to get excited about and we soon sipping a few glasses of decompression fluid back at the club.
Ian Hussey and Dive Club writers.