Advice of the month:
Anyone without a DSMB and reel - get them! Anchors do come adrift of the wreck sometimes and it’s safer all round if the boat cover knows where the divers are.
Uwe's going away bash
As some of you may know, Uwe is leaving (hopefully temporarily) in September. He has donated to the Wanderers the bench seat made from wreck timber that used to be in his outside bar. It now adorns the swimming pool area outside the dive bar.
Uwe is having a going away bash at the Wanderers on Thursday 2 September. No doubt some beer will be consumed above and below water! Uwe has been a regular at the club for a number of years now and some of his achievements in the field of brass salvage have become legendary. We are all hoping his absence will be temporary!
A true dhow trip 27 August
Last week we did a dhow trip – not the usual one of sailing up the Musandam but diving some west coast dhows that couldn’t float very well. The first was the Bigprop (or Noprop – take your choice) where we decided to do the fish a big favour by getting rid of the nets. It’s a small wreck so you really can make a difference and the dhow was more or less net-free by the time we left.
The second wreck is known to us as Karen’s dhow. It’s full of glassware and we usually come back with a souvenir or two and Friday was no exception. It was also home to thousands of baby barracuda and some large emperor snappers. The sea was a bit lumpy resulting in one or two queasy divers but it was still a good day.
Last time we were at Karen’s Dhow we saw several very large barracuda. Now we know what they were doing!
Energy Determination dive of Saturday 21 August
Brendan wrote a report about the Energy Determination dive of Saturday 21 August
“After the third attempt of planning the Energy Determination this summer - Heike, Geoff and myself from 406 dived with DSDC yesterday (Sat, 21Aug), the previous two attempts botched due to rough seas. The sea conditions yesterday were very good, and despite a mere 0.4 metre tidal range we had current only above 25 meters where the flow picks up sweeping over the crude carriers massive hull, this left all decoing divers fluttering like flags on the ascent line. Marine life was plenty with sightings of massive jacks, rays, groupers and arabian angelfish. The Energy was a 300+ metre long VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) and holds the record for the biggest insurance write off at the time of sinking in Dec 1979. Her broken off stern section is 25 miles offshore from Ras Al Khaimah and rests on the seabed at 85 meters, with the shallowest point at 25 meters.”
MV Dara 20 August
A good weekend on the 20th! We had two dives on the Dara mainly to get some of the Sports Diver exercises out of the way.Viz was good, the weather was cooler than of late and a leopard ray, a turtle and an octopus were all seen on the wreck. The exercises all went fine and the trainees all did their DSMB deployments, compass squares and navigation very well indeed despite what I am about to say! In true 406 tradition, they all provided some imaginative diving technique: Mention must be made of Sami for possibly the longest kit-up in the history of the universe. Leyla by contrast wanted to break the lap record for a trip around the Dara, exhausting fellow trainee and instructor alike. I’m sure at one point she overtook Sergey on his scooter. Cathy managed to lose a fin, break a reel and get cramp. First prize however went to Derek. Navigating by compass around a square he made his first turn to the right instead of left. Thus when trying to make his second turn he found a shipwreck in the way. He then turned left then right again by which time his “square” was looking unconventional to say the least. Well done Derek – his prize was a rare copy of one of Euclid’s lesser known works: “Basic Geometry for Divers”. In all of this Brian was completing his 100th dive. He did the decent thing and produced a bottle of bubbly although we weren’t all able to sample it as the sea was bit rough for getting the boats alongside each other. Some made the swim across though.
Hopper barge 13 August
The second weekend was not the most successful weekend we’ve ever had. The big boat was already out of commission with trailer trouble. Unfortunately the engines on 125 were severely misfiring so we had to return to port.
Thanks to the efforts of Mike Rowse and Uwe the trailer of 312 was brought back into service and we went out to the Hopper Barge mainly because we haven’t been there for a long time. The second dive was the Neptune because that got the vote. In fact the two wrecks are only 400m apart, which made life easy. Friday the 13th certainly lived up to its reputation. We chalked up one lost fin, one broken fin, one flooded torch and one computer that unaccountably went bonkers and started bleeping away for no good reason and giving no useful information. The dives were reasonable, with viz not great again, but he weather seems to have relented - not as oppressive as the previous week.
Neptune and the Suitcase Dhow 6 August
Mercifully the weather backed off a bit compared to the sauna-like conditions we had the week before. We took the boat to the Neptune where I made the mistake of commenting how nice and peaceful it was to have the sea to ourselves. Naturally within a few minutes a resort boat turned up and the water was soon heaving with bodies intent on diving if they could remember how. Fortunately we managed to get in and out before most of them went down.
For the second dive we went to the suitcase dhow, but the viz was awful. It wasn’t much better last time we went there either. I think the basic problem is that it’s too close to the dredging for the Palms and as a result the water is full of silt. The suitcase dhow isn’t the only wreck to be spoilt like this.
Ian Hussey and guest writers.