Friday, November 26, 2010

PADI Open Water dives 1 and 2 for Paula Gerber and #2 for Hasan Khaled, Abu Dhabi Breakwater Nov 26. 2010

My logged dives #1021-1022

Friday Nov 26, 2010

It's starting to get cool for Abu Dhabi diving but the weather was still pleasant for an outing with Al Mahara Divers, Laura and Mits presiding over the diving on Alistair and Kathleen's boat.  I thought I had to work on Saturday (though the Open House was called off in an email to staff on the Thu, two days before the planned event :-{ so I had planned to take my two dive students on their PADI o/w dives Friday from Abu Dhabi.

As happens this time of year, sea conditions were not ideal, and so diving was planned for the Abu Dhabi Breakwater.  Even outside the Breakwater, a slight chop was making two of the ladies ill, so for the second dive we moved to inside the Breakwater.

The Breakwater can be a nice spot with rays in the sand, batfish around the Bateen Box, and bigger stuff like barracudas passing nearby, when visibility allows any of this to be seen.  Today the water appeared through our masks like diluted milk. It was not an ideal environment for beginning divers with their inevitable anxieties.

So we simply conducted the dives.  We entered the water at greater distance on either side of  the breakwater from where I usually anchor (the boat captain had a healthy concern for submerged rocks, though those who know the site are aware that there are none).  This meant beginning with a compass heading to the wall, all divers staying in almost physical contact with one another, then arriving suddenly at the wall, and not seeing many fish there, though the sea urchins were obvious enough to my beginners.

Hasan was actually making his second dive for his course since he'd dived the previous week at Dibba Rock, where I'd shown him some sharks.  So he was more comfortable than Paula diving for her first time.  Still both divers accomplished their objective of completing the course through the second o/w dive, and I always personally enjoy myself on these outings.

Our dive times were 40 minutes the first dive, to about 6 meters, but only 15 min for the second (similar depth), due to the conditions making my team uncomfortable, and necessitating a surface swim to the boat against a significant current, which we managed nevertheless.  Good chance to do tired diver tows :-)

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