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Dive Logs for Vance Stevens
PADI open water scuba instructor #64181
Dives 459-460
November 15, 2002
Lima Rock and Whiskey Reef (Fishhead Rock)

Diving with: ADSAC
Dive buddies: Dave Propst
Others in dive party: Jim Darbyshire and Louis, Wendy Boyle, Richard Wilding, (young) Alan Smith, lady from South Africa (what WAS her name), other young people
Conditions: pleasant and calm
Visibility: 10-12 meters or so
Wetsuit: my ScubaPro .5 mil skin with a 5 mil Typhoon top
Weight:10 kg-ish
Diving from:One from Ali's fleet

Friday, November 15, 2002

My 459th Logged Dive since 1991

Dive site: Lima Rock, south wall
Training conducted: none

Data from dive computer:

Interval on computer from previous dive: nil, first dive of day

Time down on dive computer: 10:43
Max depth: 32.5 meters
Time started up from chart: 35 min showing on computer at time of ascent
Dive time from computer: 37 min
Min Temp: 23 degrees centigrade
Nitrox 21% (normal air), some deco

PSI/Bar in: 220 in main tank, 220 in pony
PSI/Bar out: 80 bar on main tank, over 100 in pony

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

Description of dive:

South side of Lima Rock, one of my favorite and most consistently interesting dive sites in Musandam, we had high hopes which were met to some extent. The BCD I had been using to hook my pony in sidesaddle had gone knackered, the inflation valve coming away from the material at its point of attachment at the BCD, so I was going through the process of fine tuning all over again. This time I had brought along an old yellow BCD, one of the first of its kind, which I strapped around the pony, holding hoses etc in place with a bungy cord. Dave too was using new gear, stuff he'd got off Bill Maurice, significantly a BCD he was using for the first time.

Down under, we headed for the depths, finning over the sand at 30 meters to some large submerged rocks further down. Here we were treated to the spectacle of a very large eagle ray rummaging vertically among the encrustations on the rocks. Engrossed in what he was doing, he moved gracefully, not noticing us for several seconds, but when he detected us, he kicked into overdrive, shooting straight up and out of site.

Keeping an eye on my computer, and with Dave borrowing from my main tank while I breathed on the pony (having agreed to do this when dave reached 100 bar), I led us back up over the sand, and more along the reef than straight to it, with always 3 min remaining on our dive time. When we finally hit the rocks it was at an uninteresting part of the wall, but we had slipped into deco and couldn't descend. Also, each of us was having buoyancy problems and we were both fighting to stay down as well. Dave lost the battle and found himself at the surface a bit too quickly according to my computer, which was giving me alarms even at my rate of ascent and would have been happier had we ended the dive with a 3 min safety stop at 5 meters. I was being pulled up by my pony despite my efforts to purge it, just managing to stay down by dumping air from my own BCD and being overweighted as per habit. Suspended in the water below Dave, I finally saw the problem: a pocket of air in the yellow BCD that would normally have been strapped to my waist was ballooning on the wrong side of its restraining staps. But Dave was at the surface and the boat was approaching, so I came on up as my computer allowed.

Our dive was shorter than I would have expected caused by stress in coping with unfamiliar kit. I was happy with the eagle ray but others saw sharks further up the reef. It's a great spot. One week later I would see a whale shark there.

Surface interval: xx minutes

My 460th Logged Dive since 1991

Dive site: Reef south of Fishhead Rock, what ADSAC divers were calling Whiskey Reef
Training conducted: none

PSI/Bar in: 220 in main tank, over 100 in pony
PSI/Bar out: 50 bar, ish in main tank, over 50 in pony

Surface interval: xx
Pressure group at start of repetitive dive: G

Time down (no dive computer): 13:00
Max depth: 17 meters
Time started up from first level: 25 min
Stop at 5 meters: 3 minute
Dive time from wristwatch: 55 min
Min Temp: about the same as last dive
Nitrox 21% (normal air), no deco

Description of dive:

During the surface interval, I took the time to check where we were on the tables, calculating on the wheel a legal dive starting at 34 meters and at each maximum time allowed and at each successive allowed level what pressure group we would be on emerging when we did. I then figured that if we delayed the start of our next dive to 13:00 we would be G divers and would have 25 min at 16 meters at which time we could come up to 12 for as long as we liked (Richard had 'extended' the allowable time to 60 min).

The boat motored over to Fishhead Rock and all divers put in near the rock for a dive on what they were calling Whiskey Reef. It's the area of boulders and swim-throughs, an attractive dive, not unlike Bill's Bumps on Fahel in Oman.

Dave and I had been relegated to last in, so as on the previous dive, we assisted all the others in and then took our time kitting up and going over the side. The idea was to go one-way south but I'd asked for a drop-in well back of the rock and we found ourselves in a northerly current straight away. We descended quickly, got below the current, and safely ducked into the protection of the little indentation at the south side of the rock.

During the descent I had noticed I had left both my computer and compass back on board and, with no computer, was also without a depth gauge. I had a watch, had marked the time going down, but found the depth indicator on my wristwatch was not working. At bottom I assessed the situation with Dave. First dive we had made it a point to give him the reg with the depth gauge on it, so we had his, and he showed me 50 feet, 15 meters. I figured having done the calculations back on board, we'd be ok.. Dave seemed happy with that, so we continued the dive. I tried not to let us go much below 15 meters, and checked Dave's gauge frequently to keep track of the depth.

This dive was a good check of my pony rig because it has lots of swim throughs. I had corrected the problem of ballooning by strapping the loose bit of BCD in place, and I was quite comfortable in tight places with my buoyancy despite sidesaddling the extra tank. Dave too had resolved whatever it was that had taken him up prematurely on the last dive, and his air consumption also is improving, so he wasn't breathing much more than I was on either dive. We spent the next hour peering under crevices and admiring the usual reef fish. Under one I found a small skate, and toward the end of the dive we saw another skate in the sand at depth. We ended the dive by desending down to it, warping our profile slightly, but asending from there to 5 meters where we compensated for our infraction by staying for 3 min. With Dave down to about 30 bar, we had the option of remaining under a few min. longer since I had air left in the pony, but we decided that we had reached a natural end to the dive and ascended at 13:58.

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

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Last updated: November 22, 2002 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0