For the long weekend last Friday, Geoff organised a trip over to the east coast with Freestyle Divers at the Royal Beach Hotel. Resort diving can be criticised in some quarters but it’s nice to let someone else do the worrying. The first target was the Inchcape 1, a deliberate sinking for divers that sits in about 32m of water. Arriving at the wreck we found we were the third in a daisy-chain of boats, the first one being tied to the permanent buoy. This would not be a problem in slack water but this time there was a current running and it was seriously hard work pulling along the sides of the boats to reach the line. Having struggled to the front we found the buoy still 30m away and quickly receding – the front boat’s line had snapped and the sea was soon a mass of boats and divers floating aimlessly.
After a re-group we got down the line at the second attempt. It was worth the trouble as viz was excellent and the Inchcape was covered in fish life as normal. You can swim inside the wreck very easily as most of the hazards have been removed although you need to take care as with any wreck penetration. At that depth you don’t get very long at the bottom but it’s only a small vessel.
After a short break ashore we went out to dive Dibba Rock. The landward side of the rock is like a natural aquarium and very nice to hang there watching the fish life go by. The seaward side is deeper and those that followed the current round that way saw lots of good stuff including a reef shark although no-one produced any photos to back up the claim. We’ll believe it!
Former member Brian Kirman has not yet hung up his fins (perish the thought!). He has written the following from somewhere in the Greek islands:
“I finally got my dive gear on after a busy season sailing. There is a nearby wreck (2 hours sailing away) that I have often snorkelled over and now have finally dived. Avantis3 is a recent wreck of a pretty big cargo ship (sadly only concrete and building materials) and at 3am one morning just crashed into a cliff. Must have been a good football match. It lies at 13m down to 40m with viz around 30m. Since it wasn't a planned sinking the wreck is full of stuff - and the anchors and propellers are huge - beyond a dive outfit's capabilities – though there is a motorbike on deck that might have been worth the effort - some years ago. Will return with bigger tanks and nitrox.
"Epidive" a local dive Co. posted this splendid video.
Regards to all my old chums in Sharjah.
Ian Hussey and guest writers.