We were back at the Dara last weekend but this time it was more of a working party than a sightseeing tour, the idea being to see if we could make some inroads into the nets that still cover the vessel. We were back down to one boat but six divers is a worthwhile expedition and the sea was reasonably calm as we set off.
The current was running during the first dive but the tide turned slack later on and it calmed down. Doing surface cover for the first wave, bits of net and floats were seen popping up so someone was working hard. We couldn’t bring much of the nets up but getting rid of the floats and hacking them off the wreck and on to the sea bed at least reduces the hazard to divers. When our turn came, we headed for the middle section and spent almost 45 minutes tearing into the nets before returning to the anchor line.
One or two of us accidentally brought up some tiny gobies with our dive gear. The first one was spotted happily swimming around in a puddle in the middle of the boat. These were all returned to the sea. During the surface interval, Chris gave us the benefit of his sage advice on how to survive a shark attack: “Just stab your buddy”. I can see that getting a bit tricky if the buddy has the same idea!
For the second dive, we tackled some nets at the top of the cathedral section. After some minutes of cutting, we found we had some friends: a lot of fish including a couple of large batfish were enjoying a meal from all the sediment we were stirring up. It’s clearly going to take more than just a couple of dives to clear the wreck completely but if we do a bit each time we go… Mike D and Brian took some time out from the cutting and spotted a large leopard ray. All in all an enjoyable day – we really felt we’d earned the beers that evening.
A few weeks ago, former members Peter and Alison Blanchflower came to the club for a drink with us before heading off into retirement. Rather than fly home, they’re driving back, initially across Iran.
Attached is the Dive Club piece in the latest Time-Out Sharjah. Featured on the page is Peter Jackson and inset is Sergey Lazerov. The words came from a telephone interview three weeks ago. I don’t remember claiming 1000 dives (though it can’t be that far short now) but the facts otherwise seem more or less accurate. All we need is for some people to read it and make contact.