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Dive Logs for Vance Stevens
PADI open water scuba instructor #64181
Dive 421-422
December 17, 2001
Oman, Muscat:
Fahel Island

Diving with: DiveEco on Shatti Al Qurm
Dive buddies: Bobbi and Dusty, Mike and Kathy Cubrilo
Others in dive party: Nick was the dive leader
Conditions: balmy, pleasant
Visibility: Excellent first dive, like a fishbowl; second murky due to algae
Wetsuit combo: 5 mm farmer johns and Typhoon top
Weight:12 kg, carrying 2 kg extra just in case
Diving from:DiveEco boat, Capt. Abdulla, raees al firka

My 421st Logged Dive since 1991

Dive site: southwest corner, had a name, oh well, these names come and go
Training conducted: Kathy Cubrilo O/W Dive #3, Mike Cubrilo, Advanced Open Water Boat Dive

Data from dive computer:

Time down on dive computer: 10:13
Max depth: 14.3 meters
Time started up from my recollection: 49 min. plus 3 min safety stop
Dive time from computer: 53 min
Min Temp: 25° C
Nitrox 21% (normal air), no deco

PSI/Bar in: 200
PSI/Bar out: 80

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

no profile found on computer (must be able to store only 3?)

Description of dive:

This was a great dive, mainly for the excellent vis, but also for the abundant sea life. But first we dropped down to a few meters under the boat and searched for sunglasses lost overboard while Kathy refamiliarized herself with the underwater environment. As she was a referral, it was the first time I had seen her dive (though I'd gone over the final exam with her the night before).

We then moved into slightly deeper water to where the bommies were bigger. At one with a honeycomb moray sticking out, I had Kathy dump air from the bcd and flood and clear her face mask, and then regain neutral buoyancy by means of fin pivots. I wasn't pleased with the buoyancy control at first. Kathy's legs were riding up (a common problem) and it took her a while to 'get it', but she did and we moved on. After that she was up and down for a while, but I was usually able to 'call her back' without further intervention on my part, and by the end of the dive she was decidedly more comfortable. Mike was taking good care of her as well.

The topography here was shallow cabbage coral teeming with sgt. majors leading to 'cabbage head' bommies with a sand ledge at about 12 meters, and here we found lots of neat stuff. A blue trigger fish tried hard to ward us off its nesting area, though most triggers were calm; lots of Picasso triggers around. There were several honeycomb morays, plus greens and greys. There were also big bull rays about, or at least we had two sightings of maybe the same one twice, or two about the same size, shaking off the sand as we approached and moving off in a cloud of silt slightly faster than we could keep him in sight finning after as fast as we could and still keep the group together. Lion fish hovered about under rocks with lizard fish lying on top. Colorful rainbow wrasses wafted by, as did large parrot fish. I recall yellow leopard spotted grunts, and big fish dull gray in color, not grouper. There were a few colorful crown-of-thorns scarfing up the coral, urchins, and big snails at the end of wide tracks they'd left in the sand.

During the dive we practiced hovering, and by the time in the dive, Kathy had it down fine. I also had Mike and Kathy switch off on alternate air source breathing, the second time to the surface.

For Mike's advanced dive, the boat briefing was excellent, covering most of the points regarding oxygen and first aid that Mike would have to have asked about, and the final 3 min of our dive was at 5-6 meters, where we had prearranged to do our 'safety stop', Mike keeping track of time.

Surface interval: 1:04
Pressure group at start of repetitive dive:
We'd calculated C I believe

My 422nd Logged Dive since 1991

Dive site: North side of Fahel, middle island west to Bill's Bumps
Training conducted: Kathy Cubrilo O/W Dive #4, for certification, Mike Cubrilo, Advanced Open Water Underwater Naturalist Dive

Data from dive computer:

Time down on dive computer: 12:17
Max depth: 15.2 meters
Time started up from chart: 49 min. plus 3 min safety stop
Dive time from computer: 51 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 for me, but Kathy should calculate hers

Description of dive:

On our way out to the island, the boat engine had conked a couple of times on algae intake, not a good sign, and on the second dive we found the reason in the form of a bloom on the north side of the island, so vis was markedly poorer than on the first dive, though I guess we still had 5-7 meters.

Mike was doing an underwater naturalist dive, and should have no trouble listing all the animals (don't forget to list the algae). Again, for him, the last part of our dive was conducted as a shallow safety stop, though Mike showed me then that he was down to 40 bar, so we had to surface, and if we stayed 3 min at 5 meters, it would be by chance. In any event, good that he let me know. I had explained, but we hadn't dived enough together, about how communications should take place on showing fingers indicating remaining air supply.

For Kathy's final certification dive, she had to do mask removal and replacement, and hover. She did both in exemplary fashion. I also had Mike and Kathy practice buddy breathing, which they did for a few exchanges, then replaced their own regs. I explained later (as I had beforehand, but task loading pushed that aside :-) that they could have continued the exercise by signalling up and then swimming either to the surface or along the bottom to simulate ascent (while dumping air from bcd and otherwise maintaining correct 'superman' ascent posture). But though they ended the exercise prematurely, they practiced under an instructor's eye and would have survived it if necessity had forced them to ascend.

We went down near a discarded anchor. Nick had said there were scraps of metal on the bottom that pointed the way to Bill's Bumps, an area of soft corals I remember as being quite beautiful. We say lots of scraps, but these seemed to point only to more scraps, confusing. Again, we saw a number of interesting animals, in particular electric rays. Silver morays predominated here. Mike seemed interested in the invertibrate that extends black tentacles from its rocky hideout and withdraws them when disturbed about as fast as you can open a curtain. Mike also remarked on the 'lobsters' which taste the same but are in fact crayfish (no front claws). Dusty remembered the coronet fish. Schools of fish swirled here. I noticed snappers, the yellow ones with the black dot in back, which predominate in the waters of Abu Dhabi, but which blend in the background in the more varied fisheries off Oman. I also recall the tiny cleaner wrasse moving tentatively away from the protection of the rocks, and the clownfish and anenomes.

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Last updated: December 27, 2001 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0