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Dive Logs for Vance Stevens
PADI open water scuba instructor #64181
Dive 447-448
July 11, 2002
Damaniyite Islands: Big Jun and Fed Island

Diving with: DivEco at Al Sawadi Beach Resort
Dive buddies: Fun diving with Russell Bowen and Dave Propst
Others in dive party: customers of the resort, Dion leading
Conditions: fairly calm
Visibility: 15-20 meters
Wetsuit: Black Bear .5 mil skin
Weight:6-8 kg, overweight in case of need by other divers
Diving from:DivEco boat

My 447th Logged Dive since 1991

Dive site: Big Jun, north side heading west and turning east on the south side
Training conducted: none

Data from dive computer:

Interval on computer from previous dive: nil

Time down on dive computer: 10:06
Max depth: 19.6 meters
Time started up from chart: 35 min
Dive time from computer: 62 min plus 3 min safety stop at 5 meters = 65 min.
Min Temp: 25° C
Nitrox 21% (normal air), no deco

PSI/Bar in: 220
PSI/Bar out: 30 bar

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

Description of dive:

First dive, we went off the back side of Jun Island (the big one with the beach on the front side) and headed along the back side direction of Fed Island, the little one, first you come to on the trip out from Sawadi. We had passed areas of algae bloom on the trip over, but had great vis of at least 15 maybe 20 meters on the back of the island.

Dave and Russ and I got dressed smartly and were first in the water. The first 15 min of the dive went like this: the usual reef fish everywhere, and a bull ray resting in the sand at depth. We went over to it and settled in beside it and I stroked its underside. It seemed to not mind that, and allowed me to pet its soft undersurface half a dozen times. Eventually the divers hovering about caused it to depart, so we returned to the reef and picked up a turtle finning along nonchalantly. I decided to accompany him and swam alongside, as he was heading our way. He and I swam along together side by side for several minutes, the turtle not at all stressed. On the way he decided to take us by the lair of his friend, Mr. Sting Ray, a small one tucked under a rock alcove. I paused to see Mr SR but only momentarily as I decided to stick with the turtle. Before we parted ways he pointed me in the direction of Mr. Leopard Shark. Engrossed in this impressive creature I'm afraid we neglected Mr. Turtle, who went his merry way. I went into a lotus hover to observe the shark from above, a slight current carrying me slowly over the top of the resting shark. Meanwhile along came a diver (in a following group) whom we now call Dances-on-Leopard-Sharks. This diver swam over the shark, turned clumsily, and extended a fin right onto Mr. Leopard Shark's snout. Mr. LS had been tolerant of my hover but muttered something to the effect that this was simply intolerable, and deliberately removed himself from his state of repose and finned off into the ether beyond our 20 meter range of visibility.

And this was only the first 15 min of the first dive. The rest of the dive was pretty darn good, with sting rays flitting about in the sand, stirred to escape mode by our approach. Turtles were abundant: I especially recall coming over an extensive patch of cabbage coral and finding a turtle resting there, which fled at our approach. We were watching him go when another turtle emerged from the cabbage, peered about a few moments, and then decided to follow his friend. We also saw another leopard shark, this one sporting a bouquet of orange fish around its snout, which one diver in our group called trivellium. We got close to the animal and caused it to wander off, along with its retinue of trivellium (trivellia?). It only did an out-and-back, so the following group of divers found it there still with the distinctive fish accompanyment.

By the end of the dive we had rounded Jun Island and were heading east toward the beach. Dave had run out of air and surfaced but Russell had around 80 bar still, and me 50. So I took his octopus and swam along side him as we enjoyed the shallow coral and colorful fish life. When both of us were down to 50 a trio of divers appeared, and we all hung out in the corals, moving up to 5 meters for a pleasant safety stop. On the surface, while waiting for the boat I noticed a bunch of tuna feeding, fins thrashing the surface, and snorkeled over to see. They were using an algae bloom for cover so it was hard to find them in the murk there, though I did see a large fish in the gloom and couldn't tell if it was a shark or tuna. But at my approach they all moved off, predators and prey. Later during the surface interval I snorkeled nearer the shore and found three of the tuna 1.5 meters long, venturing in close to the island. There were also sting rays there, burying themselves in the sand, discernable only by their tails, and only then their outline.

Surface interval: 1 hour 33 min

My 448th Logged Dive since 1991

Dive site: Fed Island, north side heading west then swept south
Training conducted: none

PSI/Bar in: 220
PSI/Bar out: 50 bar

Data from dive computer:

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

Time down on dive computer: 11:06
Max depth: 22.3 meters
Time started up from chart: 41 min
Dive time from computer: 47 min
Min Temp: 24° C
Nitrox 21% (normal air), no deco

Description of dive:

For the second dive we went over to Fed Island. We dropped in again in great vis. A tableau that sticks in my mind going down is a pair of large honeycomb morays under a rock. Later in the dive, we saw a honeycomb moray sharing a lair with a crayfish (large, what some call 'lobsters'). Honeycombs were prevalant here.

Another great dive was in progress. Again we saw a number of turtles and rays. Again we came upon a resting Leopard shark. This time I decided to get close to it. I settled in the sand near it and worked my way right alongside. The shark put up with me lying alongside up to a point but then decided to bugger off. He started to do this very nonchalantly till in a flick of his tail he bumped me, at which point he accelerated his departure.

We continued west along the wall until in the sand at the end of the coral we found a ray. We were admiring this one when another came along. Dave had gone on to my octopus by now (by prior arrangement we had decided he would take my octo when he got to 100 bar and we would then even each other out). He had just returned it and we were finning south, around the island when we encountered both a current and an algae bloom. Vis went down to just a few meters as all of us struggled east into the current where the island should be but eventually we had to go with it. The three of us did well to keep track of each other but we never again found any reef above 19-20 meters, struggle as we might into the current in the direction we thought the island was. We gave up the fight when we dropped to 50 bar and surfaced. At the suface we could see we had been swept well off the island and our attempts to head east had been pointless. Only back north, against the current, would have got us there. Still we were happy with the first 30 min of our dive.

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

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Last updated: July 18, 2002 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0