Thursday, 12 February 2009

Dive 50 at Umm Gammar and Fanadir

Day 7 Thursday February 12th

The first dive today will see me clock up dive 50 in my short 18 month diving career – Ben is one dive behind me and therefore will reach 50 on the second dive of the day. Although we have an Advanced Diving Qualification, we are relative novices when compared to some of those we dive with. Today is also the last diving day of the holiday – because of the rule which advises that there is a 24 hour gap between diving and flying (we fly back tomorrow evening). Therefore there will only be two dives available today before the ship goes back to port.

At the stern of the boat is the dive deck where all of your equipment is stored between dives and where you dress for the dive – with 26 people on the boat, it becomes quite crowded at times.

Dive Deck

Our equipment positions are numbers two and three from the right on the front row in the picture (which is actually at the back of the dive deck because we prefer not to be first into the water). There is also a table upon which you can leave you camera, dive computer and anything else that is delicate.

Camera Table

Umm Gammar (lat 27.35278 long 33.90914) means “Mother of the Crescent Moon” and is known as a nice dive site, with a relatively slight current, plenty of fish and pinnacles to dive around and also a cave (at 24+ metres) which you can enter if you want to.

Umm Gammar Dive Plan

Our dive plan was to jump off the dive platform on the port side, quickly descend and then fin as slowly as possible past the pinnacles, taking every opportunity to look at the fish and coral.

Fish 16

Black Snapper

Fish 17

Blue Triggerfish

The dive went perfectly and was generally a nice dive. Amongst the fish seen was the Clown Coris and a Scorpion fish (very nasty).

The last dive of the trip is one which you hope will be long, easy and interesting and the dive at Fannadir (meaning Rock) lat 27.29560 long 33.83118 was not to let us

Fanadir Reef

down. The above picture shows the shape of the reef – the actual rock is to the left of the picture.


Fanadir Dive Plan

The plan was the same as many other reef dives, “giant stride” off the dive deck, follow the reef wall to and then around some large pinnacles, slowly back to the boat doing a safety stop towards the end of the dive.

We kept to the dive plan and saw nudibranchs, blue spotted rays and lion fish. A very nice dive to end the trip with.

Immediately after the dive, everyone started to wash their equipment in fresh water and hung it out to dry, the aim being to get as much hot sun on it as possible before it had to be packed for travel home.

Return to Dock

Having docked back at the Hotel, we were told that because the ship was not going out again the next week, we could all stay on it until the coach came to collect us the following afternoon. So we had dinner on the boat and then went into town to try and find a fish T-shirt for Sam.

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