Mike was due to be taking a boat to the Dara yesterday as I write but I don’t know what happened there. Instead to go back a week, a small but keen group had a drive through the wadis and arrived for a camp out in the mountains above Wadi Sena. It was a bit fresh up there but we soon got the fire going and a barbecue soon followed washed down by some liquid refreshment. A very good evening – hopefully a few more people next time.
The weekend was not devoid of diving. PJ explains:
While the more robust were braving a winter night in the mountains, I drove Connie and Tim across to the East coast to meet Janette at the Radisson Blu near Dibba, for two open-water training dives off Dibba Rock. Palm Divers have a great facility there, with comfortable change rooms and lockers, and an indoor training pool. The first dive was close to the rock, but a strong current made it difficult to complete Janette’s planned underwater exercises. I followed them, happy not to be filming for a change, and found them an undulated moray, albeit a small one, before Tim was down to 50 bar in adverse conditions, at which point we hit slack. I continued on my own for a further 15 minutes, enjoying the many wrasse and parrotfish, trunk fish and a pair of beautifully striped tobys, among a profusion of life around the corals. Here the camera would have been quite handy!
We returned only briefly to the dive centre before it was time for the second dive, this time recorded on video. This time Janette chose the Artificial Reef, a little north of the Rock, and now attracting dense shoals of fusiliers and reef-fish. It comprises groups of hollow concrete balls, tyres and precast concrete wedges, and a sunken sports boat, each group of objects connected by a rope line, so perfect for training dives, especially when pointed nose rays are to often concealed below them, as we found. The highlight was a large cow-tailed ray, with its own remora, resting close by on the sand, dramatically turning and swimming off in a silty cloud when we approached too close. Great diving for Connie and Tim, full of smiles, the day was rounded off with a very pleasant lunch sitting by the beach at the Radisson.