Sunday, September 03, 2006

Wait for me

The UAE's change in working week produced the unexpected bonus of a three-day weekend. The old Thursday-Friday weekend prevailed in August, and as 1st September was a Friday, the new weekend meant that I didn't have to turn up for work until Sunday.

So Saturday suddenly became available for diving. Other Dive Club (ODC) needed someone to tow their boat and launch it in Khor Fakkan. I met ODC's dive marshal early on Saturday morning, hitched up the 30-foot speedboat and dragged it to the slipway. After putting my diving kit on board, I reversed the trailer into the water, where ODC backed the boat into the sea. In the forty-five seconds it took me to park my car and the empty trailer, ODC had turned round and headed (or do I mean sodded?) off to the other side of the harbour to pick up the other divers. Standing on the slipway and gesticulating was to no avail; after collecting everyone else, they headed off to go diving..., leaving Muggins on the slipway.

I made several phone calls and left various profane messages on answering machines. Eventually someone managed to contact the boat by telephone, which came back to collect me. A frank exchange of views followed. Apparently the misunderstanding was that I had quickly and efficiently towed and launched the boat, but was not going to dive. This despite the cylinders and bag of dive kit that I'd put on board; something that I regarded as a big clue. Despite an almost overwhelming temptation to go home and leave ODC with their own problem with recovering the boat to the trailer and towing it home, I decided to bury the hatchet and instead of stropping off in a huff I had a couple of splendid dives.

There is a monstrous honeycomb moray in a defunct air conditioner on Inchcape 1. Being immersed in 30m of sea water just off Al Aqah Beach Resort has done nothing for the aircon, but the moray seems to like its home. It's been living there for months, if not years.

At Martini Rock, which is just south of Khor Fakkan, I found the biggest turtle I have ever seen. According to my buddy it was almost as long as I am, easily exceeding the size of the more common hawksbill turtles. By approaching slowly and carefully I was able to get really close without the turtle getting spooked and swimming away. A turtle, despite its apparently non-hydrodynamic shape, is easily able to outrun a scuba diver with little discernible effort.


nzm said...

Excellent! I love to dive with turtles, and I've found that the bigger they are, the less fearful and timid they can be.

kaya said...

Yes, but you should have really told them you were going diving.....I mean its not like they are PSYCHIC!!!
The diving equipment is not a sign.

Mme Cyn said...

Well, I suppose there are those who routinely haul 50 kg of perfectly sound sports equipment about and heave it into boats just to save on gym membership fees...

Curiosity said...

Great to know you managed to get a couple of dives despite being 'stranded'for a while..i miss the diving in the UAE..would never get bored for sure...but now i have emmigrated to much cooler climes so will not venture any dives till I myself am feel warm enough..good luck..Grumpy Goat :))


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