As promised Friday was a training day with trainees and instructors heading for Hamriyah beach with SP 125 and the big boat going to the Dara. After a number of controlled buoyant lifts, rescue breaths and simulated CPR had been successfully completed we would be happy to see Sami, Cathy and Derek roaming the beach saving lives on “Baywatch”. There’s a chance we might be able to tell Sami apart from Pamela Anderson. Congratulations to all three new Sports Divers.
Meeting up with the other boat on the Dara we did one dive in viz not perfect but much improved from last week.
On Saturday some 406 divers participated in the Petrofac beach clean. Derek was good enough to write some words:
It was to be a dive that would test your navigational ability with less than half a metre viz. It was so bad that one of our team didn’t even make it to the start and he only lived across the road. So with the team whittled down to three we entered Al Khan to a rapturous applause, courtesy of the Petrofac land lubber beach cleaners. We set out our dive plan and route, deploy an SMB, use a buddy line, drop down to 6 metres (yes it was that deep) and head north. Within the first few minutes we lost our next diver who emerged some time later at 20m south. Finally we set up a three man sweep and found out why the viz was so bad. If you touch the bottom or pick something up a cloud of talcum powder like material would fog the water. We found a few bits and pieces including a water pistol trophy. Once we had returned South back to our start we emerged from the water to another rapturous applause, sadly something we could get use to but not very likely. All the divers that made it through the high endurance navigation in pea soup- Sami, Geoff and Derek were rewarded with DVD box sets of Blue Planet or Divers oceans so we have some more media for Tuesdays. Finally we helped ourselves to a substantial feed on the beach – all confirmed it was a success and useful publicity event. We even picked up the names of a few new divers as well. Can’t say it would be top of the list for one of our regular dives but we did our bit for the environment.
Some general information
At about the same time as we were sipping beer post-dive at the poolside, Dan was marrying Orla in Belfast. Congratulations to them both.
I would also like thank Dan and Simon for sterling work in the equipment room and on the boats. There are few pleasures to compare with coming to fill your tanks and finding someone’s done it for you (well perhaps there are several but you know what I mean).
Thanks are also due to Bala and the Wanderers maintenance men who cleaned and weeded the dive club yard last week. It really does look smart now for the first time in a while.
Finally a couple of pieces of housekeeping. With increasing costs we are reluctantly having to charge more for diving. Prices are now Dhs 100 for a two-tank dive for members and Dhs 180 for non-members. Half that for single tank dives. Equipment remains Dhs 15 for each item. This is still substantially cheaper than “resort style” diving.
Also the nitrox honesty box is no more. Nitrox charges will now be collected on the day of the dive. This is not due to anyone’s dishonesty (honest) but to Simon’s efficiency at getting all the tanks filled.