Saturday, May 29, 2010

May 28-29, 2010 - certified 3 advanced open water divers: Borja, January and Keith and 3 open water divers Tammy, Roger, and Mila

My logged dives number 979-981 Friday and 982-984 Saturday

Daniel Sobrado took pictures and posted them to his Picassa account here: Thanks Daniel for permission to post some of these here.

My running friend and o/w and advanced dive student Graeme put some of his friends from Dubai on to me and they agreed to do their academics through PADI eLearning and meet me at Discover Nomad on Thu May 27. So I met Tammy, Mila, and Roger for the first time at the dive center in Dibba and took them through confined water pool dives 1 and 2 at the pool there before dinner and bedtime.

On Friday May 28, we got up early for confined water dive 3 which qualified the three for two open water dives that day. By 10:00 the rest of those diving with us had arrived for our dive trip up to Musandam. At 1:20 we descended at Lima Rock in what I was conducting as an advanced boat dive for Borja, January, and Keith, and O/W dive 1 for Roger, Mila, and Tammy. We were a large group. Besides Bobbi and I, Bruno, January's colleague from Brazil, and also Renato and his wife Kelly (snorkeling) were on board. Leslie and Caroline had also joined us for fun diving, and they saw the whale shark on their dive (but the rest of us didn't :-(

We had the boatman take us to Ras Morovi where at 15:00 we were heading down for one of my complex combined open water and advanced navigation dives, advanced for Borja, January and Keith, and dive #2 for Roger, Mila, and Tammy. After our exercises in the cove we moved out the tongue as we had the week before. Vis had improved since then but it was still milky there. We got the boatman to drop us by the Cave on the way home, which we started diving at around 17:30. I had proposed this as a third elective dive for January and Keith (either underwater naturalist or peak buoyancy). Funny we couldn't actually find the entrance to the cave, very puzzling as I'd been there many times before, but we found huge crayfish wandering around in the rocks just outside the alcove. Due to the waning light, we kept it to a shallow dive for just 30 minutes.

It was at this site that we found a bird in the water, nearly immobilized and struggling to stay afloat with wings caked with oil. While Keith and January and I were diving the others rescued it and we took it back to the dive center with us where it was bathed by dive center staff as often as they could get around to it. Despite frequent cleansings the oil could be only partially removed, and on Saturday the bird died, just a glimpse to us of what's being wreaked on wildlife on the shores ringing the Gulf of Mexico right now.

Sat May 29, Tammy, Mila, and Roger completed confined water dives 4 and 5 in the pool next morning and at 10:00 we again departed for another dive trip up to Musandam. At noon we were diving Lima Rock south side on a deep dive with multilevel profile for Borja, January and Keith. The other qualified divers dived on their own. We saw the usual fish there but again no whalesharks. After collecting everyone back on board, we puttered around to the sheltered north side of the rock where Roger, Mila, and Tammy finished their flexible (mostly surface) skills in shallow mooring area. At 14:00 we went down for Dive #3 for Roger, Mila, and Tammy and an advanced underwater naturalist dive for Borja. Everyone else remained at the surface, including Keith and January who worked on their decent surface interval while plotting out their last advanced dive, a multilevel one we planned for 15:30 off Wonder Wall.

Since Borja had done two dives already, I had him join Tammy, Mila, and Roger and I for a shallow advanced peak buoyancy dive (hovering for everyone). Bobbi joined January and Keith for their multilevel dive. Wonder Wall was a place we hadn't been to lately but it was a lovely spot. The fish life was very attractive but the highlight of the trip was a ray that glided casually ahead of us as we shadowed it in the sand, then turned to check us out, then headed up the reef and back down to the sand, putting on a nice show for us. Bobbi and Keith and January saw the same ray. At the end of the dive as we neared the point the current picked up and divers were being collected even out to sea, but all re-boarded safely and we made it back to harbor and home late, exhausted, but happy.

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