Downwards (-:)_....

Diving 2002

At november, the 6th we started. On board of the "Ghazala III" 25 divers pushed themselves one another intending to go down. After clearing the situation about the dive buddies the divers were separated onto two ships reducing the mess substantially because after all we want to dive two times a day (at the last day even there were three dives to go). But I didn't take part in all dives - the last two days I only made the dive on afternoon and skipped the night dive). Because of the fact that we weren't able to assess how much nitrogen was still in my tissue - can we apply the usual calculation models of the dive computers to my special situation of disability? - we took it easy to avoid bad surprises of DCI in the airplane on our fly home.


Mess in the harbour. At this crowd of boats pushing one another at the pier I've always had been astonished about the capabilities of the captains of getting the boats in or out without any damages and loss of time.
Point of departure and arrival was the ship harbour of Sharm Ash Sheikh except the last day - for our dive excursion to Ras Mohammed we departured from the old harbour of Sharm Ash Sheikh. On returning back we had to hurry because we had (again) Ramadhan and this means - after 4 p.m. there was no activity at all...


After assembling our equipment and briefing with Anita, our dive guide from Sweden he moment of truth came near. Due to the high water temperatures of 82° F I only dressed my long-john and a t-shirt on. The lateral assembly of the zippers made it possible for my buddies (here Mr. Jürgen Koch) to dress me on with relative less problems.


Well .. strangely - the mak was hit away .... spontaneous comment of Mr. Lutz Kamski "... that's PADI ...!!!"


After being dressed on and switching on the equipment and after my buddies also were ready to start the dive it was my turn to "...splash...". In the meantime I dived with an own dive computer of the type Aquapilot one of the major conclusions was the fact for my buddies and me to give me a somewhat negative buoyancy not only due to the high salt content of the water. I entered the water with 14 kg of lead (Lutz as my dive buddy has also more lead than usual on) of which 3 kg alone were assembled at my feet.


Gathering behind the boat. The little groups reached to each other to get down together. In this relation it was important to enter into the water fastly because many dives were so-called current dives where you can drift easily along the reefs. This is like driving with the bus - only the right position and after then doing like the other tourists ... sight seeing...


Still at the surface: Adjusting the dive computer to a target depth level...


...and then go down (don't forget the pressure equalization!). Lutz rests behind me for control purposes.


Getting dived around a coral reef. In contradiction to other divers I only move myself with my arms keeping some support from behind by my dive buddy sometimes. At the current dives even this support wasn't necessary anymore - I only had to pay attention of avoiding collisions with submarine obstacles like coral colonnies.

Oh what a pity but your browser doesn't cover Java(tm).



under pressure...

under watch ...


After three quarters of an hour the dive was finished - with the aid of two associated lead belts I was brought back on board. Longest dive at a depth level of 13 m 52 minutes, deepest dive 27 metres. We used normal aluminium bottles of 12 litres.


Even during dressing off the suit the construction of the zippers shows its advantage - while some other divers have to "peel off" themselves of their suits I get it off in a very short time.


Then I have get off the wet clothing as fast as possible, get on dry clothing and return back into the wheel-chair.
Except of one day I could sit very well in my wheel-chair on board, I sit nearby the "Bar" - there we had the most calm position on the boat. Only on the last day, there we had some stormy wind conditions and the ship began to roll, with much swing I found a very deep position on the boat... But the injuries of this forced  turn back resulted only to some abrasions on the ellbows.


Between thew two dives we had a beautiful lunch cooked by the crew of the boat. Subsequently, we had a little break to regenerate and "to lose" some nitrogen. At most the fellow travellers took a bath or they did some snorkeling in the reefs, some other made a little sleep or read a book to be fit again for the second dive.
Or something surprising and threatening happened in the Red Sea (at least for those who dived for the first time here)...

The way through the boat (or well-known as pickling agent)...

2eg19.jpg 2eg18.jpg 2eg20.jpg

there can be a little bit more...

swallow, swallow ... !!!

Daniela without any mercy...


Relaxing between and after the dives - on evening it always means to go to the bar of the dive base to have a bottle of deco beer. This was also the best place for exchanging all the experiences and impressions made on sea to fade out the day slowly.

Totally, I made 8 dives at Sharm Ash Sheikh without any problems. Only at the end we had some trouble with the mounting of valve control unit of the aquapilot. Threads made of metal and plastics don't have the best fit and so we have to do some "homework" to find a better solution to keep it tight. On the other handside, the dive computer works without any problems and we are the opinion that it is a good device. At this place I want to express my thanks to all who helped and made this dive holidays to a great impression.
The pictures shown here derived from a video lasting 1 hour and 38 minutes (including 34 minutes submarine scenes). This is available on VHS cassettes or on DVD discs - if you are interested you can send me an email.

* Submarine Photos: © Ulrich Grabsch 2002

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