We had an almost full boat at the weekend which was very gratifying. The main reason for this was the return to the fold of those that for some strange reason, prefer to go hiking or fishing during the winter months. Anyway, the initial target was the Sea King 5 but it quickly became obvious that the sea state wasn’t going to allow this, so we diverted to the much closer Nasteran. This proved very interesting in a number of ways, so much so that we stayed for two dives on the site rather than moving on elsewhere for the second dive.
First a word about the wreck: the Nasteran is an upside-down landing craft in about 22m of water, almost directly offshore from Ajman. Once little more than a metal box and hence not much dived, it became much more interesting when the sides started to corrode and break up, allowing us access inside the wreck. It was here that Uwe discovered the spare propeller that now adorns the outside of the Dive Club office. There are two levels for exploration: the cargo deck which being upside-down represents the space between the deck and the seabed and the lower (upper) deck which was the living accommodation.
On exploring the wreck, we found significant changes due to last winter’s storms. The cargo deck has partially collapsed towards the seabed, effectively cutting this section in two although there seemed to be a route between them on the starboard side. Many of the holes allowing access into both upper and lower sections have become enlarged although the entrance near the bridge seems to be a lot tighter now. No doubt we’ll do a further visit or two to assess the wreck’s condition more thoroughly.
The viz was excellent and we saw the usual angelfish, snappers and shoals of jacks and barracuda. There were also a couple of large sweetlips. The highlight was just off the wreck where Brian turned over a rock to find a small octopus guarding a collection of eggs – young octopuses waiting to be born. I don’t ever remember seeing an octopus on the west coast before and in fact they’re not common on the east coast either. A memorable experience.
The sea state was pretty poor by this time and it was a slow journey back, but well driven by Cara and back at the club we were joined by Richard and Sharon, Richard having the weekend off from Saudi. A few refreshments followed. An excellent day.
Here are a few photos from the weekend.
If you zoom in on the octopus detail photo you can see the spotted body of the baby octopuses. Brian's eyesight was better than mine -he could see that underwater.
The flatworm has a nice reptilian pattern.
The anemone hermit crab has a symbiotic relationship with the anemone - the crab benefits from camouflage and protection and the anemone benefits from a ride and scraps of food. The symbiotic relationship with the plastic bag is yet to be determined.
Eid Al Adha
Response to this year’s Eid trip has so far been disappointing. At some point we will need to decide whether to proceed and I would greatly appreciate it if those who normally participate could indicate their intentions this year. See below logs for details about the trip.
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 Member Contributions.