This email comes to you from the not so sunny and certainly not very warm UK where I’m visiting family for a week. Diving goes on nevertheless of which more below but first a couple of other things:
Firstly, last week I reported on Mike’s 70th birthday at the club but it was correctly pointed out to me by a certain lady member that I had omitted to mention another birthday, that of our Diving Officer, Allen. I should perhaps say that Allen is not 70 and won’t be for a long while. Anyway, he and Cara and others went celebrating in Ras Al Khaimah and a good time was had by all. We got to see a couple of photos via WhatsApp, one of which could only be described as a bit cheeky and was obviously taken by the light of a full moon. Read into that whatever you wish.
And so to the diving. Big thanks to Nick for this account:
With the sea state predicted at 0.2m to 0.4m for our morning dive and rising in the afternoon, we decided to put a boat out and see how it went. On the day, the fourth diver had made some errors regarding decompression fluid and made the decision to follow conservative protocol and skip the dive. And so myself, Allen, Cara and Paul made our way out to the Jumbo to pick up where we left off two weeks ago.
The sea was flat and calm on the way out. We anchored with zero current. Myself and Cara were first down. The anchor was on the port side, in the middle, basically in the same position as last week. We kept the boat on our right and swam past the areas we had cleared of nets on the last dive and were happy to see them thriving, alive with fish life. A lone barracuda, who seemed to be missing his mates, kept us company as we swam past the bow. We then came to the big nets on the starboard side of the ship and the real work began.
We cleared as much as we could with knives and rolling up nets but these nets really need medical shears. Opting to practice DSMB skills rather than the predictable anchor, we surfaced and were surprised by a pod of dolphins before the second wave had a chance to get wet. Going back down, equipped with Allen's shears we managed to clear almost all of the nets. Allen and Paul went back down and surfaced with the good news that the Jumbo was looking like the Jumbo again.
So, all in all, mission accomplished. We've saved a load of fish and kept a dive site safe. Congrats to Paul for completing his first dives with the club - I'm sure there'll be many more. I also hit 250 dives, which I celebrated with diver number four!
And this from Paul:
A humorous take on my first 406 adventure...
My first dive with 406 took my breath away… Literally…
Having spent the past 5 years of diving in the balmy tropical paradise of the Philippines, where on a cold day one reverts to a 0.5mm skin rather than the usual boardies and a rash vest, one can only imagine the shock, total shock, followed by the inevitable northwards migration of my 'bits' when I rolled back off the boat.
The “f-ME” bouncing around my head came out as a gasping sharp intake of breath. The “I wish I had a dry suit” was rapidly replaced with “don’t forget to equalize” as I dragged myself down the anchor line teeth chattering, brain numbed… Quick check saw I’d gulped down more than I’d have liked for my first dive as the club FNG.
The objective of this dive was to clear away more of the fishing net that had wrapped itself around Jumbo. We spent the next 20+ minutes chopping and cropping the net and I’m now an absolute convert… Triage scissors are the way to go for hacking through lines and netting. A must have for any diver… Farewell Rambo knife!!!
The second dive
Back roll and splash…The northwards migration not repeated, not because the water was any warmer simply because having found the warm spot inside my thorax they had refused to return south. This dive we circumnavigated the wreck, did a swim through, saw an abundance of fish not netted. Lowest temperature recorded was 19.3°C on my computer… I’m having it checked as it felt colder or am getting older??? I felt a little bit less girlie when my buddy also stated he was cold recording a temp of 19°C.
Great day out with some great people, new friendships made. Eat dive sleep repeat being my new Friday mantra.
Thanks Paul and welcome to the club.
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.