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Dive Logs for Vance Stevens
PADI open water scuba instructor #64181
Dives 465-466
December 3, 2002
Oman: Damaniyites
Back sides of Fed and Big Jun Islands

Diving with: Al Sawadi Beach Resort
Dive buddies: Hilal Matta
Others in dive party: People I didn't know
Conditions: pleasant and calm
Visibility: 7 - 8 meters or so
Wetsuit: my 5 mil farmer john with the 5 mil Typhoon top
Weight:10 kg-ish
Diving from:Sophia, with Nick divemastering

Tuesday, December 3, 2002

It was National Day hols in the UAE and my little R&R was going well. I went to the Nash Hash in Al Ain on Monday and had greasy meat washed down with all the beer I could pour down me, Guiness and Boddington's G and B etc one after the other, but didn't get drunk, just got tired, went to bed in the car, slept well, woke up at sunup and figured if I hit the road I could be in Muscat by 10:00 and maybe get in on an afternoon dive somewhere. On the way down, I realized I was going to reach Al Sawadi around 9:00-9:15. I'd been trying to book a dive there for days but had been told no way, all places taken, boats full to capacity. But as long as I was there, I decided to pull in and see if anyone had dropped out. One person had, so I went diving with them.

I got a decent partner, Hilal Matta, a photographer, who took the pic on the top of this page. Our both our dives, we dropped down right on top of leopard sharks. The second one (the young one in the picture) we inadvertently kicked sand all over but couldn't get him to move. Saw another one later in that dive, big one this time. Ramoras all over. Also saw turtles and morays, and a wall full of at least a dozen lobsters (right down from the bat cave, the cave with the big batfish).

I also saw Abdullah up there and found that he has no divers, no boat, and no divemaster in Muscat, so there's no diving with DivEco tomorrow.

My 465th Logged Dive since 1991

Dive site: Fed Island, east wall
Training conducted: fun dive

Data from dive computer:

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

Time down on dive computer: 10:47
Max depth: 20.7 meters
Time started up from chart: 63 min showing on computer at time of ascent
Dive time from computer: 61 min (computer deducts surface time from dive time)
Min Temp: 25 degrees centigrade
Nitrox 21% (normal air), no deco

PSI/Bar in: 200 bar in huge 18 liter tank
PSI/Bar out: 80 bar on main tank

Description of dive:

Hilal and I got kitted pretty quickly and might have been the first ones over the side. There right below the boat was a leopard shark. We dropped down and Hilal took lots of pictures with his Nikonos. There was a ramora on the shark and a funny fish that seemed to like to be near the shark. The funny fish had a mouth like a leopard shark and looked as he swam around like he might be a black tip or a baby leopard shark, but his fin was more the shape of a sailfish, with bony ribs supporting it. He was quite agitated at our being there, and eventually the leopard shark said sod it and lifted itself off the sand and did the token swim off at a leisurely pace somewhere else leopard shark thing. The other divers saw it when they descended and came upon its new resting place.

I don't remember much else of great interest on that dive (Hilal will have a better memory as he was taking pictures of one beautiful montage of sea creatures after another). We went the length of Fed Island and at the far north end hit a current that we simply couldn't fin against. We went back south toward the island and completed our dive slightly shallower heading the other way. We came up in the shallows and as I had taken a huge 18 liter cylinder with me I had plenty of air. Hilal surfaced but I carried on with another group of divers who happened along. I came up at the other divers' boat and saw Hilal still at the surface a bit up current from me, so to join him I went back under and finned over to where he was, coming up under him as the boat came to pick him up.

Pressure group out, from tables or wheel: shallow diving on computer, n/a

My 466th Logged Dive since 1991

Dive site: Big Jun Island, east wall
Training conducted: lots of fun dive

Data from dive computer:

Surface interval: 1 hour 21 min.
Pressure group at start of repetitive dive: n/a

Time down on dive computer: 13:14
Max depth: 17.7 meters
Time started up from chart: 69 min showing on computer at time of ascent
Dive time from computer: 70 min
Min Temp: 25 degrees centigrade
Nitrox 21% (normal air), no deco

PSI/Bar in: 220 in main tank
PSI/Bar out: 40 bar on main tank

Description of dive:

I figured after the first 5 min of the first dive it had already been worth my trip down here and I didn't care if I didn't see another fish all day long, but what should we see on dropping in off the boat our second dive but right below us another leopard shark. This guy didn't want to go anywhere. We took pictures of each other, practically handing the camera off right over the shark, and even kicking sand all over him at one point. I remember how the sand settled in the grooves along the surface of the shark. In the end, it was us that lifted ourselves off the sand and did the token swim off at a leisurely pace somewhere else diver thing.

On the briefing Nick had told us to try and swim above the cabbage corals so as to come upon the turtles where they rested in the coral, but of the three I saw on this dive, two were swimming around out on the sand bottom (the other was in the coral). We also came upon another leopard shark, a rather large one this time, with several ramora on him. There was also a huge honeycomb moray in this area (yawn, not another moray). Since the dive was mostly shallow we were pushing almost to the end of the island. We came upon some familiar territory, the 'bat cave' where on a last pass through here I'd found the huge bat fish, still there, with views in on them from top and bottom entrances to their cave. Just down from them was what I now call Lobster Lair, abode to over a dozen of the creatures. In fact, we'd seen a few lobster (crawfish actually) on the two dives, some almost out of their holes.

Seems I'm going to this spot almost every weekend at Damanyites these days, and this is almost always a great dive.

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

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Last updated: December 6, 2002 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0