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Dive Logs for Vance Stevens
PADI open water scuba instructor #64181
Dive 418-419
December 1, 2001
Oman, Damaniyites:
Jed and Jun Islands

Diving with: Al-Sawadi Beach Resort
Dive buddies: Bobbi
Others in dive party: Nigel Barker and Alyson Lutz and an Ozzie couple from KSA
Conditions: balmy, pleasant
Visibility: decent, 7 meters
Wetsuit combo: my 5 mm farmer johns and Typhoon top
Weight:9 kg, all five pockets filled on my 5-pocket belt, one with 1 kg, and I was light
Diving from:Ahmed driving his boat

My 418th Logged Dive since 1991

Dive site: the wall in the channel between Jed and Jun Islands
Training conducted: none

Data from dive computer:

Time down on dive computer: 10:07
Max depth: 22.5 meters
Time started up from chart: 44 min.
Dive time from computer: 45 min
Min Temp: 25° C
Nitrox 21% (normal air), no deco

PSI/Bar in: 200
PSI/Bar out: 40

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

Description of dive:

Heading north to the Damaniyites, we passed Jed Island, the far west outcrop from the main island of Jun, and continued till we could see the reef marking the wall running between the two islands. We popped over the side. I was light and had to fin down, leaving Bobbi at the surface, light herself, unable to sink, and unwilling to fin as I did. As I resurfaced from 20 meters, she swam to the boat for more weight and managed to drop her own belt into the abyss. Fortunately, Ahmed was able to string her another and we got down ok and had a nice dive.

There was a lot of fish life and Bobbi was more observant than I was. She pointed out a scorpion fish that I had passed over (not hard to do), and also spotted a flounder that I had again missed in the sand, and she also saw a pair of white nudibranchs with orange and black decoration, a common variety in the area. We were having difficultly finning ahead at depth in contrary currents and when our air dropped near 50 and we ascended, we also went at shallower depth with the current back the way we had come. We passed Nigel and Allyson plodding along with Nigel's elaborate camera apparatus and near where we had seen them, I poked my light in an alcove and found a turtle resting there.

Surface interval: 1:06
Pressure group at start of repetitive dive:
on computer, n/a

Capt. Ahmed offered tea, coffee, and apples during the break, nice of him as he himself was apparently fasting for Ramadhan. I did a nice snorkel during the break off the beach we always stop at on the south side of Jun island. The table corals are quite intact there. I spotted a large honeycomb moray wandering among them, but no leopard sharks or bull rays as I had seen on previous snorkels around this spot.

My 419th Logged Dive since 1991

Dive site: the coral shallows beyond Jun Island the length of the next island over and beyond the rock off its southeast corner
Training conducted: none

Data from dive computer:

Time down on dive computer: 12:01
Max depth: 15.2 meters
Time started up from chart: 61 min.
Dive time from computer: 63 min.
Min Temp: 25° C
Nitrox 21% (normal air), no deco

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

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

Description of dive:

Email sent on return to Abu Dhabi: Bobbi and I just returned from Oman where we did some fine diving at the Damaniyite Islands, in particular one shallow 10 -12 meter dive that went on for an hour in which we encountered a turtle hugging a rock, a couple of big bull rays, a honeycomb moray that swam at and under us, and ended with us lying down beside a leopard shark.

Capt Ahmed took us along the south side of Jun over the reef we'd dived our second dive so many times before and more into the channel between Jun and the next island over. He proposed to drop us in the channel and pointing to rock outcrop southeast of the next island over, said we would end up over there. It seemed a long way, but he was right.

Our first dive had been a little disappointing compared with expectations of superb diving off the Damaniyites, and this dive started out to be a worse disappointment. The reef here looked about the same as the usual 2nd dive spot south of Jun. We'd seen the odd leopard shark there but nothing else much of interest that side. The coral is tightly packed and shallow, full of fish life, most of it small. At the edge of the reef, 10 meters, the sand is colorless, though this seems the best place to dive, coral on the left, hoping for something in the sand on the left.

The first interesting animals encountered were cuttlefish. After half an hour of looking at little else but rocks and reef fish, Bobbi got agitated and pointed toward the reef. She'd seen a big bull ray meander by. I had missed it, but either s/he came back or another one obliged us shortly thereafter, a big one that rippled past over the sand to our right, traveling a bit faster than we could follow. Further on, we came upon a sea turtle straddling a rock, and managed to observe it a minute or so without causing it to swim off in alarm. Still later, Bobbi was checking her guages when I noticed a big honeycomb moray emerge from his lair in the reef. The moray came straight at us, unusual for these shy creatures. It was easily the size of a Michael Jordan's leg, and when Bobbi saw him he was just a meter away and closing fast. She recoiled, and I myself was unsure of its intentions. It slithered right underneath us on its way somewhere else.

We had been diving for 55 minutes when I started thinking we should let someone know where we were. Ahmed had not set a time for the dive, but I know BSAC divers like to keep things down to 50 bar or 50 min. We had air left for another 15 min so I decided to just run up a sausage (sorry, delayed SMB in BSAC parlance). I spent a moment fiddling with it, filling it bit by bit with air from my reg till it took on a life of its own, when I released it on the reel. Turning my attention back to the reef, I was pleasantly surprised (ok, thrilled) to see we had been drifting over a leopard shark lying just beneath us in the sand. We love leopard sharks, they are the reason we choose to dive these islands, and we don't feel a visit to the Damaniyites is complete without seeing at least one. So we dropped onto the bottom to lie beside this one. Outwardly he appeared unperturbed by our presence, but as I moved around to its front to see clearly its rounded mouth with catfish protuberances, I thought it might have muttered something under its breath, like perhaps, 'Really! This IS a bit much', and with that it decided it had had enough of the company of divers. It lifted itself deliberately off the bottom, turned tail, and moved off into deeper waters.

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Last updated: December 7, 2001 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0