After our recent dives in poor viz, and fruitless searches for wrecks in the Gulf, and only two signing up for another local wreck dive last Friday, a Saturday dive on the East coast was suggested. With Ian and Cathy in the UK, and Mike off to Oman for the weekend, it was either the prospect of Jackson towing the boat, or just a need for something completely different, that suddenly we had eight names on the board! As it was, we settled for six on the first dive with Freestyle on the Inchcape 1, and eight for a lunchtime dip over the reefs of Dibba Rock.
A lovely misty morning-light drive across to Dibba, saw returnee Brian Kerman joining Polly, Chris, Richard, PJ and son Oliver meeting at Freestyle at high tide. Kapitan Karin of Freestyle had us quickly on board, with 5cm high waves crashing mirror-like about us. Even without a GPS, Karin easily found Inchcape 1, professionally homing onto Al Boom’s boat tied up to its buoy! With nice timing for our dive, Al Boom divers were making their way back up the line as we descended.
A seriously pleasant 30M dive ensued, with great viz in zero current, starring an electric torpedo ray (sadly missed by most of us), a large friendly thorny seahorse on the stern, a large honeycomb moray starboard on the sand, and a shy sand perch, and a couple of devil fire-fish on the deck, under large shoals of snappers and fusiliers. A busy reticulated file-fish scavenged on the deck, and at the submerged barrel on the safety stop we were entertained by a shoal of tiny immature file-fish. The water temperature was 23 degrees – a little warmer than the Gulf, and with Karin serving tea and coffee before our heading back. Not bad for a Scandihooligan!
For the second dive around Dibba Rock, Derek joined us after a night out with Geoff at the Fujairah Hilton, following a Friday Wadi Bih relay marathon (his story) and with Sharon for some snorkelling – though I suspect to keep an eye on Richard! She needed not worry, a turtle and black-tip kept him out of mischief. For the rest of us we had to be satisfied with the antics of clownfish, a military turkeyfish (check-out the video), prolific and large colourful wrasse (including an unusual small shoal of sunset wrasse) and many large parrotfish chomping the coral. A charming Moses sole unsuccessfully tried to hide from Polly and I, by which time I had a flat battery. But it was the cold that finally got us, and a strong current, threatening to take Oliver and Freestyle’s instructor Max off to Fujairah!
A fine day out, seriously relaxing, with everyone having plenty of something different to see. Thank you Karin & Max!
Ian Hussey and Dive Club writers.