We launched from Al Khan at the weekend and mercifully everyone found it without making any extended detours. Having said that, some confusion might be excusable at the moment: The E311 that used to be Emirates Road except in Sharjah where it was the Sharjah Ring Road even though it wasn’t a ring, has now been renamed Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road. Meanwhile the E611 formerly the Dubai by-pass in Dubai and the outer by-pass in Sharjah has now been renamed….Emirates Road. This leaves the Sharjah Ring Road as a two-sided square but I suppose that’s no big deal in a country where the roundabouts are all squares anyway.
It was good to see Sami Kyriakos and son John on the boat for the first time in a while. Sami’s only visiting for a short while this time around but he couldn’t go back to Beirut without a diving trip. Also on board another guest – Serguei from Belarus. I hope he enjoyed himself.
The first order of the day was to go looking for a new wreck of which good news and bad news. The wreck is certainly there and would make a good dive but unfortunately it came to grief in the middle of the entrance channel to Mina Khalid. The harbour master is naturally anxious for it to be shifted as soon as possible and a salvage operation was ongoing as we drove past. The best hope is that they sink it elsewhere but it will more likely go for scrap. A couple of pictures are attached.
We moved on to Mike’s Tug, a small wreck not far from the Neptune and Jumbo. The sea was flat calm so the trip wasn’t a long one. We haven’t dived it in a while, hence the visit and although perhaps not the most exciting wreck in the Gulf, it was a good dive nevertheless. The viz was good and the current non-existant. A pair of cuttlefish greeted us at the anchor and there were a lot of large barracuda circling around along with the usual snappers. There is also some nice soft coral on the wreck. You can get inside the vessel in a couple of places but it’s a bit of a tight squeeze.
For the second dive we made the short trip to the Jumbo. The viz was noticeably worse and the current had picked up but not enough to be a problem. Since our last visit in December, part of the superstructure near the stern seems to have collapsed. It was hard to be sure in the murk but it looked a bit different to me.
Ian Hussey and Dive Club writers.