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Dive Logs for Vance Stevens
PADI open water scuba instructor #64181
Dive 392 and 393
May 25, 2001
Abu Dhabi: The Ludwig and the Jasim

Diving with:Adsac
Dive buddies: Ian Smith and Adrian
Others in dive party: Jenny and Rafi diving, and Bobbi not diving due to rough ride out
Conditions: 3 foot swell
Visibility: 6-7 meters
Wetsuit combo: Typhoon top and lycra skin, pretty comfy
Weight:8 kg
Diving from: Pearl Diver

My 392nd Logged Dive since 1991

Dive site: The Ludwig
Training conducted: none

Data from dive computer:

Time down on dive computer: 11:49
Max depth: 27.4 meters
Time started up from chart: 00:40
Dive time from computer: 44 min.
Min Temp: 28 degrees C (comfortable)
Nitrox 21% (normal air), no deco

PSI/Bar in: 200
PSI/Bar out: 50 bar

Pressure group out, from tables: did not calculate; using computer

Description of dive:

We left for gas shortly after 8, left the gas station a bit after 8:30, and didn't arrive at the dive site till almost 11:00. The long, drenching, and choppy ride out was at least rewarded by the usual great dive on the Ludwig. As we'd heard, the big fish are coming back. The current was pulling at the surface but was negligible at the bottom. We had tied to a mooring line from the afterdeck and dropped from there on the stern. Shining a light under the stern revealed a black ray near the propeller, where Jenny and Rafi had said it would be. Then we worked our way around the stern and along bottom of the tilted deck to the bow. There were numerous black nudibranchs all over the sand here, each with an orange rim, and shoals of big barracuda all around. We rounded the bow, home of a couple of half-spotted grouper, and Ian seemed to suggest a return trip the way we'd come along the bottom rather than continue along the hull, but I signalled an upward course, and he and Adrian agreed. As we ascended, I found a white nudibranch and showed Adrian. We then made our way gradually to around 20 meters amidships, working our way on to around 16 where we held the ships railing and peered down into the companionway windows. The schools of fish abounded here, all kinds, snapper, wrasse, barracuda. Now and then a lone oddity passed through, and a pair of tropicals looking familiar, maybe surgeon fish, not sure (can't find them on my fish chart).

35 min into the dive, hovering about near the mooring line, Ian was checking air and looking as if we might as well start up. He had a hundred bar, and Adrian showed me 67 on his integrated console. I had something in between and indicated I liked where I was, so Ian held up 5 fingers for 5 minutes I guess, and started wandering along the railing. Adrian was behind me, eyes on the deck, and that's when, in that extra five minutes, I saw a tuna bull its way through a school of barracuda in that sashaying motion of a tuna on the move, treating the barracuda as minor obstacles before shooting through and disappearing before I could get the others' attention (which of course is how I recall exactly what each of them was doing at the time). Moral of the story, never cut short a dive just because you think you've seen it.

Minutes after that I went a minute into deco and we started up the mooring line. The deco persisted on the trip up but we stopped at 6 meters and burned it off.

Surface interval: 2 hours 7 minutes

My 393rd Logged Dive since 1991

Dive site: The Jasim
Training conducted: none

Data from dive computer:

Time down on dive computer: 14:42
Max depth: 26 meters
Time started up from chart: 00:37
Dive time from computer: 37 min.
Min Temp: 28 degrees C (comfortable)
Nitrox 21% (normal air), no deco

PSI/Bar in: 200
PSI/Bar out: 70 bar

Pressure group out, from tables: did not calculate; using computer

Description of dive:

Wind was brisk and seas were picking up as we anchored off the Jasim. We found the ship on the fish finder, dropped anchor on top, and let ourselves drift back to the SSE. I took a compass reading on the drift in case we would need that information underwater. Jenny and Rafi went in first. We had agreed on 40 minutes dive time and 45 min later, their bubbles were stable on the anchor line, so we knew they'd gone into deco. We knew they also had plenty of air, otherwise they'd have been at the tank we had dangled at 6 meters overboard. It was one of the club tanks with Bobbi's octopus reg, and it was the rig I had planned to carry as a 'pony' had I been diving with Bobbi. The current was one reason I had opted not to; plus I knew my diving would be more conservative than it might have been with Bobbi and I together making use of the extra tank, so I didn't figure I'd need the extra air below. In case of deco compounded with unexpected air consumption though, I thought it would be a good idea to utilize the spare gear on board in a safety measure, and Ian agreed and helped me rig and drop it overboard.

When it was our turn to descend, I made note of the tank hanging beneath the boat, clearly visible from anchor line. We went down on the wreck and found it nicely seeded with fish and barracuda, but no rays in the sand. We played around in the debris, keeping an eye on our computers, always giving us about 9 min bottom time as we gradually decreased the depth of our dive and eventually we ended up back where the anchor was draped over the ship's rails. One of Ian's concerns had been freeing the anchor so we pulled it up and set it in what appeared to be a stable position atop the wreck. Just as we were about to resume our dive, the boat jerked and the anchor toppled off the wreck and into the sand. Next thing, it started taking out across the sand as the boat pulled it with the wind and current. We were going to follow it I think, but we had lost Adrian, who had gone a few meters above us, always the last place you think to look for a dive buddy. By the time we located him blithely observing us searching frantically for him, the anchor was out of site, so Ian put up his sausage and we ascended, coming up not far from where the boat had drifted.

As we snorkeled to the boat, I noticed a line trailing off and hoped it was the painter. It was not the anchor line which was by now holding fast on something on the bottom. It was of course the remnants of the line which had been supporting the club tank and my reg, now lost. To make matters worse, the anchor had also snagged on a bit of debris. Try as we might we couldn't free it, so in the end we had to cut the line and leave the anchor behind as well.

The ride back with me driving, and possibly partially because of that, was pretty miserable with waves coming in at a slant behind us, making the trip unstable. I was constantly having to throttle back and forward again, eyes stinging and momentarily blinded from the spray when we sliced the waves. We had an hour and a half of that before reaching the safety of the harbor. At the end of the day, I was only charged 50 dirhams for the dive since I'd used one of my tanks and Bobbi had used neither of hers, but I'd lost a reg, though I tried to be nonchalant about it.

Ian suggested a trip next weekend to recover the gear. He had done a GPS bearing on our last position to get the line of drift, so he would know in which direction to look from the wreck. As it happened, he went out the following Tuesday, so I couldn't join him. But he managed to recover anchor, bottle, and reg, and though I haven't seen the reg yet as of this writing, he said it happily filled a lift back after 5 days on the bottom, so it's probably alright. I guess Bobbi will find out next time she uses it.

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Last updated: June 22, 2001 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0