Hello to All near and Far,
To those reading this in the UAE, a very happy National Day. It’s nice to be sitting outside sipping bubbly on a Sunday morning rather than being at work. You can really tell it’s December when the Christmas lights go up at the Wanderers and the temperature drops as low as 30°C sometimes.
Friday turned into a bit of a comedy of errors although nothing really bad happened in the end. We decided to repeat last week’s expedition on the grounds that none of the protagonists from that trip were around this week and it would be nice to see the Taha again.
It was a really good dive when it first went down but unfortunately it punched through the seabed crust after about 18 months underwater. My last memory of the wreck was groping my way along the top rail in practically nil viz trying to find the bow of a wreck that was mostly no longer there.
We started off one diver light, when I got a rather sheepish phone call reporting an oversleep. The diver will remain nameless provided he places a crisp ten dirham note in the treasurer’s sweaty palm next time we see him!
Even launching the boat was not without incident. Note to self: boat launching is a lot easier if you first unhook the boat from the trailer. This hurdle overcome, we set out for the wreck site. The sea was a bit choppy but not too bad and we reached in about 45 minutes. Between them Allen (driving) and Cara (anchor throwing) put the hook straight into the wreck, requiring Denis and I to move it only a metre or so to make it absolutely secure. This was after a hasty repair of a broken fin strap.
There’s not as much to explore as there used to be but the current was virtually nil and the viz was excellent. There were large shoals of snapper all over the wreck, a lot of barracuda and a few angelfish. There was also a cow-tailed ray in the sand just off the ship which unfortunately swam away before Denis could bring his camera to bear. I should also say that the boiler suit season is definitely over. I wore my 3mm and was glad of it.
After the first dive, Denis nearly lost a fin when he tried to throw it back on the boat and missed. When we retrieved the anchor, we found a fluke had fallen off and we were down to three. It’s possible we could find the missing one on a return visit. It nearly got worse for the anchor as a shackle was also loose and it came within a split second of going down on the Vic Star attached to nothing. Good spot Allen.
The viz was noticeably worse on the Vic Star than it had been on the Taha which is further offshore. It was however a good move to go there as the wind and sea state had picked up significantly by the time we finished and a 12km ride back was vastly preferable to 28km. The dive itself was unremarkable except that I couldn’t help noticing the deteriorating condition of the wreck. I’m guessing the original construction quality wasn’t the highest.
It was left to Denis to overbalance hauling the anchor and sit on my head and Cara to lose her seat on a sharp breaking maneuver and end up in a heap in the bottom of the boat. I won’t mention the boat driver but clearly true love conquers all.
Mercifully, we made it back to the club without further mishap and enjoyed a couple of beverages as the sun went down.
DAN insurance website: https://www.daneurope.org/home
The Dive Club meets every Tuesday night in the Dive Bar.
See you there!
Course update from Polly;
Saad is running a Nitrox Blending course - Saturday 8th December 2018 at the Dive Club. Training starts at 10.00am. Please follow the link for more information.
You can also attend this course as a refresher or to update knowledge and skills. Saad is also running the Emergency First Responder course in the New Year.
Please let us know if you are interested.
Ian Hussey and Dive Club writers.