This is being written in my parents’ living room as I contemplate the remainder of my leave. Having been at Upton Park watching Man Utd grab a lucky injury time equalizer, I now have a few days pulling weeds out of my driveway in Wales. But life goes on in the real world – Mike Anthony describes last weekend’s diving:
An intrepid quartet of Mike Dalton, Brian Larkin, Dearbhla O'Conner and your scribe set off with the small boat having first checked important things as oxygen cylinders etc.
Launched the small boat at Mamza and proceeded to sea, a 12km run into the short wavelength waves up to 4ft height which made life very difficult. So we zig zagged in the manner of a sail boat to be able to make some progress. Arrived to find that Sanaf and six from DSDC were already on the wreck so we tied on the back. The viz was not much better that 2m I suppose and it was a bit boring down there. The DSDC divers had already been swimming around the ships internal spaces so the viz inside was about as bad or worse than the outside.
Brian and I ended up on the bow where we had been told that there were some barracuda but we did not see them. There was a large fishtrap on the forc'stle area trapped in some nets. DSDC were cutting out the trap when we arrived so I swam inside and encouraged the fish to leave before we cut it out of the net and heaved it over the side of the ship. And with a bit more net cutting in the same area we called it a day to find Mike D and Dearbhla on the line plus some DSDC. As I was last up and upon surfacing could see that things were not getting any better with the sea state I asked DSDC if they wanted the anchor removing which they did and so I pulled it out of the hold and folded it and put it over the side into the sand.
On the way to the Victoria Star the port side engine cut out and I gave up struggling with it as we were making progress anyway. On the way back I did not bother and ran back at up to 40kph just on one engine surfing as we went. Not a pleasant day, truth to be told, but we got wet and then had a convivial afternoon at the pool with the Jacksons joining us.
As Mike mentions in his report, DSDC were also on the wreck. Courtesy of Mr Chris Head, there follows a few words from the other side of the fence:
Here we expected perfect visibility as is usually the case... except someone had been in there before us! So we bimbled around for a while before exiting and investigating the rest of the wreck. We took the opportunity to follow the port anchor chain although after about 50m this petered out into the sand – I’m guessing she was at anchor when she sank but can see no damage to the hull indicating a collision. On returning to the bow we found a shoal of large barracuda and bumped into Mike Anthony from Sharjah 406 diving in a shorty wetsuit... in 22° water! Deciding that having such a raving lunatic in the water with us was probably not safe we finished the dive after a very pleasant 92 minutes on the wreck... gotta love rebreathers!
It appears Mike has been sussed out at last! Not sure how you “bimble” around a wreck though. I’ll have to quabble over to DSDC one day and ask Chris to explain.
Ian Hussey and Dive Club writers.