Thank you to Cara and Nick for the following dive log.
Divers: Cara, Allen, Rayan, Nick, Polly, Denis
Dive site: MV Dara
This day’s diving marked a first – Allen’s first as a licensed boat driver. It was also the first time we had ever been diving with BSAC 406 without Ian, Brian or Mike to guide the newbies. As Nick put it, it was the first adventures of BSAC 406 next generation. Upon arriving at the club, we worked together to make sure we did everything was done correctly, as per the written instructions, and away we went to Hamriya Port with the MV Dara in mind.
After successfully getting past the coastguard checks, we went to turn on the boat’s GPS and sonar device, but to no avail. Not to be deterred we had the idea to look up the GPS coordinates for the Dara and enter the coordinates into Google Maps and use our mobile phone to find the location of the wreck. After 20 minutes of boat driving getting the blue dot (us) closer to the red pin (Dara), we arrived at our dive site. We hoped. The next problem to overcome was hooking the wreck. Without sonar we were unable to use the fish finder to locate it, but the viz was so good, we decided to do a surface circular search, trying to keep the blue dot on the red pin, with me hanging over the bow shouting back as to when I saw wreck and fish. The next problem was knowing whether we had actually hooked the wreck, as without a speedometer, we had no real idea of our movement except for said blue dot/red dot, coupled with the fact there was no real current to speak of.
Thankfully there is a buoy near the Dara, so with some two point trig, we determined we were not moving and sent the first two divers in. For those of little faith on the boat, there was some reticence to go in the water only to find sand, but Polly and Nick went down first with the aim of doing a circular search and securing the anchor if the wreck was there. After 50 minutes Polly and Nick surfaced and we were informed we were hooked on the rope of a fishing pod, which was very secure (thanks to circular searching) and there was a line going off to the wreck.
So Allen and I kitted up. The viz was great, so we decided to stay at the Dara for the second dive (HAHAHA) The viz was excellent, as was the fish life. As well as the usual fish, there was a Ray (spotted only by Nick and Polly) and lots of Reef fish usually associated with an East coast dive including Yellow Spotted Box fish, Parrotfish, Thick Lipped Wrasse, Crescent Tail Wrasse, Angel fish, Clown fish and I even spotted one of my favourites, a Porcupine fish. We got to do some lovely swim throughs of the cathedral and freed many fish from certain death in ghost fish pods. Retrieving the anchor was a bit of a mission, but we managed it and were soon heading back to port on a south east bearing of 155O, we had a well-deserved beverage beside the pool.
A successful mission for the intrepid “next generation” of BSAC 406 and with thanks to Ian, remembered to put the bungs in the boat – apparently, they are important.
Nick had a slightly different take on the Dara dive:
Fridays’ dive was a triumph for hope over probability. With all of the old guard being busy, BSAC 406, the new generation, decided to put out a boat.
Captain Allen successfully towed the boat out of the yard without demolishing any walls and we headed off to Ajman. Our second victory of the day came courtesy of Rayan with some arabic interpretation.
This victory however was short-lived, as we then noticed that we didn’t have a functioning GPS. Faced with the possibility of turning back, we had a quick huddle, and decided to “try and blag it” – The Dara – biggest ship and greatest chance of hooking it blind- and shallowest, so best chance of spotting it from the top- was our choice. We put the coordinates into Cara’s phone. Instead of sonar, we had me with an anchor in one hand and me head over the bow, spotting fish (we saw a Leopard Ray).
Once over fish, in range of the GPS and the marker buoy, we put down the anchor and circled around. Once established that we had hooked something so myself and Polly went down first. I was amazed by the viz 15m+. In a combination of looking at the lines of the fishing pods and “Enimimainimo”, we reeled off and found the wreck about 20m off from the pod.
We secured the reel on a block. The next job was to identify the block/anchor point in relation to the ship. We swam into the current. The current was running bow to stern. After a complete circumnavigation, it turned out that the block was 15m from the stern.
Swimming around the Dara, we spotted lots of fish we normally associate with the East coast, Parrot fish, Box fish, Angel fish and a Leopard Ray hanging around the stern.
Given the circumstances, we decided to stay on the Dara for a second dive. The circumstances, like the viz., were awesome. Each diver had been given the mandate of “you’re diving, today, plus one”, and each diver rose to the day.
It goes to show that a dive club, like a band, is so much greater than the sum of its parts, when we work together.
Once all divers were safely on tera firma, myself and Allen felt a distinct, ‘Beef o’fu++ing clock” moment………..
That justifiable moment continued into the night with great company.
Eid Al Adha
The proposed Eid trip to Mafia is not now going to happen. Perhaps we got over-ambitious but there were too many who couldn’t make or were doing other things. A thought for next year:
With the newly generous public holidays, we could do it at Eid Al Fitr rather than Eid Al Adha, which would bring it into May rather than August. What do people think?
DAN insurance website: https://www.daneurope.org/home
The Dive Club meets every Tuesday night in the Dive Bar.
See you there!