Monday, July 11, 2011

Diving with Freestyle Divers July 9, 2011 - Family outing on Dibba Rock

My logged dives #1057-1058

On July 9, 2011 Bobbi and I and my two boys Glenn and Dusty awoke at a reasonable hour in the morning and by 8 a.m. we were on the road for Dibba where we turned up well before noon in time for a dive on Dibba Rock which eventually got under way at 1:00.  We did two dives there, both from the mooring on the northwest corner of the island.  They both went about the same way.  The mooring is right off the aquarium so on both dives we started there.  On the first we were in the lee of a strong westerly current which we only discovered as we were fairly carried to the reef to the west and then had to struggle to stay on it as we continued along it south.  By the time we had come to the end of the L and were turning to the east, we found we simply could not, the current was too strong against us.  So we went back to north and then back east, in the shadow of the island, to the aquarium, and then penetrated a little to the back side until we hit the thermocline there. By then we had consumed an hour and varying amounts of air, so we surfaced.

We didn't see much on that dive, and the thermocline had been uncomfortable because we were not wearing wetsuits, so I put on my 3 mm for the second dive.  This got delayed a bit due to a fuel shortage on one of the boats that had gone away for a looooong day trip.  But we didn't mind kicking back on the restful lanai at Freestyle, turtles broaching the shorebreak just off the sands of Royal Beach Hotel, and eventually we were back in the water for our second dive. This followed the same route as the first one, except we were by now at high tide, with some relief from the current, and we saw more animals.  We were just leaving the aquarium for the reef when the schooling fish overhead did an abrupt about face.  I looked around for the cause, though only Bobbi saw it and signaled shark with her hand at her forehead.  We continued on the reef to the south without seeing much, but this time we were able to turn to the east and make it as far as where the coral is coming back.  By then we were at half a tank to 150 bar so we turned and drifted back along the coral, where we saw the cuttlefish and eels that Glenn videoed.

Meanwhile I was leading back to the north and it was my good fortune to come right on top of a beefy blacktip reef shark.  He scampered alongside and ahead of me, Bobbi was a little behind and the boys behind her, so I was the only one to see it.  We continued north on the reef and then east back to the aquarium, and then went on into the sand at the back of the island without seeing anything much of note apart from big eyed puffer fish and lion fish, and the usual schooling tropicals.

Back on shore we had an off license beverage with Andy and reminisced about old times, very relaxing as the sun went down over the misty mountains and turned the sky over the blue-green sea from balmy blue to shades of orange and grey.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a lovely weekend.
    Wish I could've made it.