Many thanks to Ben Clegg for providing the video footage of Wreck X and Neptune. Please follow the link above to view the footage.
We will have updates next week on the Dive trip to Zanzibar and Polly's report on her mountain biking trip around the Himalayas and recce into Diving at Altitude in Nepal. Any members who would like to contribute to the Dive Log, please send to Ian and Polly.
Last week was the long-awaited trip to Zanzibar. I’m putting together a report for next week, assisted by a few observations from fellow travellers but before then, things were far from inactive back at home during the Eid holiday.
Below is an update from Brian:
While the rest of the 406 we’re living it up in the crystal clean Indian Ocean waters off Zanzibar, a few of us remained behind.
The first days diving was planned for Wreck X and Jumbo, however a mis-communication resulted in Marc thinking the dive was off, resulting in only 3 people arriving on the day. Luckily Saad was on a rebreather and the dive went ahead to Jumbo and Nasteran. Viz was superb on the Jumbo where we had an awesome 3 meters! We swam around the wreck and to my surprise I found the front half has collapsed. Dive two was Nasteran again looking for a lost piece of electronics. This time we lined off and commenced with a circular search. The dive resulted in another red light and no torch!
On Wednesday 22nd August 2018, we headed out again. This time we hit Wreck X and Neptune in perfect conditions, nil current, 3-meters viz. The highlight of the dive was to see the first of the seasons long line jellyfish! The wreck was very silty and the white soft corals which normally grow on the wreck weren’t there. A nice Harmour was found in the engine room.
We then headed for Neptune for the second dive where we were thrilled to see the viz was double our expectation at 6 meters. The barnacles were prolific for this time of year, and surprisingly colorful, (brown, orange, orange-brown) mind-blowing stuff. The deck plates in the mid ship have collapsed above a pump room leaving loads to explore. There are huge ballast tanks you can squeeze into and many a long corridor to explore. The dive ended on a high note. At 6 meters there were loads of deadly jellies, some dangling impressive 3-meter tentacles. When the second wave entered they notice a lump of fiberglass flapping around on the side of 125, turns out there had been a breech in the hull in her former life and was repaired poorly. No water was observed to be entering the hull so the dive went ahead.
Back at the club 312’s flat batteries were checked. It was good to see that they have taken and were holding charge!
Friday 24th August 2018, saw us heading out once again, this time on 312 as 125’s hull was under repair. Destination was originally planned for Karen’s Dhow but somehow, we ended up on Taha. Viz was awesome and a Spotted Leopard Ray was seen basking on the sand. A Harmour had a strange collection of dead fish in a hole. The Taha has changed for the better, all the scaffolding has sunken below the sea bed taking most of the cargo with it, eerie I know! The cargo hold is now completely open and makes for a good exploration. There are a few 4lt oil bottles inside with loads of oil trapped below the port gunwale. One idiot diver - no names mentioned - decided to remove a tyre from the sand. This dislodged a load of oil buried in the sand and said diver surfaced looking like he was about to enter a body building competition.
Dive two was going to be Vic Star but seeing as how there was amazing vis at Taha, dive two evolved into the Mariam Express. The viz was again awesome and yes there is still teapots tea and teaspoons in the cargo hold. Along the keel the current has scoured out the reef leaving some impressive overhangs. The rocks are beautifully coated in red and green corals, unfortunately no seahorses could be found! The water on the bottom was disturbingly hot, so much so the fish were swimming around gasping for air and kneeling over dead! The strangest thing was seeing an all-white yellow fish with eyeballs popped out from its skull swimming around blindly. On the way back, we noticed loads of dead fish floating in the ocean, a terrible fish-kill due to hot sea water temperatures. Hopefully this does not last too long as the air temperatures have now stated to drop.
Back at the club we managed to encourage some of the Irish lads to don a tank and get in the pool, hopefully the experience was not too scary and they return one day to come diving.
Brian also undertook the repair work on SP 125, touched on in his report above. This took a lot of effort due to the extent of the damage – possibly one of the reasons the boat was so cheap in the first place. I believe Rayan also assisted so thanks to both of you.
The bricking up of the equipment room window and the conversion to split A/C’s is ongoing. This will give us some extra wall space and provide more efficient cooling for the compressors. Thanks to SWSC who are carrying out the work.
From Petra of DSDC:
I was going to ring fence 8 places for 406 for the DSDC dhow trip on 21 September until 10th September. Do let me know names and emails of anyone who is interested in joining us.
This is now getting imminent so anyone interested, please confirm.
DAN insurance website: https://www.daneurope.org/home
The Dive Club meets every Tuesday night in the Dive Bar.
See you there!
Ian Hussey and Dive Club writers.