The weather was looking promising so with PJ volunteering to marshall the dive we headed out to the Jumbo which is about 35km offshore. This is a cargo vessel about which not much is known – even the location was a mystery until it turned up on a seabed survey carried out ahead of the dredging for the Palm. It lies on its port side and is fairly broken up but has some nice swim-throughs and usually good fish life.
We got out there quickly enough and anchored at the first time of asking but once under water the viz turned out to be around 1-2m – pea soup in other words. The anchor had landed in the centre of the boat but close enough to the deck side but even so it took a couple of minutes to work out where we were. After that we did a couple of circuits – it was quite an eerie atmosphere down there and the ship was mostly a few odd shapes in the gloom.
Diving the second wave PJ reported some big barracuda circling above but mostly it was an exercise in navigation. We all decided that for the second dive we’d move ourselves a bit closer to the bar so we headed for Karen’s Dhow. This was another site from the seabed survey – you’d never know about it otherwise and we tend to dive it quite a lot. As well as a convenient location half way to the Jumbo and Neptune, it’s also a good dive in its own right. It’s not huge and can be difficult to hook but it’s usually full of life. Friday was no exception although the viz was only marginally better than it had been at the Jumbo.
The dhow was carrying glassware and we usually come back with a few pieces – or in PJ’s case quite a lot. It’s not quality gear but if you must have a fruit bowl you may as well have one you’ve salvaged yourself. The journey back was smoother than the outbound trip and we were soon back for a few refreshments by the pool.
After sending out the pictures of the boat last week, it was pointed out (by Pete Elvin) that the dive flag is now flying all the time. Well bang to rights there I guess, though no-one’s complained yet. Pete probably remembers an earlier occasion when we were pulled up by a coastguard for the lack a flag which was a bit tricky as we didn’t have one on board at the time. Still necessity is the mother of invention (or something like that) and we were soon improvising with blue fins and white T-shirts hoping that this might look convincing from a distance at least. The result was. . . well. . . let’s just say the experiment was never repeated!
Ian Hussey and Dive Club writers.