Welcome to BSAC 406 weekly Dive Report. Please contact Ian Hussey if you would like to contribute to the weekly newsletter that is distributed to BSAC 406 members worldwide. In addition, if you would like to feature in the published Dive Report please contact Polly Buckingham.
Caveat; Spelling mistake in the video above - at least I got the correct year I think.....
Anyhoo........below is this week's log from our DO Ian Hussey.
Happy New Year to everyone, now that it’s upon us.
With the festivities out of the way, I can pronounce the 2020 diving season up and running. We’re still a bit short of numbers but four is enough for a dive and Nick, Allen, Cara and I were all anxious to get back in the water. Having established last time out that Karen’s Dhow still existed, we decided to give it a proper visit.
First things first though. SP312 needed more cleaning than normal after a few weeks on dry land and all four tyres on the trailer needed some air. Also, although we didn’t discover it until the boat was launched, the steering needed a top-up of hydraulic oil. As soon as the boat was in the water, the soggy steering was apparent but after some discussion we concluded we could get out and back without too much of a problem and sort it out back at the club. Thus, we set off slower than normal and on a slightly erratic course out to the wreck, which we anchored at the first time of asking. No complaints about the conditions: it was a neap tide, the current was virtually nil all day and the sea state, not high to begin with reduced to almost flat calm by the time we had finished. It is however, emphatically now wet-suit weather. I was just about OK in a 3mm but 5mm is probably best.
Karen’s Dhow is not a huge wreck and it’s fairly broken up and flat; if you want the excitement of deep wreck penetration, then Karen’s Dhow is not it. It does however have some nice fish life and it was good to dive something fairly unchallenging after a few weeks off. Nick and I were first down the line and found the anchor close to the engine block. There were some barracuda circling above us and swimming round, we saw snappers, angel fish, batfish, bannerfish and one medium size hammour. There were also a lot of silver fish whose name always escapes me. (Cara told me, but I’ve forgotten again). I picked up a glass plate which was the dhow’s main cargo of which there is an almost inexhaustible supply. Allen and Cara also came back with some glassware and also a crab that had become entangled in some nets. Allen spent about twenty minutes on the boat with knife and scissors, cutting it free. Gloves were necessary as the ungrateful little sod had a tendency to use its freed claws to attack its rescuer.
It did at least give me a chance to tell the joke about the prawn and the crab:
Lady prawn to gentleman crab, her fiancé:
Oh Crab, how wonderful to see you walking forwards, not sideways like you normally do. You’re doing this just for me!
Shut up, I’m pissed.
With sincere apologies for that, we move on to the Mariam Express.
The Mariam was a cargo ship that went down in 2005. It was a fabulous dive for a few years until a winter storm resulted in it punching through the hard but thin upper strata into the goo below. Much of the internals of the vessel are now inaccessible as a result you can still swim through the cargo hold and there are still coffee sets to be had for anyone who’s interested.
Last time on the wreck there were some eagle rays swimming around and we were naturally hoping for a repeat. In this we were disappointed but in compensation, a turtle seems to have taken up residence in an opening on the hull side. Nick and I spotted it, but it was still there when Allen and Cara went down for a look.
After that it was back to the club for a couple of refreshments. Sadly, Davidson didn’t get to join us as scheduled as he was out hiking but perhaps next time. He and his wife are due to meet up with a few 406 exiles in London next week and no doubt a few photos will be headed this way.
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The Dive Club meets every Tuesday night in the Dive Bar.
See you there.
Ian Hussey and Dive Member Contributions.