Dive 248: Numidia, Big Brother, Red Sea (Egypt)

Dive time: 01:00:00
Max depth: 38.1 metres
Temperature: 29 C
Visibility: 30+ metres
Buddy: John North
Surface interval: 03:33:00
Mix: EAN 26

A better negative entry this time although my ears were slow to equalise on this dive for some strange reason.

We descended at the bow of the Numidia, a former cargo ship, which is still remarkably intact having been sunk in 1901. Amazing growth and lots of fish life including some clown anemone fish in anemone that looked like it was out of the Apple desktop picture!

John swam into the cargo hold but I didn’t bother. Swam back along the western wall, past the Aida, and there was amazing fish life on the reef. A nice relaxing dive. We saw a massive tuna that John thought was a shark!! Haha.

Another oceanic circling the boat after the dive too. Woo!

Dive 238: Haliburton, Utila (Honduras)

Dive time: 00:31:00
Max depth: 30 metres
Temperature: 26 C
Visibility: 15 metres
Buddy: Ed
Surface interval: 03:25:00

Ed had somehow signed me up to these dives to be his buddy so another two dives this afternoon on top of the two I did this morning. Felt a bit lost without my dive computer to calculate my NDL on these repetitive dives but I figured that I would try to dive a lot more conservatively than the others.

The wreck of the Haliburton is just outside the Utila harbour on sand at about 30m. The wreck had a bit of growth on it but hardly any fish at all. The only thing of note was a massive green moray in the cargo hold. Swam through the bridge, and laughed a lot at our DM Alan on the safety stop, who was demonstrating his poledancing moves on the buoy line. Hilarious!

Dive 219: The Tanks/Matthew Lawrence, Miami (USA)

Dive time: 00:44:00
Max depth: 14.9 metres
Temperature: 27 C
Visibility: 8 metres
Buddy: Tom
Surface interval: 00:39:00

We descended on the first tank, onto which the boat had tied off on the gun. We followed the markers a short swim to the wreck of the Matthew Lawrence. A small but nice intact wreck with lots of growth and fish. Saw a couple of beautiful grey angelfish.

We swam back to the first tank, which was covered in hard coral growth and tube sponges. Swimming over the rock pile we found the other tank.

A pretty easy dive. Viz not that great and Tom was an OK buddy, although a bit of a flailing diver!

Dive 218: The Patricia/Karline, Miami (USA)

Dive time: 00:46:00
Max depth: 17.4 metres
Temperature: 27 C
Visibility: 8 metres
Buddy: Tom

After a fairly useless dive brief, we dropped down the anchor line that was tied to the bow of the Patricia. The Patricia is a sunken tug with a bit of growth and fairly intact. We saw a school of small yellow snapper, a vivid blue parrotfish, butterflyfish, and cute little trunkfish.

We swam along the markers to the Karline and broken radio antennae. A decent dive but disappointing after the Red Sea last week!

It was also the first time using hire gear in a while. Horrible!

Dive 206: Numidia, Big Brother, Red Sea (Egypt)

Dive time: 00:51:00
Max depth: 22.3 metres
Temperature: 27 C
Visibility: 20 metres
Buddy: Nick
Surface interval 03:15:00
Mix: EAN 26 (MOD 42.2 metres – 1.4ppO2)

The Zodiacs dropped us back on the Numidia, although our planned max depth was 20 metres so we didn’t swim down to the bulk of the wreck, which lay mostly below 18 metres. We swam back towards the boat along the southern side of the island to the east, another spectacular wall dive with loads of soft coral, gorgonian fans, and black coral.

I was buddying with Nick, whose regular buddy was sitting out this dive. He seemed to be having a problems with his mask, as he was constantly needing to clear it so his buoyancy was all over the place.

No real big fish this time, but I did see a lion fish hiding under a ledge, trevally off the wall, Napoleon wrasse, a little trigger fish, lots of cornet fish preying on the small reef fish. As we swam along the wall, we glanced down to see the mangled wreck of the Aida starting at over 30 metres.

The plan was to swim back to the boat but if we ran low on air then we could surface and the Zodiac would pick us up. Nick was already running low on air and told me to shoot up the SMB, but since he still had 70 bar left, I thought we could keep swimming for a bit longer at a shallower depth for our safety stop and then surface. Before I knew it, he had shot to the surface and I last saw him swimming back onto the reef.

I ascended to 5 metres to do my safety stop whilst shooting up the SMB, which involved having to unwind all the line from it first and slightly worrying me that I’d have an entanglement situation on my hands! A very limp SMB and 3 minutes later, I surfaced to find a Zodiac waiting for me in the calm water, and the skipper informed me that Nick had been picked up by the other Zodiac. Phew. I’m sure that Nick was not impressed with me ditching him, even though I think he slightly panicked a bit. Hey ho.