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Dive logs for Vance Stevens, P.A.D.I. Open Water SCUBA Instructor #64181

Abu Dhabi, May 5, 2000
Dives 341 and 342
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Diving with: ADSAC
Dive site: Ludwig

Dive buddies: Bobbi 1st dive / Al Smith 2nd
Others in dive party: Gene from Toronto, a guy who smoked constantly buddied with a new club member, Colin of the bearded variety

Others at site: divers from Sharja and from Dubai

See pic at source, ADSAC site | See big pic on this site

Sea condition: mild, minor spray on way out

Water temp: 23

Visibility: excellent, 9-10 meters

Wetsuit combo: put on farmer john and 3 mm longsleeve top 2nd dive

Weight: needed 12 kg

Data from dive computer:

Dive 341 Ė 26.5 meters, 43 min. =

Dive time includes 3 min. safety stop

Surface interval Ė 1 hr 06 min

Dive 342 Ė 44 min., 27.7 meters =

The Ludwig is a wreck 40 nautical miles about 15 degrees off due north from Abu Dhabi.It is marked with a large buoy and on weekends surrounded by dive boats.

Itís a fascinating wreck.You descend through patrolling tuna into schools of barracuda hanging about amid the shoals of silver fish at the top of the wreck.The wreck is on its side with gaping holes where the dud missiles went through.Descending along what used to be the deck gets you out of the current.

The best part of the wreck is the top, where you cling with the barnacles and urchins to the rusty rails (bring gloves) and relax like a flag in the current while the barracuda lazed about and the tuna darted in from above, wriggling awkwardly to propel their bulky forms through the resisting water, to try to grab some little food morsel that might be a bit far off center of the Darwinian bell curve to elude the attack.

On the first dive, Bobbi and I went to the bottom 27 meters near the stern to the south, looked for rays in the sand, and swam along the deck side (west) slightly up current as far as the bow, where we completely missed the 2-meter ray that everyone said was concealed there.We instead went looking for rays in the sand ahead of the bow.We followed the lines and nets up the hull and along the top, admiring the great variety of fish along the way, till we reached the clinging point, and we enjoyed the rest of the dive from that vantage.There were just a couple of tuna about, but they eventually got curious and swam up to us.We were craning our necks the whole time.Brilliant and relaxing dive.

Second dive, Bobbi was nauseous, a condition made worse by the chain smokers not watching where their air pollution was going.†† So I dived with Al, who had as dive marshal decided, rather than go on to the Jassim, to repeat the Ludwig second dive (if nobody minds, he said) since heíd had a very short dive his first dive, since one of the smokers had run out of air after 10 min.(I certainly didnít mind).He decided to buddy with me to show me the ray.We dropped down the stern as before and finned on the deck side up to the bow to look for the ray.On that trip we found two tuna playing about on the bottom right up close to us.But couldnít find the ray so we swam up the wreck and dropped down the stern and looked for rays there as before.None, so we swam up current the hard way, on the keel side of the wreck.By now, we were down to just a few minutes bottom time remaining so we finned up along the wreck back to the bow, and there we popped down a bit to look again for the ray.This put me a minute into deco at 3 meters so I signaled Al and we moved up the rails to the vantage point where we hung on till Al got to about 70 bar and I had 3 min. deco on my computer.Then we moved up the line next to a school of barracuda and up where the tuna were swimming just above them.At 5 meters I stopped for 3 min as I would a Padi safety stop.

This got me reflecting on the differences between diving on a wheel and on a computer.Iím not sure if itís a good idea to be chasing a computer all the time.With a wheel I always know exactly where I stand Ö well, not exactly, but I stick to depth and time schedules, and always emerge safely.With a computer, it seems there could be a tendency to over-rely on it.After this experience, Iíve learned I should spend my surface interval time doing the calculations Iíve always done before.


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Last updated: May 26, 2000 in Word 2000