Back in the UAE too late for the club night last week but in time to go diving on Friday. The trip was a joint expedition with DSDC to visit the Energy Determination, a super-tanker that went down in 1979 during the original Gulf War. There was an explosion on board for reasons unexplained and the vessel caught fire and eventually broke in two. There are some historic club photos showing the bow section before it was towed away but the stern section sank in about 80m of water.
This is not a dive for the faint-hearted, requiring careful planning and the ability to dive to around 50m. Various nitrox mixes can be used to minimise deco time and many computers these days allow you to set two mixes to plan and execute the dive properly. At least it would if you set the damn thing. My computer thought it was on air throughout meaning that I should need about 90 minutes of deco. Instead I followed my buddies’ stops and added ten minutes for safety. This caused the computer to go into sulk mode but since we only do one dive, this is not a problem.
The extra tanks, the long deco stops, the long journey, the single dive – is it worth it? Well you wouldn’t do it every weekend but once in a while the effort is justified. The wreck, even split in half, is far bigger than anything else we dive, the fish life is bigger, the viz is usually good (provided you get the tides right) and the depth makes for a different kind of atmosphere. On Friday the first thing we saw were some monster jacks and there were also some trevallies and barracuda lurking just within the range of visibility.
Thanks to Steve Manthorpe for marshalling, Brian Lugg for boat towing and Geoff for providing the Budweiser.
Thanks also to Brian for sterling efforts in the equipment room which is now a lot tidier as a result. The yard now needs a bit of tidying which we trust the Wanderers will help with having used it as a builder’s lay-down area for the last two months.
Finally – attached some salvage from the recent German trip. It was too big to pack so I donated it to the Hamburg Maritime Museum. If you believe that…
Ian Hussey and Dive Club writers.