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Dive Logs for Vance Stevens
PADI open water scuba instructor #64181
Dive 413-414
October 5, 2001
Islands off Musandam Peninsula:
Jazira Musandam, Mother of Mouse

Diving with: ADSAC
Dive buddies: Brian King
Others in dive party: Aleistair and Sue, Andy and Mike Lutz, Ian and .., Richard Wilding and Ron Breakwell, Wendy and Sarah, Richard and Benoit, or was it Ron Grim, or who?? buddied with him?
Conditions: warm, pleasant
Visibility: good, maybe 20 meters
Wetsuit combo: Scuba Pro .5 mm neoprene skin
Weight: 6 or 8 kg
Diving from:local Diba (Oman) boat charter

My 413th Logged Dive since 1991

Dive site: Jazira Musandam, east side
Training conducted: none, fun diving

Data from dive computer:

Time down on dive computer: 10:10
Max depth: 40.8 meters
Time started up from chart: 42 min.
Dive time from computer: 42 min
Min Temp: 25° C
Nitrox 21% (normal air), no deco

PSI/Bar in: 220 in one tank, 200 in another
PSI/Bar out: 40 bar in prime tank, 50 in 10-liter 'pony'

Pressure group out, from tables or wheel: n/a

Description of dive:

Brian and I were first in. I've got my 10 liter pony pretty well rigged now, with a bungie slipped through a clip ring so it doesn't fall off when unclipped during diving, holding guages and hoses and regs. In order to move on the boat, I clipped it only to my top ring and took it on a backward roll over the side with me. Mistake, not secured at bottom, it obeyed gravity in the roll and shifted into my reg which jammed the mouthpiece into my gum drawing blood. Won't do that again (clipped top and bottom next go, was fine).

We started drifting immediately so descended quickly into a raging current. We dropped quickly to depth, looking around at nothing much but lots of fish and pretty coral and a bottom stretching out much deeper than we were prepared to go. All the pretty stuff was rushing by a bit quickly. Now and then I would turn to fin against it to await Brian who might let himself go so he whizzed by me and then I'd have to catch up to him holding onto a rock, but I'd be swept by him and he'd come after me. We zipped along like that, catching a glimpse at one point of Aleister and Sue too far off the reef and on their way to the surface after only 10 min of diving. They aborted essentially. Sue had been slammed into the coral and had scratches and cuts all over her leg.

There wasn't much of remarkable interest on the dive except for the usual variety of reef fishes in Musandam. At one point Brian and I, after barreling along almost out of control, gasping for breath trying to maintain steady depth in our dive, came into a small cove with a backwash and were caught in a washing-machine that would not let us go forward or back. The back current would not let us proceed and of course we couldn't go back the way we had come, and moving in either direction exposed us to ups and downs, so we just grabbed a rock and stabilized in the surge, getting our breathing under control and watching the big tropicals that came around to see what we were up to.

After a minute or two we looked at each other and behind face masks communicated somehow that we were ready to go for it, so we finned into the back current hoping to get through it and into the next calm spot beyond. It worked. We came to a ledge that dropped straight down. I held on to the edge and looked back at Brian who signalled down, so I plunged into it and met with relatively calm water and lovely table coral.

We moved along the coral from about 25 meters gradually losing depth. Both low on air we breathed from my pony, Brian doing fine on my 3-meter long octopus hose. What an excellent addition that was. After having exhausted our air on the currents, we got a nice dive out of it, sucking the tank between us down to 50 bar, and finning upwards gradually slightly into the current, along the myriad fish and soft corals. When we reached 50, at about 9 meters, I suggested we go over to our own tanks and drift back with the current at the reduced depth, so we got a nice dive out of it utilizing the extra tank, not regretting lugging that along at all.

The surface interval was even better than the dive. With other pairs of divers still down, I went over the side for a pee and stayed in the water. The boat was either moved or drifted in the current along the rock face (where many divers had gone in after seeing the trouble we were having in the current). I finned along with it, admiring the bat fish, when near the boat I glimpsed a shark below. I called up, "black tip" but then added, "TWO black tips" as another one joined the first. Next thing there were three. I duck-dived to join them but on my second plunge startled one into his shark uh-oh spasm and the three were gone. After spotting a ray some meters down I was heading back to the boat when I saw Ian was coming in, the only sod on board attracted to my summons. So I stayed in the water and passed over a school of big barracuda just as he was entering. I led him back to the rocks where I'd seen the sharks. No sharks this time, but a big turtle lazily moving along the bottom. Pretty soon the divers we were waiting on came along, and as we were getting them into the boat, Ian sez: "Did you know a shark just passed beneath us just now?"

Surface interval: 2 hours 3 min.
Pressure Group in: n/a

My 414th Logged Dive since 1991

Dive site: Mother of Mouse, south face to northwest corner
Training conducted: none, fun diving

Data from dive computer:

Time down on dive computer: 13:01
Max depth: 33.2 meters
Time started up from chart: 51 min
Dive time from computer: 52 min.
Min Temp: 25° C
Nitrox 21% (normal air), no deco

PSI/Bar in: 220 bar in primary tank, 50 in secondary
PSI/Bar out: 50 bar in primary, 20 in secondary

Pressure group out: stayed out of deco, so ...

Description of dive:

Another nice dive. We went down the south side to almost 35 meters and found a ray in a cave straight away. Moseying up the rocks and coral we came upon a couple of handsome honeycomb morays. Not long into the dive we turned the corner on the east face and with the extra 50 bar in my spare made it to the northwest corner, which Brian remembers as being a particularly coral-rich and attractive spot. At that point we went back on our own air and were doing fine when we reached out 50 min limit, so we had to surface. I suggested moving up the rocks but changed the plan when a shoal of barracuda appeared and I went up through them instead. Brian seemed very compatible with my style of diving, pushing the edges ever so slightly while remaining well within the bounds of safety which we kept recalculating with mutual understanding between us, so I enjoyed it quite a bit.

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Last updated: November 17, 2001 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0