The weather looked a bit touch and go last weekend and with Simon having a second attempt at marshalling – the first having been abandoned due to rough seas – we were thinking that maybe he was a jinx. We went for it anyway and although a bit lumpy on the way out there was no real problem and the sea calmed down during the day.
Destination was originally the Jumbo but this would have taken too long so we went to the Taha instead and did two dives there. Mike and Geoff at last found their way into the engine room and Geoff had the honour of the first circuit. It’s quite small and the access in is very tight but at least we got there.
Before we even launched some entertainment was provided by Saad who first missed the turn off Ittihad Road and headed towards Dubai. Having retrieved that mistake, he then turned the wrong way up Al Khan Road and headed towards the industrial areas instead of the harbour. Finally having found the right area, he went the wrong way around the Aquarium roundabout. Mercifully the Anjad weren’t watching!
I’ve attached a picture of some of the party in post-dive mode. Note the rare appearance of Chairman Brendan whose attempts at an east coast dive on the Anita in about 90m of water were thwarted by heavy seas – he had to settle for the considerably shallower Inchcape.
Some of you may remember Denis Rooney who was a member here before leaving for Qatar a while back. Denis has sent a few words about Qatar diving:
“I'm diving away here in Qatar, I got my BSAC Sports Diver in Feb this year which was good.
There isn't a huge variety of diving here. The site most frequented by the DSAC club is about 70 km south of Doha and it's called Old Club Reef. It's a man made site, cars, baths, gnomes etc. The reason for its popularity is its proximity, you can drive to the beach in a car and its about 200 m offshore. Our club does a lot of training here.
Further down the coast there are a few more sites such as, New Club Reef. There is an inlet sea near to Saudi where you could find Ottmans Reef and Neitoune Reef (a turtle hangs out there). These are all shore dives. We don't have a boat at the minute but are working to sort that out.
I also dive with Al Khor dive club mainly because they have a boat. We take the boat about two hours off Ras Laffan (which is about 150 km north of Doha) to sites such as the Eel Garden and Three Barges. Here you will find more sea life, rays etc .”
Geoff Patch is looking at organizing a dhow trip up the Musandam. This has been penciled in for 29 July but the date is subject to finalization. Anyone interested or with any other thoughts on this plan, please contact Geoff either directly or through me.
Finally, I will be on leave for a couple of weeks starting this weekend but I believe the internet still works in the UK and I trust those still here will feed me enough diving stories and the odd bit of scandal for me to get an email out as normal.