With all that’s going on, it’s sometimes hard to retain a sense of perspective. Nevertheless, we continue to dive when possible, within the parameters set by the UAE government. This is after all, our raison d’être. Thanks once again to Allen who has contributed the following account of the club’s Friday trip (appropriately in the circumstances) to the Dara:
Unfortunately, after the success of getting past the coast guard and out to sea 2 weeks ago the weather didn’t play ball last week and we all remained on land. This week looked better and coupled with Brian’s report of good viz on Dara we set off to Al Hamriya.
Some of us made it there without taking an ‘unexpected scenic’ route which required a sharing of a ‘WhatsApp location’. The issue of GPS seemed to fix itself in the dive yard while it took the previous Friday off. It did however do the same during the dive day. With a little wiggling of the connection it jumped to life again.
I’m not sure who put it there but we now have a permanent marker buoy on Dara. After dislodging a pleasure fishing boat we tied on. They reported a circumnavigation around the wreck in order to re-orientate themselves with the wreck. It was Cara’s first lead of the Dara without the use of an SMB at the end. A feat accomplished twice in one day. But in fairness, with the new buoy in a different area of the wreck to where we normally throw our anchor and the Dara has changed in the many months since we last dived it, ‘tis a feat worth mentioning. To those of you who remember where the clown fish resided (unfortunately they are no longer there), the anchor is tied off close by.
There was an abundance of life on the wreck as usual including Parrotfish, Batfish, Big Barracuda, Yellow Bar Angelfish and an assortment of Wrasse, Groupers and Snappers (thank you Cara for the fish ID). The highlight though must go to the Leopard Stingray that thankfully we all saw including Graham and I on our second dive.
As I mentioned the wreck itself seems to be sinking a little and has been weathered. On both group’s first dives it was like diving a new wreck that looked familiar somehow, if that makes sense. The Cathedral is still there and a couple of other swim throughs have opened up and worth further exploration. Hopefully the viz, which was 5-10 metres continues and we get back to dive again soon. Water-wise, there was a slight current running but was a toasty 28oC and 3mm wetsuit conditions, not far from shorts and rash vest.
We returned to the club and ‘did the needful’ with our gear. There was interest from new SWSC members who are seasoned divers which is always welcomed. Another enjoyable day (evening and for some night) was had again around the 406 dive table where we also raised a glass to Mr. Hussey Sr. RIP.
Ian Hussey and Dive Member Contributions.