Main Homepage:
This site has a NetWord:*scubavance
More Scuba: Back to Vance's Scuba Page | Return to Vance's Logbook contents
Navigate logbook: Logbook for 2001 | previous dive | next dive

Dive Logs for Vance Stevens
PADI open water scuba instructor #64181
Dive 394 and 395
June 8, 2001
Dubai: Sheikh Mohammed's Barge

Diving with:Adsac
Dive buddy: Sarah (Wendy's 15 year old daughter)
Others in dive party: Richard Wilding, Andy, Jim Darbyshire, Wendy
Conditions: mild
Visibility: 4-5 meters
Wetsuit combo: Typhoon top and lycra skin, on first dive, abandoned 3 mil top on second
Weight:8 kg, 6 kg
Diving from:Said's boat kept at DMC

Mubarak and Said were kind enough to invite us out on their boat for a trip out to Sheik Mohammed's Barge, so called because his excellency maintains the buoy marking the spot. On the way to the site, Said pulled 4 lines with which he caught 4 or 5 large fish, mackerals I think. At the end of the day, he gave me one, which I had cleaned at Abu Dhabi fish souk. It had enough meat on it for 3 oven-loads. Mubarak cooked us a fish biriyani on the ride back in and Said handed out cans of Amstel. Though we were always in sight of the big sail hotel on the Dubai coast, the trip each way took a couple of hours because Said was running on only one engine.

On the way out to the site, I asked Richard, who was leading the dive, how the dive pairings would go. He said Wendy and Sarah, obviously, and him and Andy, and me and Jim. But as we were kitting up he had changed his mind, and I found myself paired with Sarah. Sarah is a fine diver, having recently achieved sport, and no worse a companion than Dusty, but the time I had buddied with her once before, on a night dive, she had surfaced in the middle of the dive; plus she was the only one in the group without a computer. The latter fact alone was going to compromise my diving, since that would mean we'd both have to dive BSAC tables. I protested to the extent of asking her mother, didn't she want to dive with her daughter? She shrugged and mumbled, "They said ..." as if there was nothing to be done about it.

If I'd brought my kid along on a dive I would have expected to have been the one to take care of him, all the more so if it had been me who had neglected to buy him a computer, but it's only natural to want the best possible diving for yourself. In the past, before I got a computer myself, I'd dived successfully for 30 years without one in challenging though not extreme conditions. Best possible diving for BSAC divers I had previously been with had sometimes caused them to politely refuse to dive with me because computer diving and table/wheel diving were incompatible. But there was no other non-computer diver to pair Sarah with, so a bit of incompatibility was inevitable on this particular day.

To make matters worse, the dive leader had refused to take Bobbi on this trip. Two weeks before he had asked us at Pub night if we would like to come on this dive, but by the pub night before the dive he had quite forgotten he'd asked us, and he told us then that there was only one place left. Bobbi was more than a little miffed at being forgotten, but as we had no alternate plan for the weekend, and I'd never dived SMB before, I had gone on the trip anyway. So not only was I stuck with the only tables diver in the party, but it was at the expense of diving with my wife, all the more galling as another diver would have made little difference to the weight and crowding on Said's pleasure boat, except that then Sara's mom would have had to dive with her daughter.

My 394th Logged Dive since 1991

Dive site: Sheikh Mohammed's Barge
Training conducted: none

Data from dive computer:

Time down on dive computer: 12:09
Max depth: 23.6 meters
Time started up from chart: chart not available
Dive time from computer: 45 min.
Min Temp: 29 degrees C (comfortable without wetsuit)
Nitrox 21% (normal air), no deco

PSI/Bar in: 220
PSI/Bar out: 70 bar

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

Description of dive:

On both my dives on this wreck I fine tuned my technique of taking an extra tank along with me in case I want to make an especially deep dive on air. To counteract the drag I'd encountered last time I'd done this (last Musandam trip) I used the small bcd Bobbi used to use. That worked perfectly, and I was able to keep the tank right in sync with my own buoyancy. My clip system seems to work fine, now all I need is a long octopus hose.

The first dive with Sarah went fairly well. She had ear problems on the way down but worked through them (as she'd had last time I dived with her, but also worked through them). The wreck was not that big a deal as it turned out. Vis was not too good, though current was not a problem on the first dive. There's a crane lying on its side on one side of the wreck. The wreck is bottom-up which makes its top side rather encrusted and boring. The only place to be therefore is the sand at depth. Because the superstructure is top-down there are a number of swim-throughs. I went into a number of them (perfectly buoyant, side-tank navigated like a submarine) but Sarah did not follow, so whenever I would penetrate out of sight of her I would immediately turn around and swim out to find her hovering on the outside. We swam out over the sand looking for rays but never found any. At one point we swam over the sand into a school of barracuda and found a sea snake among them. The snake became agitated when I got close and geared into escape mode. That's unusual behavior for snakes, which usually let divers approach without alarm.

Surface interval:1 hours 30 minutes
Pressure Group in: C, from BSAC tables

My 395th Logged Dive since 1991

Dive site: Sheikh Mohammed's Barge
Training conducted: none

Data from dive computer:

Time down on dive computer: 14:32
Max depth: 24.1 meters
Time started up from chart: 00:23
Dive time from computer: 27 min.
Min Temp: 29 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:

This dive was hardly worth waiting out the surface interval. I had Sarah calculate her dive profile and she worked out that as a C diver, she could stay just 22 min on the bottom this dive if she did a short deco stop at 6 meters. Andy pointedly made sure I understood that this meant, arrive at the deco point at 22 min. Richard helpfully? suggested that we could prolong our dive time if we would dive the top of the wreck where there was nothing at all to see. Myself, I just executed the dive in as professional a manner as possible. As the chart above shows, it took us four minutes to descend due to Sarah's ear problems. At depth, we had just time enough to fin madly around the wreck once, arriving back at the crane to work our way out to the anchor line right at the 20 min mark, at which point I signalled up and spent the rest of the time watching the jellies and tenaphores while hanging on the rope at 6 meters.

Use the navigation at the top of this page or your browser's BACK button to return to a previous page

For comments, suggestions, or further information on this page, contact Vance Stevens, page webmaster.

Last updated: July 16, 2001 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0