This was an eventful weekend just gone. On Thursday afternoon some of us went to Al Ain for Jutta’s funeral. This was a sad occasion of course but also moving – particularly Oliver’s eulogy and Peter’s poem and impromptu account of how he came to meet and marry her. Afterwards we went back to Sharjah for a gentle wake at the Wanderers.
Peter Jackson asked me to add the following:
Oliver, Karsten and I would like to thank all the dive club members who have supported us through Jutta’s many months of illness on Tuesday nights and at our Friday tables. Finally to all of you who came to the house or to Al Ain to bid your fond farewells on Thursday, again we say thank you.
Below a lovely tribute to Jutta from John Miller a leading South African aviation journalist: John Miller posted in They Served AFRICA With Wings by Mitch Stirling & John House
"It is with sadness I report that well known Zim aviation personality, Jutta Jackson passed away this week. She succumbed to cancer, which the family has been battling with for some years. I have Peter's email address for anyone who would like to send condolences. This family were mainstays of the Mashonaland Flying Club and found happiness working in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. Amazingly hospitable, I remember the times they welcomed into their home during various aviation events held in Zim and the fun they had when completing the Zim Sun Rallies. Condolences to Peter and sons Oliver and Karsten."
Friday was very much the morning after the night before but undaunted we headed out to the Ajman Glory but it turned into an eventful day. The fun began while we were fuelling the boat. Finding a pump out of action, Mike was forced to reverse on to the one behind. Being unsighted, he asked the station staff to watch the trailer while he reversed. Unfortunately they did precisely that – watching carefully while the trailer wiped out two fuel hoses. This caused a delay while the police came and issued their report. Having to apportion blame between Mike and a petrol pump was, one suspects, not the toughest decision they ever had to make.
It’s possible that Mike was still feeling a bit tired and emotional from the night before, a feeling reinforced when he tried to change the name of the wreck in the GPS. It was still in there as the old name, “MULLA2” and while I drove the boat, I watched it change first to “AGGLNR”, then “AGGLOR” before becoming “AJGLOR” by which name it should remain until we need a new GPS.
Once we anchored on the wreck, Mike Dalton and Robin were the first over the side. They came back reporting excellent viz but also the bad news that the anchor had landed 40m from the wreck. Mike, PJ and I were the next down the line and we found that this figure was slightly exaggerated – in fact we almost collided with the mast on the way down. The anchor had indeed missed the wreck but was lying in the sand alongside it. A string line had been tied to the anchor and ran almost parallel to the wreck at least a metre away (maybe 1½ metres) before being tied on near the bow. Back on the boat, Mike D offered some inventive explanations for this situation, some of which involved the warping of the space-time continuum and some other less believable possibilities. The idea that the anchor might have moved was dismissed as too far-fetched.
And there was also some diving. The viz was very good and there was lots of fish life to look at including three very friendly batfish. There was also the usual quota of snappers and jacks although the resident turtle seemed to be off on vacation somewhere. Mike A had a look in the forward locker resulting in the attached photo taken by PJ. Suggestions for captions are invited. The best one will receive a signed copy of Mike’s seminal work: “My Life with Wrecks”.
We decided to stick around the Ajman Glory for the second dive and although it was good, the current had picked up and the viz had deteriorated accordingly. We then headed back to the SJHARH WNADRES DVIE CULB for some refreshments.
Not just any refreshments either. Friday night was barbecue night and very good it was too. We sold 35 tickets in the end, a number of whom were new and interested in diving which was the point of the thing really. Thanks go to Mike Dalton whose idea it was and to the Wanderers for laying it on. We should plan another one I think.