As is my habit with the last email of the old year (or sometimes the first email of the new one), this is a look-back of the twelve months just gone:
Counting the dives, there weren’t so many as we sometimes do. Compared to last year, we lost rather more weekends to the weather or for other reasons. We nevertheless managed to get trips to the Dara (12), Nasteran (5), Jumbo (9), Neptune (5), Mike’s Tug (2), Victoria Star (6), Ajman Glory (2), Mariam Express (2), Karen’s Dhow (2), Sea King 5 and the Taha (1 each). This was just the west coast. There was also an east coast weekend, a Musandam trip and a weekend in Oman diving the Damaniyat Islands.
Both the Neptune and Nasteran have been breaking up which has opened up some areas for exploration that didn’t previously exist. The first time we went looking for Karen’s Dhow this year, we couldn’t find it for some reason and there were concerns that it might have been buried by shifting sands. However, we were in the area a few weeks ago and a quick bounce confirmed that it’s still there and still full of glassware.
Some of the further-out wrecks such as Wreck X and Energy Determination still have to be avoided rather than risk a period as a guest of the Iranians.
Unfortunately, there was no Eid trip this year. A proposed trip to Mafia Island (near Zanzibar) failed to generate sufficient interest. Perhaps it was the time of year or perhaps we just got too ambitious, but we will have a re-think before planning a trip for 2020.
Bookending the year were a couple of social functions.
A current initiative is to reduce the amount of single-use plastic on club dives. Allen has procured some metal flasks and plastic bottles on the boat is now a ten-dirham fine. You have been warned.
This year we welcomed Graham and Saleem to the club. Sadly, we said farewell to Richard and Sharon who have gone to the UK where Richard has a new job with the Port of Liverpool. Richard and Sharon now join the band of 406 exiles who now have their own WhatsApp group for staying in touch.
Richard has our grateful thanks for serving as Chairman for a number of years, despite his job taking him to Saudi Arabia for most of that time. I now step into his shoes as the new Chairman and Allen is picking up my previous role as Diving Officer.
Regrettably during the year, we had to report the passing of Paty Oldenburg (wife of Uwe) in February and of former member, Sergey Yurchenko, in June. Gone but never to be forgotten.
As usual, thanks are due to those who kept the show on the road this year:
Brian for looking after the boats and compressors despite his punishing work schedule.
Mike for getting stuck into boats and cars whenever he isn’t retired (which might now be most of the time).
Cara and Michelle for training and the try-dives.
Peter for looking after our money and for his awful puns.
Allen for sterling work on the equipment, in particular keeping the tanks full.
Polly for making tea.
Nick for arts, entertainment and general contributions.
And finally, to all those who came diving with us without whom it would all be for nothing.
The Dive Club would like to wish its members, former members and friends a very happy and prosperous New Year!
Safe diving in 2020.
The Dive Club meets every Tuesday night in the Dive Bar.
See you there.
Ian Hussey and Dive Member Contributions.