We had planned to go for WreckX last Friday but come the morning the forecast was deemed to be too much for a trip of that distance (46km from Al Khan). With the benefit of hindsight, we would probably have made it without problems but the journey back would have been a bit rocky.
Plan B was the Dara, as requested by Peter and Chris so we duly headed up the coast to Hamriyah. DSDC have reported problems with coastguards of late but so far the Sharjah guys have been reasonable. The letter from the Wanderers declaring us to be fine and upright citizens (well I wrote it) seems to working so far.
Once over the wreck, dive marshall Mike Dalton found that the echo sounder wasn’t working. Fortunately we are well practised at sorting out technical problems of this nature and a short diagnostic check revealed the most likely solution: the application of a small downward pressure to the “on” button. This proved 100% effective and we soon anchored on the wreck.
This will not unfortunately go down as one of the best. A strong current was running and the viz was seriously poor with the wreck being covered in nets from the mid-section forward. Frankly at the moment it’s dangerous so anyone thinking of going there should take care until the nets are cleared – perhaps a project we could undertake in better conditions. A ray was spotted in the murk but personally I didn’t hang around down there long. On exiting the water Robin managed to lose a fin, which was eventually recovered by him swimming the length of the safety line and more, assisted by a bit of engine power before the current took it out of sight.
For the second dive we went to the Tek. This is a small tug – not remarkable in itself but home to some very nice fish life and delicate soft corals. After a long circular search the tug was found about 20m from the anchor-line. One large yellow-tail barracuda was spotted, and a number of small burrowing gobys, as well as the usual monocle bream and shoals of snappers. and yellow-bar angel fish. In the meantime the current had dragged the anchor further from the wreck with Peter's and Chris's combined lines at limit, giving us a fair swim back before ascent.
Ian Hussey and guest writers.