Though I’ve been away, the diving has continued.
My thanks Cara and Nick for the following, also for Brian’s notes on the WhatsApp group. Video footage will be available soon.
Divers: Cara, Allen, Brian, Hans, Nick, Polly
Dive site: Victoria Star and then Nasteran
Thanks to Brian for the wake-up call (and fine), Allen and I were actually able to make the dive. Upon arriving at the club, we soon got ourselves down to Al Khan Port to embark upon the Vic Star. Hooked on the first attempt, we all had an enjoyable dive with little current and OK vis (we have had much worse conditions on this site in the past). Within the cargo hold the current was nil and there was the best viz that I’ve ever seen in there, which meant we were able to explore around the concrete blocks more than we had done in the past.
Fish life was the norm, with Black Spotted Snappers, Arabian spine cheeks and Goat fish. Plus the occasional curious, yet scared, Yellow Bar Angel fish. For the newest member of the BSAC 406 club, Hans, he did very well as Brian managed to enjoy a 50 minute dive with him. Kudos to him for good air consumption and braving the waters in only skins whilst the rest of us were donning 3 or 5 mm neoprene. However he did spend a few minutes looking for a dive computer which was already on his wrist. As a newcomer, we decided not to fine him for this.
The second dive on the Nasteran was a more enjoyable one, as the viz was a little better and there were some nice swim throughs to be done. Allen secured the anchor in hole in the wreck, exactly where I was I pointing at a lovely big crab… I presume the crab moved. Again there was the same fish life, but our keenest interest was in seeing the infamous mummy Octopus and her eggs which Brian had discovered on last weeks’ dives. As Allen and I excitedly and expectantly lifted the rock, to our disappointment, there was no octopus or eggs. I can only hope that the eggs hatched rather than becoming fish food for some of the goat fish which I’ve seen lifting rocks and looking for morsels of food before.
Allen and I continued our dive, and as we went to turn around the stern of the wreck, came face to face with a beautiful Stingray. Usually when this happens, you get spotted and they scarper – on this occasion it seemed completely unaware or unbothered of our presence, so we got to have a good look at it, but did not get too close as thoughts of Steve Irvine were close to mind. The rest of the dive was relaxing and uneventful until the end when the anchor was no longer secured in the hole (I think the crab moved it) We had heard some chain clanging and boat engines and had wondered what was happening on the surface.
Not to worry, a free ascent on a DSMB is always a nice skill to practice. Upon boarding the boat, Brian spotted a pod of Dolphins hunting. So we sat and ate lunch whist watching the Dolphins. Unfortunately for Nick and Polly, they had gone by the time they had surfaced, but they did see the Ray on the wreck. Newbie Hans got another open water wreck experience first, as he and Brian sent up the anchor on SMBs, but seemed to take a while to ascend after that.
Eid Al Adha
The proposed Eid trip to Mafia is not now going to happen. Perhaps we got over-ambitious but there were too many who couldn’t make or were doing other things. A thought for next year:
With the newly generous public holidays, we could do it at Eid Al Fitr rather than Eid Al Adha, which would bring it into May rather than August. Get in touch if you would like to join the club on our dive excursions.
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.