Saturday, June 5, 2010

June 5, 2010 - Certified Elizabeth O/W at Bateen Breakwater off Abu Dhabi

My logged dives #985-986

Cyclone Phet had been churning through Oman and its tail had brought the surf up along the coast of Musandam, but Abu Dhabi was little affected apart from wind, which by Saturday had largely passed. So I engaged Allistair and his Al Mahara boat to take us from Bateen Harbor to the breakwater where conditions allowed us to dive the Bateen Box on one dive and around the corner on another.

The breakwater was pleasant with excellent vis and warm temperatures 31 degrees. We were diving in 6 to 8 meters, 45 minutes each time. Allistair had a student Merwan and I was conducting Elizabeth's last two dives for her course, and Marika and Natalie's very first open dives. We had spent much of Friday in the pool where Natalie had breezed through the first three modules of the course. Her boyfriend Jonny was with us, doing his advanced boat and navigation dives.

The batfish entertained us as we cruised through the exercises that can so well be done in shallow relatively calm conditions. There was not much to write home about, but the day went successfully. Elizabeth qualified with honors and the others made progress in their training.

And did I mention the watermellon?!! This seems to be a steady feature on Al Mahara dive cruises, and a delicious tonic to counteract the effects of inhaling salt and dry air for 45 min underwater, and the munchies after diving, very considerate of the Russells to have on board!

Afterwards I left Allistair to tend to his boat engines and raced home for a quick shower and then to a villa nearby where Rachel and her friends were putting on a string quartet for us in the true tradition of chamber music (ca va dire, dans une chambre). Between the diving and the wine, Bobbi and I found ourselves in bed not long after sundown and now I'm writing this in the early hours of the morning.

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