Rather busy this week with day to day life so catching up with some Dive Logs.
With some much needed de-fizz a few of us headed to the east coast for some commercial outfit diving. Many of our BSAC 406 divers were absent with leave this week which left no Boat Officer to do the dutiful. Mike is back in the west for a while, Ian and Bridgett are on the snowy slopes of cooler climes with some rather creative snowmen creations. Mr B is somewhere spearing his catch of the day. I think Angela is still in the Musandam although sightings have been reported of her on Telegram. Others are on work duties at home or overseas so that left a few of us to get suited and booted and head for the east coast.
The day started with a beautiful sunrise as always and headed to the Barracuda Dive Centre which operate out of Fujairah Marina.
The pretty fish are on the east coast as opposed to the wrecks and metal on the west coast. Nice for a change and easy diving for Nick, Dennis and I.
Our skipper was most helpful with trolleys on hand to shift and lift kit. There is a shop for dive supplies and Emirates ID needed for the Coast Guard. We three have Nitrox tickets so can’t say we had to do much other than analyse our tanks and board the boat and natter.
First dive was Deep Reef (30m). Second dive was Inchscape-10 (25m).
Deep Reef is an underwater rocky outcrop. On the surface the sea was a mass of green slimy plankton but disappeared once we descended thankfully. The Deep Reef is predominately thriving with soft corals offering some shelter for the marine life to the otherwise coarse underwater sandy terrain. We were a party of 8 which was peaceful with a mix of nationalities of English, Irish and Philipino, Emirati, Ukrainian and Indian. Another boat was also anchored up at the site and somewhat noisy during the dive after a while with underwater ‘ski-do’s’ and tank bangers. Free ascend with SMB’s for this dive and then a boat pick up. Cautionary note with sea temperatures as a 5mm or above is recommended and a note to self to have my dry bag shipped over from the UK. There were quite a few shivers on board but our skipper had a cup of Chai waiting for us. The seas were calm so no challenges with currents and white horses. Last week I lost my SMB on a wreck dive on the west coast. Rather peed off as it’s seen some sea time over the last 9 years, well used and now drifting aimlessly at the bottom of the Gulf oceans. Absolute highlight was to finally catch a Sea Snake on video slithering away. We even had the delight of a Sea Snake surfacing quite a few times when we were back on the boat.
On Inchsape 10 we descended on a permanent buoy. The first meter was again a thick slimy green algae / plankton. Perfect Whale Shark food but alas we saw none and no reports of any in the area. The day after, there were reports of a large pod of Dolphins so a revisit in the future is needed. One of the local divers lent me his torch and quite a shock to see two huge eyes peering back which belonged to the biggest Puffer fish that we had seen in these parts. Sadly or not, there were no Sea Horse sightings as has been the trend in the past with diving this side of the coast. One can only hope they have gone to calmer waters so they can be left alone in peace.
We had our surface interval again with Chai and snacks and headed back to port. The boat trip was only 20 minutes or so and not that far from shore.
Off gassing lunch was at the Marina with buddies and some warm food and drinks.
My pics I’m really pleased with this week. Some have been cropped with no cardinal sin of photo-shopping hence just raw beauty of soft corals captured with my old Panasonic.
End of day highlight was seeing a classic 850 Mini parked outside the Marina. Being very cheeky we had a photo shoot and will no doubt own one of these one day.
As always, a great day with trusty buddies.
DAN insurance website: https://www.daneurope.org/home
The Dive Club meets every Tuesday night in the Dive Bar.
See you there!
Ian Hussey and Dive Club writers.