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Dive Logs for Vance Stevens
PADI open water scuba instructor #64181
Dive 440-441
June 14, 2002
the "Cherry Duke" Wreck

Diving with: Abdullah's boat, Firas's shop
Dive buddies: Firas's friend Ahmed and was it Randy?
Others in dive party: Firas and the American from the BSAC club, another Arab guy and Abdulllah
Conditions: mild chop
Visibility: not bad, about 4-5 meters
Wetsuit: Black Bear .5 mil skin
Weight:10 kg, overweight to accommodate novice divers
Diving from:Abdullah's bot

My 440th Logged Dive since 1991

Dive site: the something Duke wreck
Training conducted: none; fun dive

Data from dive computer:

Interval on computer from previous dive: nil

Time down on dive computer: 10:45
Max depth: 22.5 meters
Time started up from chart: 37 min
Dive time from computer: 44 min
Min Temp: 29° C
Nitrox 21% (normal air), no deco

PSI/Bar in: 200 - 12 liter tank
PSI/Bar out: 100 bar

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

Description of dive:

I happened to be in Faris's shop on Thu and got invited by co-owner Abdullah to join him and Faris and Faris's friend Ahmed and another of their friends, and two other expat patrons of the shop, both well experienced divers, on a nearly 3 hour boat ride Friday 305 degrees to the west through the Ruwais oil fields to a buoy marked "Cherry Duke Wk". The exact name is on my GPS. The wreck was found on the fish finder about 300 meters due north of the buoy.

The wreck is in 22 meters of water and I guess because it's not dived much is replete with sea life. It was me and Randy I think and Ahmed. Ahmed was diving a single-hose reg and did the most cursory of buddy checks, so we worked on him for the second dive, helping him to improve his technique and breathing. I was carrying both a spare air and my 7 liter pony bottle, so Ahmed wasn't going to run out of air on my watch.

The anchor line was slung on the stern of the wreck, the ship lying on its starboard side in an east-west configuration. We found bat fish and swim throughs aplenty, and a stiff current which we got around by swimming in the protection of the hull to the bow where the current was sweeping in our faces. But there were huge barracuda lurking here and big jacks, lots of big fish swirling in the soup, attracted to what the current might bring. I was groping along the bottom and hanging on netting draped from the wreck but Ahmed was finning upcurrent wide around the bow in an effort to keep up. Randy saw a seasnake and pointed to it but I thought he was indicating Ahmed's air which I checked and found to be around 80 bar, so we went with the fast current up to the high point of the bridge where we started to ascend with Ahmed, who was below 50 bar. But Ahmed went well ahead of us and Randy and I, both with 100 bar, decided to return to the wreck before being swept off it completely. We continued at depth to where we found our original swim through, rounded the stern looking for rays, found none, and mounted the hull to retrieve the anchor line, and followed it up to the boat, doing a 3 min safety stop enroute.

Surface interval: 60 min
Pressure group at start of repetitive dive:
on computer, n/a

My 441st Logged Dive since 1991

Dive site: 2nd dive on the same wreck
Training conducted: none; fun dive

Data from dive computer:

Time down on dive computer: 12:31
Max depth: 22.6 meters
Time started up from chart: 39 min
Dive time from computer: 44 min
Min Temp: 29° C
Nitrox 21% (normal air), maybe a little deco

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

Description of dive:

We had lunch on the boat, chicken biryani thoughtfully provided by Abdullah, who also had a cooler full of soft drinks, and briefed Ahmed on how to properly buddy check and prolong his dive. Part of the strategy would be for Ahmed to let me know when he was down to 100 and then he could breath on my pony. The idea there is that a fast breathing diver can breathe the extra air I've brought before his or her situation gets critical, and then go back on own air with 100 bar in the tank.

The dive plan was to return to the bow where the big fish were and hang out there. One way to do that would be to go again in the protection of the hull, but after coming down the anchor line we rounded the stern and found the current allowed us to make our way up through the wreckage back to the bridge where we had left Ahmed before. This time the current was not so strong so we dropped to the seabed where we found a sea snake and lurking barracuda. On our way to the bow, Ahmed took my 2 meter octopus hose, and when we reached the bow we just stayed there a few minutes to watch the show of barracudas and jacks swirling about us. I'd have been happy to stay right there but I was keeping an eye on our no-deco time, and when that reached 3 min I thought we should move off. Ahmed took his own reg back and we rounded the bow to the hull side. Here the water turned clear and we found another sea snake looking so charming in the clear water that we had to drop down and admire him. With no-deco time down to 2 min I signalled a gradual ascent along the hull up and over to the deck side. The no-deco time increased as depth decreased. Ahmed's air was holding out this time, and when we reached the anchor line after a relaxing drift over the top of the wreck, we decided to just wander up it. I think we'd entered deco by then but that disipated as we went up the anchor line (and Ahmed was in no danger having aborted early on the last dive). We did a 3 min stop at 5 anyway. Good diving! Ahmed was very pleased, remarking that this had been his longest dive ever.

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Last updated: July 13, 2002 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0