We arrived at the Dibba-Fujeirah marina at 8.30, to meet Michelle on the jetty at the dive boat. There were no facilities close to hand, so a quick return was made the ADNOC service station at the entrance to the harbour to use the restroom! We then changed.
Our first dive began as a video dive for Steffen’s training, but my camera was not seated correctly inside its housing so no control of colour balance. Just enjoyed very good viz, first around back of the rock, then up and into the Aquarium. Water temperature was around 32 degrees, but still with some distinctively cool thermoclines at 27 - we felt the difference, especially in skins only. A shoal of Indian mackerel close up showed their silver reflective gills perfectly when they opened their mouths wide. A dead ray on the bottom was beginning to become fish-food. Final highlight of a 60 minute dive were two cuttlefish in the shallows where we were unsuccessfully seeking sharks. Shy, and displaying a variety of phosphorescent colours, they seemed to be a mating pair.
For our second dive, my camera was checked and re-checked, before we rolled into the water. The viz had deteriorated to 5-6m, but still pleasant enough. Connie and I were joined by Soline, while Steffen completed his last qualifying training with Michele. We soon found a small moray, a group of lion fish, and a larger shoal of Indian mackerel. Connie and I both managed to get punctured by sea urchins - unfortunate for Connie as she has an allergic reaction. Again strong thermoclines, and increasing current. We shared our enthusiasm for the site with Soline, on her first instructor-less dive, pointing out all the usual suspects, and she pointing out some to us! We surfaced at 49 minutes, with no boat in site and drifting away from the far side of the rock. A lone full-mask snorkeler approached u slowly. We waited and waited for a boat, which then was tied up beyond the north end of the rock - we were now south of it! The snorkeler came closer, and we heard him/her crying out. We swam across and found a very frightened and tearful young French boy, maybe 10-11 years old, name of Joseph. He had become separated from his parents, after being caught in the current. We waved and were spotted by a nearby cruise launch, who in turn waved down a Divers Down boat, which we able to get him on board. Joseph was lucky that we were close by. We assume the family were later safely reunited. Eventually we too were picked up, and then collected Michelle from the same Divers Down boat still with Joseph on board! While somewhat unimpressed by the quality of boat handling shown by our driver, once all were back on board, we duly celebrated Steffen’s qualification as a Padi diver, with Soline, Michele, in a photo with our BSAC406 flag.
At the marina, we changed as discretely as possible into our dry clothes on the boat, said farewell to Michelle about to take out her next group, and returned to use the ADNOC facilities - very clean by the way! Back at the Club, Ian and Richard were keeping the bar warm, later soon to be joined by our SP312 divers.
Ian Hussey and Dive Member Contributions.