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There was no diving the previous weekend for the first time in a while. The forecast for Friday 30th was very discouraging with large waves, and wind and sure enough we woke up to rain which turned into thunder and lightning during the day. Being a long weekend we could have got out on Sunday which was National Day (happy 41st) but again the forecast wasn’t great albeit rather more benign than Friday had been. With hindsight we could have gone but in truth I wasn’t as upset as I should have been to have a lie-in.
In contrast last Thursday night, we had an excellent barbecue at Ken and Janette’s place in RAK. The numbers were a bit down on last year but we had a good time all the same with Uwe joining us from Lubeck courtesy of Skype. We went on into the early hours – the precise time escapes me – making our intended start time of 9.00 am Friday a tad optimistic. The breakfast was good though!
Although we were a bit (OK a lot) tardy getting into gear, the slip at Al Hamra Marina is just round the corner from the villa so we were soon on the water heading for the Ajman Glory which is only 17km away. Courtesy of Ken volunteering to do boat handling we could all go in together which saved a lot of time. The anchor had just missed the wreck but there was next to no current so Mike just ran a line to the wreck.
The viz was reasonable rather than spectacular but it was a nice dive nevertheless. Among the fish down there was a lot of batfish some of which were very friendly even by batfish standards. The Ajman Glory is deeper than some we do round here which limits the bottom time but we got a good half hour in water which although cooling down is still warm enough to dive without too much neoprene.
Last year we dived the Rig Supply Vessel in conditions of very poor viz and it wasn’t a lot of fun groping around in the murk. All the same we decided to re-visit the wreck for variety if nothing else and to see if conditions had improved. Well they had up to a point. You could hardly describe the water as crystal and the viz was significantly worse than it had been on the Ajman Glory but at least this time I came away with some sense of what the vessel looked like. Which is… well at the risk of stating the obvious it was a supply ship for the rigs. The bridge is at the forward end behind which is a long flat deck for carrying whatever cargo was required. At the stern there is the tip of a prop sticking out of the sand – there must be a second prop as well but that was completely buried. The vessel is about 40m long – maybe a bit more.
The bridge was covered by nets and we did the environment a favour by cutting them off, freeing some fish in the process. There were a lot of batfish here as well – it must be the season for them. It was then a short boat ride back to shore and a rather longer car journey back to Sharjah.
Grateful thanks to Janette and Ken for their hospitality. Perhaps we’ll do a repeat in the new year.
Ian Hussey and Dive Member Contributions.