We were faced with a dilemma at the weekend – 12 divers wanting to go out (good) but only one boat available to take them (not so good). It’s in these circumstances that our old friend the Dara comes into its own since it’s only 10 or 15 minutes out of Hamriyah on a reasonably flat sea. We could leave half the party on the beach while the other half dived and repeat as often as necessary – we optimistically planned to do two dives each.
With the party were Sami on one of his periodic visits from Beirut, Rob who we haven’t seen in a while and Trevor who was on a busman’s holiday from Freestyle Divers in Fujeirah.
The Dara is usually an enjoyable dive and this time was no exception although the viz wasn’t as good as it can be. All the same, the current was minimal and there were a couple of leopard rays prowling around the wreck although neither hung around long once spotted (no pun intended).
It was when we headed back to change divers that thing went slightly astray. We left the anchor line attached to a buoy to avoid having to secure the boat again on our return. As we were leaving however, we saw the buoy floating away into the distance. Clearly a slipknot had been used rather than a bowline! This was not a huge problem in itself but as Trevor was retrieving the buoy his computer slipped off his wrist and sank to the bottom. It took a while to realise what had happened and mark the spot on the GPS and a few more minutes to get a shot-line prepared by which time we’d drifted about 200m. I would not have given much for our chances of recovery at this point but we hopefully dropped the shot near where we thought the computer had gone. Rather to our surprise, Trevor and Geoff surfaced a few minutes later having found the computer after a short circular search only a few metres from the shot. Just goes to show – don’t give up!
By this stage the shore team were wondering what had become of us but we soon got back, loaded up the second wave and headed back out. Nice though the Dara is, by the time we got back to shore for the second time it was nearly 2pm and we all agreed that enough was enough. A couple of refreshments back at the club was the favoured option at this point.
A couple of thanks are in order: to John who provided some rope and other gear to fix the winch plus a couple of buoys and to Mike and Brian who got extremely hot fixing it all together. By the time we next use the boat, it will also have a new GPS as the old one is now almost unreadable.
Ian Hussey and Dive Club writers.