Main Homepage: http://www.vancestevens.com
This site has a NetWord: http://www.netword.com/vancestevens
More Scuba: Back to Vance's Scuba Page | Return to Vance's Logbook contents
Navigate logbook: previous dive | next dive

Dive logs for Vance Stevens, P.A.D.I. Open Water SCUBA Instructor #64181

Abu Dhabi, June 2, 2000
Dives 347, 348, and 349

Diving with: Adsac  
Dive site: Ludwig and Jasim
Dive buddies: Brian Taman, Stuart, and Emma
Others in dive party: Adrian, Ron, and Frank

Conditions: mild with breeze

Water Temp: 28C

Visibility: Poor for Ludwig, 5-7 meters

Wetsuit combo: lycra suit and Typhoon longsleeve top

Weight: needed: 8 kg

Training:

Nitrox training dives, Brian Taman instructor. Thursday, we learned theory of Nitrox diving and planned dives, calculating Max Operating Depth for air mixtures arranged and %CNS and UTPD's for times and depths anticipated. These were a dive on the Ludwig at 27 meters for 39 min. with 1 min. deco at 6 meters, and a dive on the Jasim at 24 meters, again for 39 min, but with 3 min. deco at 6 meters. Achieved certification on taking exam June 6, 2000.

Ludwig

Dive 347
Date: Fri, 6/2/2000

Data from dive computer:

Time started: 10:54
Max depth: 27.5 m
Dive time: 00:42
Min Temp: 28 C
Nitrox 32%, Decompression

Both dives went well. First dive we crawled around the bottom of the Ludwig, first time any of us had spent an entire dive there on the bottom. We came down a shot line on the east side of the wreck and finned upcurrent to the bow at the north end, pausing to fondle the white, orange, and black nudibranchs we found in the sand. Stewart found a nice dark one nearby as well. We looked for rays in their usual lair under the bow, and I noticed that the current was sweeping east to west, so it was some relief to get into the calm shadow on the west side. There our team took its time working back the length of the hull. At one point I found a bull ray and parked myself in fin pivot over it waiting for the rest to catch up. The others crowded around the ray, which caused it to swim up towards me, showing its white underside. As it passed, we all caressed it, and it seemed to enjoy this and came back for more. Eventually it swam off under the hull and we continued on our way slowly, so slowly that I became concerned about getting ahead and out of site of my buddy Brian and occasionally went back for him. Finally I parked myself at the south end of the hull out toward the sand and watched the barracudas and other big fish I couldn't identify swim in and out of the suspended matter. A lot of their motion was while flashes at the edge of gloom. Eventually Brian came around and pointed out a black and white speckled fish in a cavity under the stern. When I emerged from investigating, Brian was signaling a return to the shot line and we pretty much powered our way upcurrent to it. I drove my air down 20 bar to 50 and came up showing 1 min deco at 3 meters. I came up more slowly than the others, trying to keep my tissue saturation levels below 100% and by the time I reached 3 meters, my deco warning had cleared, and Brian signaled us all up. On the surface he told me I should rise faster and keep the saturation up at around 100%, which I did on the next dive.

It wasn't the best dive I've ever done on the Ludwig, but the L is a great wreck and all dives on it are great. There are lots of big fish around, and the other animals from ray to nudibranch made this an interesting dive, even if the vis was off and we had no time at 20 meters, where the big fish tend to congregate.

Jasim

Interval: 02:15

Dive 348
Date: Fri, 6/2/2000

Data from dive computer:

Time started: 13:54
Max depth: 25.7 m
Dive time: 00:42
Min Temp: 28 C
Nitrox 36%, No stop

We found boats from the Meridien (Ebrahim) and Sun Divers moored off the Jasim and a couple dozen divers intervaling there between dives. Our air divers went in before all others followed by the masses from the other boats, and as we re-tested air mixes and kitted up, and we were ready to drop in after the divers from the other boats had been down for half an hour. We only briefly encountered the last of them as we began our dive. The shot lay near the bow. Unfortunately at the outset I saw a plastic cup on the bottom and went down to collect it and was immediately warned by Brian that I had unwittingly exceeded depth for a few moments. I came right back up to 24 and stayed above that the rest of the dive. I had my computer so I wasn't worried about my slight dip in depth - my computer tracks that and I didn't think anyone else had gone over. So we went on with the dive, 360 around the ship in 25 min or so.

The dullest part was on the south side where we started off and the most interesting was the north, where the big barracudas were congregated. So as we were about to round the bow Brian signalled a return down the north side. As we were traveling slightly upcurrent I finned briskly along the hull looking for the big game, holding up now and then to let the others catch up. I had plenty of air and plenty of time left on my computer, so I was surprised when Brian tugged at my fin and signaled up. I showed him air and my computer, but he indicated the depth I had reached, and I assumed he was playing it by the book and signaled my agreement to head up. We had agreed before the dive that if we fell into the 24-27 meter range, we would have 31 min instead of 39. Technically we were within that range. Stewart and Emma did not have nitrox computers, and so if they had exceeded 24 meters then they would have to surface after 31 min. I never asked if that was the case, nor did I check Stewart and Emma's air, and since Brian presumably was aware of all those factors I had to respect his judgement, and also his adherance to the tables, as a good instructor would do.

Later, Tuesday at the bar, Brian had a 'little chat' with me regarding this incident. It turns out that when he signalled his return, he intended it to be to the shot line, only he couldn't find it. When I finned off, he assumed I knew where it was and was leading everyone there. I was heading for the stern but the Jasim has a chasm, or a gap, separating the bow and stern, and I had apparently turned into the gap and was actually heading back up the bow. That's when Brian tugged my toes and signalled up. No wonder I hadn't come on any baraccuda.

Anchor retrieval

Interval: 02:15

Dive 349
Date: Fri, 6/2/2000

Data from dive computer:

Time started: 15:17
Max depth: 25.6 m
Dive time: 00:11
Min Temp: 28 C
Nitrox 36%, No stop

As it turned out, had we not stopped that dive when we did it would have cost us an anchor. I surfaced with 80 bar and Emma with 75, and as we packed our kit the others tried to free the anchor. It wouldn't come off, and as I had air and knew I had come up well before my computer said I needed to, I volunteered to go back to free the anchor. Emma checked the tables and calculated that with her brief surface interval she could have 18 min at 27 meters if she did a 3 min deco stop at 6 meters. So we agreed to go back for the anchor and do the stop.

We didn't wear wetsuits, just bcd's, fins, masks, and regs. Emma brought a lift bag and we followed the anchor down though the wreck's structures and into a wad of netting into which it had become enmeshed. We worked together to get the anchor off and it fell to the seabed with a thud at 27 meters, exactly the MOD of the 36% mix we were using. Emma got the lift bag on quickly and squirted air into it. It took more than we thought it would need for us to get it off the bottom. It was heavy. We'd have never brought it up without the bag unless we'd used our bcd's for buoyancy. Once we got it liftable we had to thread it back through the netting. Eventually we got it free and sent it to the surface. Then we discovered something we had not seen all day, jellyfish. Lots of them suddenly. One brushed my knee and left me itching (slightly) for the rest of the week. Emma kept pointing at them behind me and I pointed them out behind her, and after 3 min at 6 meters we surfaced, intact, well within allowable limits, and mission accomplished.

Vance Stevens, vstevens@emirates.net.ae | http://www.vancestevens.com/
June 9, 2000 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0