After last week’s brunch in Dubai, the previous week’s trip to RAK and the bad weather the week before, this was the first time in a month we’d taken the boat out in home waters. Numbers were a bit light but this sometimes happens around the holiday season. We launched from Al Khan and headed out to the Jumbo or at least we did eventually…
The Greek philosopher, Zeno of Elea, had a theory that motion was impossible since before moving a distance one had to move half that distance and before moving half that distance one had to move a quarter that distance and so on infinitely meaning that one could never start moving. Derek seemed determined to prove that theory on Friday. Having moved away from the quay he announced: “forgot my weight-belt”. The second time we got a bit further before he said: “forgot my ID card”. At this point it looked like taking until lunchtime just to leave the harbour but fortunately for our diving (and possibly Derek’s life expectancy) there were no further interruptions and we made out to the wreck.
We hooked the anchor on the bow of the ship at the second attempt and looking around, a most impressive sight was the surface visibility. We could see Ajman to the north, Palm Jumeirah to the south and in between the Dubai and Sharjah skylines were clear and sharp on the horizon. This was from 33km off-shore. Regrettably, the underwater viz was not as good being what you could charitably (well it’s Christmas) describe as extremely average. It was a good dive all the same. The water temperature was around 24 degrees – not too bad in other words although wet suits are now very much the order of the day.
There were barracuda on the bow and the usual snappers in the holds as we swam along the vessel. At the stern there was a small group of nine or ten batfish. Hiding by the prop was a large hammour. When it turned sideways it turned out to be maybe 80cm long which is unusual since most end up on restaurant menus long before they reach that size (and which is why they are now endangered in the Gulf).
The second dive was on Karen’s Dhow. We hooked on to the rudder from whence came the copper nails that adorn the Dive Bar. Not a large wreck, it usually has some interesting fish life. This time Mike and Derek had a close encounter with a sea snake (which we also saw on the surface) and a turtle which seems to live there as we’ve seen it before. It was then back to the club for refreshments. As is usual with this wreck, a few glass plates came back with us.
Ian Hussey and Dive Club writers.