I was in the UK last Friday but thanks to the reports of Mike and Sami, I can pass on the following:
We had quite an interesting day last Friday. It first started with being very closely scrutinized by the coast guard at Hamriyah port, where they pointed to us that we are in infringement of their regulations due to the following :
1. Boat is loaded more than the allowed numbers (we were 7 versus six licensed). They suggested that we increase the number when we renew the registration due in few days.
2. We do not have the mandatory UHF locater installed.
3. We do not have any authorization from the club for us to use the boat. However after some friendly chat with the group anda lengthy phone call with their captain, he was nice to allow us to proceed, with the promise that we shall rectify all.
There were 7 of us in the boat and we went to our "house" wreck the Dara where two German ladies, Andrea Kroeger and Tanja Hesse made their first open water dive from a boat under the watchful eye of their instructor, the indomitable Heike. Andrea was looking a little stressed at the beginning and we understand that she had some trouble clearing her ears on the way down but it was all smiles after 35 minutes underwater. Congratulations and a big welcome to the two newest members of the Dive Club. We were seriously impressed as Heike twice demonstrated how to get into the big dive boat without a ladder and without wearing fins.
After the Dara we went to No 026 on the GPS which turned out to be a football field area of steel plates that must have fallen off a barge. There must be 10,000 tonnes of steel down there. It was an aquarium for fish with many groupers which are getting quite rare these days as the fishermen hunt them. So this dive site was renamed Tanja as she dived her second dive there.
Finally, a fine was levied on Dan who had signed up for the dive but proved to be impossible to waken. He blamed Forrester for leading him astray and forcing too many beers down his throat on Thursday night. Oh and we were very pleased to see that Forrester has finally bought his intended an engagement ring!
Welcome to a man from the Valleys, Mike Murphy, (a Welsh speaker) who came along for the first time, another one of the Petrofac boys.
Mike and Sami
Ian Hussey and Dive Club writers.