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Dive Logs for Vance Stevens
PADI open water scuba instructor #64181
Dive 431-432
May 10, 2002
Musandam, Oman
Mother of Mouse and Lima Rock

Diving with: Arranged by Mohammed at 7 Seas
Dive buddies: Bob Campbell
Others in dive party: Faris and Ahmed, Dermott divemastering for 7 Seas, and others we didn't know
Conditions: seas a bit choppy, had to anchor on sheltered side of islands, too hot for comfort on the boat in a wetsuit
Visibility: poor in north-side sheltered areas, fairly good when turning east into currents
Wetsuit combo: 5 mm farmer johns and Typhoon top
Weight:12 kg, a little overweight, but able to hand off to Bob
Diving from: Mahmood piloting the Sahel Leema Trading boat

My 431st Logged Dive since 1991

Dive site: Mother of Mouse
Training conducted: Bob Campbell Advanced Open Water DEEP dive for Certification

Data from dive computer:

Interval on computer from previous dive: nil

Time down on dive computer: 12:44
Max depth: 28.4 meters
Time started up from chart: 38 min. 13:26
Dive time from computer: 41 min
Min Temp: 22° C
Nitrox 21% (normal air), no deco

PSI/Bar in: 230 in each of two tanks, a 12 liter and a newly acquired 7 liter pony
PSI/Bar out: 20 in the 12 liter and about 130 in the pony

Pressure group out, from tables or wheel: we calculated a wheel dive, 20 min at 28 meters (M), 10 at 20 (R), and over 50 min permissible at 12 meters. In fact we did 9 min ascending to and at around the 12 meter level, putting us in (T) pressure group. We then conducted a 3 min safety stop, slipping a bit below 5 meters.

Description of dive:

Faris and Ahmed and I drove down from Abu Dhabi leaving at 6:15 in the morning and arriving at Dibba Oman harbor 3:15 min later. We had breakfast at the restaurant there, kima and chapati and red chai sulaimany, and chatted up the new dive pros at Al Marsa at the Oman harbor, while awaiting the other divers coming up from Khor Fakkan.

We plowed through a mild chop to pass Lima Rock and prevail on Mahmood to take us on to Mother of Mouse, where a week earlier Al Marsa had told us there was 20 meter vis, and Dermott had said he had circumnavigated the island in ripping currents. Due to the sea conditions, we sheltered in the lee of the current on the north side of the island and divers started going overboard. A trio went in and drifted east without going down. Faris blew an o-ring still on board after his buddy had gone in and by the time we had sorted him out (we ended up changing his tank over) his buddy had drifted off east and had to be retrieved. Dermott asked me to turn on his air and turned out he hadn't seated the reg properly. This is when I realized the heat was getting to everyone, my buddy included, sweating profusely in his wetsuit in the sun in the bow of the boat, looking more uncomfortable each time the boat heaved to and fro. With all other divers finally overboard I got Bob to dump water on his head and come in the shade while I tried to get my own numbed and sun fried brain cells to direct my fingers through the rigging of my two tanks, first time for the pony. Eventually we got it all together, buddy checked, and back-rolled simultaneously into the soothingly cold ocean. Dispensing with the normal 5 point descent so as to avoid drifting in the current, I ordered an immediate descent. Bob, wearing my watch and having been trained by me from open water, duly made note of the time down.

We popped in to disappointingly murky conditions. My steel pony dragged a bit compounding the overweighting problem I had purposely given myself in case Bob needed weight at the end of the dive (which he did, points for me). We had also calculated 2 profiles on the wheel, one at 26 meters and one at 28, and these were written out on my slate. We had planned to follow the first one and use the deeper one only if it seemed appropriate. As I was adjusting buoyancy I noticed I was at 27 meters on my computer. I pointed this out to Bob, indicated that we would follow the 28 meter profile, and thought I kept the dive above that the whole time, but saw later from my computer that we actually slipped slightly below 28 meters toward the end of that level.

First few minutes dive time at depth we explored the sand down to 28 meters and then followed the base of the coral where we could peer into the sloping sand gloom. Except when an eagle ray cruised by, there wasn't much of interest to see in either direction, maybe a couple of green morays, and the usual reef fishies. We finally stopped so that Bob could do his exercises. I had a min. surface interval problem written out on my slate, gave it to him, and then counted off seconds in my head while he did the calculation (he did it faster than he had on the surface). We compared depth guages. We were each wearing two, and the one on Bob's reg was showing a meter shallower than the others. I had brought along a chunk of styrofoam which I extracted from my pocket. It was slightly warped. Had a hell of a time getting it back there as it was trying to escape upwards. When Bob got down to 100 bar I let him breath from the 2-meter octopus on my pony tank. He seemed comfortable doing that.

At 20 minutes we ascended to our next level at 20 meters, and about this time turned the corner on the island. Here we encountered a strong anti-current, but the vis cleared a lot, and there were schools of large fish. I retrieved my pony hose and signalled a push to get through the current which I figured was going to be like shoving open a door to calmer waters. It was. While we were pushing through the current and surge, the big red fish schooled around us, maybe red snapper, not sure. The schools of fish in close proximity and the relatively clear water here made this part of the dive memorable.

As Bob had been breathing from my pony tank he was well over 50 bar but I was about to go below that so I brought us up early from 20 meters to 12 and kept us moving up from there. On that ascent, my computer beeped and went briefly into deco for one minute at 3 meters, but cleared half a minute later at a shallower depth (suggests we'd been right on in our calculations on the wheel). With both of us now below 50 bar on our main tanks (there was plenty in the pony) we poked around the reef at 5 meters or thereabouts for 3 min but I noticed breaking waves just overhead and figured we'd better move into deeper water for boat pickup. I set a compass heading and led us into deeper water and up. At the surface, we saw no boat and the surge wanted to sweep us back into the rocks, so we finned toward the ocean. I got distant from Bob, who was inexorably being carried back toward the rocks, but I figured I needed to get out where the boat would see me. We stayed within shouting distance. Eventually the boat came and got Bob while he was still retrievable and then got me. If there had been any problem I'd have handed my tank and weights up to the boat and carried a line in to Bob to pull him out.

Surface interval: 1 hr. 43 min. on computer (1:44 by my calculations)
Pressure group at start of repetitive dive:
we planned on the wheel a 22 meter 22 min (Q), 16 meter 12 min (U), 12 meter plenty of time (34 min) dive which was legal for C divers. T turns to B at 1:50 min. on the surface.

My 432nd Logged Dive since 1991

Dive site: North and east corner of Lima Rock
Training conducted: none, fun dive, Bob's first as an Advanced PADI o/w diver

Data from dive computer:

Time down on dive computer: 15:10
Max depth: 21.3 meters
Time started up from chart: 40 min.
Dive time from computer: 43 min.
Min Temp: 23° C
Nitrox 21% (normal air), no deco

PSI/Bar in: 230 in my steel 10 liter tank, and 130 bar in my 7 liter pony
PSI/Bar out: 70 in the 10 liter and about 80 in the pony

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

Description of dive:

I wanted to go to the south side where the good vis and big barracudas would be, but the consensus on the boat was shelter in the lee and begin the dive from there. Our dive followed the same pattern as before, with a drop to the sand bottom at 20 meters, a tentative penetration below the coral, and then return to the rocks where there were a lot of encrusted boulders offering intriguing swim-thoughs. These set us on a saw-tooth profile as we went over and through and around the boulders seeing not much of salient interest except the occasional moray until we approached the NE corner where the currents were stronger and the vis, not as bad as at MOM on this dive, got even better at depth. With Bob having switched to my pony tank again, we were drawn by the bigger fish and better conditions to 22 meters, but at 22 min we went back on our own tanks and started up for our next level.

According to the chart from my computer, we were cruising along the coral at around 12 meters when I saw a black tip shark, 2.5 meters about, flash by in deeper waters. I turned to be sure, got Bob's attention, and then headed down after him. On computer it didn't matter really, but it was a bit of a no-no in Bob's profile for him to chase after me, but he didn't see the shark anyhow, and he stayed above me, and let's assume he never got below 16 meters, so his dive was still within wheel limits (maybe).

We kept the rest of the dive pretty much within the 16/12 meter no deco limits. We were floating along the coral at 12 when we were joined by one of the other divers whose buddies were sufacing. We tried to do the 3 min safety stop on the coral, but again, the bad surge and frothing waves right overhead made me want to head out into ocean to allow the boat to avoid the rocks.

I set a compass heading and followed it and my computer depth indicator for a couple of minutes and then decided to put up a marker buoy. I unhooked it, squirted a bit of air in it, made sure the release was working, pumped up the air, and pulled the release on the reel. The line played out just a meter and then jammed. Struggling to keep my depth against the pull of the inflated marker buoy (it looks like I overcompensated and descended a bit) I tried to free the tangle, but it was no use. I pulled the marker buoy back down to me and upended it to dump its air. By then it was time to ascend, and it looks like I did that a bit too quickly.

Again there was no boat. And again I left the other two divers together at the surface to try to swim out a bit where I might attract its attention if I could see them around the corner and attract them with my reinflated marker buoy. After about 5 min the boat chugged along and all was well.

Hey Bob, did we see a turtle on this dive as well? Seems I forgot everything but the shark. Anything you'd like to add to the descriptions?

Bob did very well on these two dives btw, getting to be a competent dive partner.

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Last updated: May 16, 2002 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0