Friday, August 12, 2011

Abu Dhabi wrecks again, Ludwig and somewhere near Jasim, Aug 5, 2011

My logged dives #1061-1063

Bobbi, Dusty, and Michelle and I accepted an invitation from Al Mahara divers to come dive with Kathleen and Peter, our old friends (but not as old as we are :-).  We were trying to dig out our old GPS coordinates and locate the wrecks for one thing, and Kathleen wants to find them so she can take divers there for her new dive center.

I was helpful in locating the Ludwig.  That's always been one of my favorite wrecks.  That dive was a nice one. We dropped anchor after inching near the wreck but we couldn't get the boatman to get on it so finally we dropped anchor 200 meters from it, and the anchor dragged showing that distance increasing to 300 but then held steady.

In any event the Ludwig is not hard to find.  It's a big wreck.  It looms large if you know which direction you need to go to find it.  So Bobbi and I and Michelle crept up on it upcurrent at 26 meters or so till we saw the shadow of its hull. When we arrived there I led us to the stern and looked in the sand there for rays, found none, and so I led around to the deck side and then went up along the fo'castle to the high point of the wreck which happens to be the starboard side of the wheel house.  There the door was removed long ago making it easy to enter the wheelhouse which, being on its side, is a descent to the port side, which now lays in the sand.  The wheelhouse is roomy and doesn't feel that confined since there are window holes there that still overlook the ghostly deck.  But the big surprise was at depth where there used to be rubble there obscuring the exit to the sand.  It's been removed.  It's now an easy thing to go in the top of the wheelhouse, descend to the opposite side, and find and exit to the sand.  Who's been cleaning up this wreck?  Nice of them!

After that we proceeded along the bottom of the deck where the ship lays on its side until the bow.  I was keeping an eye on my computer, hoping to find something interesting at the bow (used to be lots of barracuda there) and knowing that we could then follow the deck up so as to manage the fact that we were then just one minute to deco.

To make a few more minute story even shorter, we followed the deck up as it contoured to 20 meters, the time to deco kept getting bigger but then counting down as we watched the fish up top. We were by now with Kathleen and her crew who were also finding their way up.  There was a rope trailing off the deck and I got my crew on it so as to have a reference for safety stop at 5 meters, and the entire dive lasted perhaps 40 minutes.

From there we motored south towards home and towards our GPS points for the Jasim, but we had worse luck here. I was unsure of where my coordinates came from.  Kathleen had some as well but in the end we tried mine, and these turned out to be on the tall buoy some distance from the wreck, so we never did find it.  Our dive with my group was half an hour in the sand at 25+ meters, to come up when the first person went low on air.

I still had 90 bar and Kathleen wanted to try her coordinates and see if we could find the wreck on a third dive, so I accompanied her, but she had no better luck, so we emerged from that one wrecklessly.

Finley the shark, seen below, wearing my face mask, gave his version of the Ludwig dive here: Finley, apart from these here, where are your pics ???

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