In writing this email, I am conscious of the fact that for most people there are currently more pressing concerns than the ups and downs of Sharjah Wanderers Diving Club. Those of you who are current members will be aware of the precautionary measures that the main club has put in place to avoid the spread of the coronavirus and I would ask you to respect these absolutely. The alternative would be a complete shutdown, something that cannot be completely ruled out if the authorities so decide.
For the time being we continue to dive but whether this is sustainable in the short to medium term remains to be seen. We are fortunate in that Diving Officer from the medical sector, we are better placed to make informed judgements. Nevertheless, we are always subject to government decrees, which could take the issue out of our hands, particularly with the situation changing on a daily basis.
Allen has written the following account of last week’s dive:
Again, our beloved Land Rover needed some coaxing with sweet words and patience to start. When that didn’t work there were other choice utterances and gnashing of teeth which seemed to work. Come back Mike, all is forgiven. We had a new diver along this weekend from Ireland. After buddy pairing, we headed for Taha.
Seas were kind and we made it in good time. A nice little wreck lying on its side. Due to it punching its way into the sand it makes it a little difficult to find on the sonar. But after quite a few passes with not much to see we dropped anchor, threw over the buoy and hoped the little GPS flag was spot on. Thankfully it was. A little crescent shaped ridge has developed around the wreck as a result of it setting into the seabed which combined with the slight current made for a nice little drift dive. The viz was good and there was lots of life to see including shoals of juvenile Barracuda, Groupers, Snappers and Arabian Spine Cheeks. A large Leopard
Stingray also put in an appearance for both dive groups.
We then headed to Neptune where the viz had improved even more to the point you could see most of the wreck on the descent. There was however a moderate current running by the time we entered the water. Again, there were shoals of Seabream, Trevallies and Barracuda. I did wonder at the wisdom of my dive buddy heading directly for the very large Sea Snake I had just pointed out. After a tap on his shoulder we took evasive action and left it alone. The wreck has opened up a little and there are a few nice penetration points and swim throughs which the other group ‘squeezed through’.
All in all a terribly enjoyable day. In his own words, our new member from Ireland ‘was glad to get his ears wet’ again. I’m sure we’ll see him on the boat again. We were met by Nick and his mother who was over from the UK to visit. They had just come back from Fujairah where they had been snorkeling. With the boat washed down and the gear drying on their hangers there was only one thing left to do really . . . .
A warm welcome to our new diver who was making his first dive with us. The first of many we hope.
Elsewhere, the saga of the “Dara” bell continues. It started with an enquiry from John Prescott of the British India Staff Group, concerning a bell for sale, purporting to be from the Dara. Last week I heard from John Lewis in Alaska:
“I can’t say that I ever heard of the bell being recovered in my time with the club from 1974. It wasn’t in the old Ajman club when we relocated so a bit of a mystery.”
This week I got a further message from Gavin Halling in Canberra:
“I agree with John. During 1975 to 1979 the few items that we recovered were portholes. Certainly, if there was a bell, we would have dinged that.
One of the portholes and storm cover adorns our entry porch… (See below). The glass is not intact, but it does allow an appreciation of how thick it was.
New members to BSAC can join Sharjah Wanderers Diving Club via the website, https://www.bsac.com/membership/select-branch/ . If you enter Sharjah, the club appears. Existing BSAC members can renew by logging into MyBSAC or using this link, https://www.bsac.com/membership/rejoin-today/
Join BSAC and claim your free dive! (406 members only).
BSAC general website: https://www.bsac.com/home/
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.