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Vance's Personal Dive Log for the year 2003

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

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Vance and Friend off Lima Rock, Musandam, Oman, June 13, 2003 (Dusty at lower left) - picture credit: Edvard Osterberg

In Dec 2006 freelance writers Sujata Devadas and Diane Miller did an article for Friday magazine (a weekly glossy published by Gulf News) about my diving experiences in UAE which was supposed to feature the picture of the whaleshark above. I was asked to write a paragraph on its significance to me. I wrote:

Divers have a unique ability to observe a part of the world that lies unseen by most people, and only a few among divers are privileged to observe creatures so stunning as a whale shark, or to catch a glimpse of a shark or devil ray. From their perspective, divers tend to be vitally concerned about the environment, and about impacts on the environment that threaten nature below the water. In my 40 years of diving, I find that encounters with remarkable animals have become increasingly rare near places where people encroach. Photos and first-hand reports from beneath the sea should serve to heighten people’s awareness of the beauty of the world all around them, including the parts that they can’t always see, and how tragic it is to damage the unseen world through thoughtless development or waste disposal.

When the article appeared on Friday Dec 29 I was well taken aback by what the editors published claiming to be my words from my mouth. They fabricated their own impression of what the experience must have been like, which was completely different to my account of the experience. They ignored my statements which they could easily have used, in the interest of both accuracy and integrity, and attributed instead their choice of words - more importantly ideas and concepts - to me. What they wrote is not worth repeating here, but having someone else not me pose as me in print made me appear foolish to the degree that he, she, or they were unprofessional, and prompted me to post the following disclaimer prominently on my web site:

On Friday Dec 29, 2006 an article about my diving experiences appeared in the FRIDAY magazine of the Gulf News in Abu Dhabi and throughout the UAE. This notice is a disclaimer of so-called quotes attributed to me in this article. . Many of the statements attributed to me in the Gulf News regarding my impressions of the event are spurious; specifically the quote under my picture and the last three paragraphs here: Whereas we appreciate Friday Magazine's efforts to focus on and coalesce the community, readers should be aware that this magazine indulges in fiction, not professional-standard journalism. I have reproduced the article showing which parts were fabricated here. I hope this information will assist others contemplating becoming subjects for articles in Friday Magazine.

Date Logged Dive # Location Diving with Trainees and buddies
February 27, 2003 473-474 Inchcape and Martini Rock, Khor Fakkan, UAE 7-Seas Bobbi, and Michael Ibrahim's Rescue Diver Training Exercises 1 (Tired Diver), 2 (Panicked Diver), 3 (Response from boat), 4 (distressed diver underwater and AAS ascent), 5 (search for missing diver), and 6 (surfacing unconscious diver)
March 6, 2003 475-476 Abu Dhabi, outside breakwater Greg Heinricks Michael Ibrahim's Rescue Diver Training Exercises 7-11
March 14, 2003 477-479 Martini Rock, Martini Cove, and Hole in the Wall, Khor Fakkan, UAE 7-Seas Toni along for the ride, Michael Ibrahim's Rescue Diver Training Exercise #12, for certification
May 9, 2003 480-481 Musandam: North face of Fishhead Rock / The Cavern swimthough Froglegs Just diving for fun with Bobbi and Dusty
May 30, 2003 482 Abu Dhabi: Delta Buoy ADSAC Just diving for fun with Bobbi; Dusty did stressed diver exercise for PADI Rescue course
June 5-6, 2003 483-485 Khor Fakkan: Pinnacles, Snoopy Rock, Martini Rock Scuba 2000 Fun diving with Bobbi, Dave Propst, and Jacque Figgins; also Ron Thomson, Matt ..., and Alan Ettridge. At Martini Rock Bobbi did stressed diver exercise for PADI Rescue course
June 13, 2003 486-487 Lima Rock and Whiskey Reef (the Cavern swimthrough) ADSAC WHALE SHARK dive with Bobbi and Dusty and Andres from Hungary; dhow full of BSAC'rs around as well
July 5, 2003 488-489 Oman: Damaniyites Sawadi Beach Resort Fun diving with Dusty and Bobbi
July 10, 2003 490 Abu Dhabi: Ras Ghurab Abu Dhabi Health and Fitness Club Eric Kleis Advanced Underwater navigation dive, and Open Water Dive #1 for Ronan McCarthy, Rola Sbat, and Nasser and Kareem
July 11, 2003 491-492 Khor Fakkan: Coral Garden then Inchcape and Ras Martini 7-Seas Eric Kleis Advanced Open Water boat dive and multilevel dive, for certification; fun diving with Dusty and Bobbi and Michael Ibrahim
July 17, 2003 493 Abu Dhabi: Delta Buoy Abu Dhabi Health and Fitness Club Ronan McCarthy 2nd Open Water Dive including all flexible skills
July 18, 2003 494 Abu Dhabi: Old Cement Barge ADHFC Kareem and Nasser 2nd Open Water Dive including underwater compass navigation; fun dive for Bobbi
July 24, 2003 495-496 Abu Dhabi: Sir Bu Nuwair ADHFC Kareem and Ronan 3rd and 4th Open Water Dive for certification; Rola and Nasr 3rd Open Water Dive.
July 31, 2003 497-498 Khor Fakkan: Dibba Rock and Martini Rock 7 Seas Buddied with Rola, fun dive - Nickie & Jaque & Michael Ibraheem, Michel & Natalie & Alain
August 1, 2003 499-502 Oman, Musandam: the Stack and Lima Rock FrogLegs: 7 Seas arranged for Ali's boats Buddied with Bob Symonds, fun dive, and Edwin just walked on - Nickie & Jaque & Michael Ibraheem, Michel & Natalie & Alain
August 7, 2003 503-504 Abu Dhabi: Delta Buoy (12.8 meters 49 min.) and Old Cement Barge (10.4 meters 9 min.) and (10.7 meters 45 min.) ADHFC Rola Sbat final Open Water certification dives; Martin Corrado boat and wreck Advanced dives; Calvin Ponton a few rescue scenarios, and Michel fun diving, Ade Lambo divemaster
September 11, 2003 505 Khor Fakkan: Inchcape wreck (20.6 meters 54 min.) 7 Seas

I buddied with Bobbi while Calvin Ponton worked on his Padi Rescue Diver and Martin Corrado did his Padi Advanced Deep dive

For the dive logs, when I set them up properly

September 12, 2003 506-507 Khor Fakkan: Martini Rock (20.7 meters 63 min.) and Coral Garden (24.7 meters 57 min.) 7 Seas I buddied with Bobbi while Calvin Ponton completed all but the last 3 Padi Rescue Diver scenarios
September 18, 2003 508-509 Abu Dhabi: Ras Ghurab (7.7 meters 75 min.) and Old Cement Barge (11.4 meters 43 min.) ADHFC

Refresher dives for Kree Barrus, Steve Poole, Valorie Dick, Karen Paul. Amy Field divemaster.

September 19, 2003 510-512 Oman, Musandam: Mother of Mouse (27.0 meters 52 min.), South Headland of Mouse (28.6 meters 50 min.), Lima Headland (22.3 meters 50 min.) ADSAC in 2 of Ali's boats A Richard Wilding production; I buddied with Andy.
September 25, 2003 513-514 Abu Dhabi: off a pier in Musaffah (8.6 meters 13 min.), and Bateen Box (7.9 meters 49 min.) ADHFC and Emirates Diving Association Dive 1 was an Emirates Diving Association cleanup dive with Martin Corrado, Rebecca Woll, and Amy Field (and Michael Ibrahim, Peter, etc on the boat). Dive 2 was Naser Mosleh final Open Water certification; Assya open water dive #1. Rebecca Woll and Choi did refresher dives. Amy Field served as divemaster
September 26, 2003 515-516 Abu Dhabi: Ludwig (27.0 meters 41 min.) and the sand just south (we think) of the Jassim (25.9 meters 33 min.) ADHFC Diving with Calvin Ponton, Susan Fromm, Amy Field -
October 16, 2003 517 Abu Dhabi: Ras Gurab (spot zero on my GPS) ADHFC Assya's Second PADI O/W dive; Karim Talhook diving for fun
October 17, 2003 518 Khor Fakkan: We dived the bay south of Hole in the Wall and rounded the point north toward new construction. 7Seas Cleanup Arabia diving with Lisa at 7 Seas. Bobbi and I dived with an appreciative Arab lady named Liba.
Oct 31, 2003 519-520
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Abu Dhabi: Jassim and Delta Buoy ADHFC Diving with Calvin and Adrian and Trudy, friends of Lou's. Mohamed and Huda were supposed to come along, so designated dive site was Ras Gurab, but when they didn't show we shifted to Jassim. FOUND it this time right where we thought it was. Took an extra anchor and a shot line and dropped it on the pedestal for old marker, which is where I'd GPS'd. Went down on that, exact same place as before. Laid out two 50-meter reels to the WNW and came out right on the wreck, so it's 100 meters 290-300 degrees from the pedestal. Swam thru a huge school of barracuda to get there, down to 100 bar on arrival at wreck, spent 10 min there, went into deco, ran out of air coming up (Cal had some, fortunately, me in deco and no air!). GREAT dive. Second dive at Delta Buoy, relaxing, closely followed 3 sea snakes.
Thursday Nov 6, 2003 521
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Abu Dhabi: Ras Ghurab ADHFC Calvin next to last two rescue scenarios. Michael Ibrahim divemaster. Andree and her student divers. And Bobbi.
Thursday Nov 13, 2003 522-523
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Khor Fakkan: Dibba Rock and Pinnacles night dive   Diving with Bobbi and Jonathan and Rebecca and Nicki etc. Took Toni and Lee on an Advanced Open Water Boat dive and an abortive attempt at night dive. Nasser did his Advanced Open Water boat dive. Livio and Patty did their first Open Water dive.
Friday Nov 14, 2003 524-525
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Musandam: Lima Rock and The Stack 7 Seas We added Bob Symonds and Karen to the crew as well as Eric and Maurice (Nicki went home sick). Toni dropped a mask overboard and didn't dive that day and Lee was not able to stay submerged on either of her dives, but Nasser completed Advanced Deep and Underwater Naturalist dives (pending paperwork). Stack dive hampered by currents (just missed high tide) but Lima rock saw tunas and turtles off one of the most active points in Musandam.
Thu Nov 20, 2003 526-527This link not yet updated Abu Dhabi: Ras Ghurab 3 and Old Cement Barge ADHFC Took 12 divers out in a boat rated for 8 (2nd time promised 2 boats, only one appears). Patty and Livio did Open Water training dive #2 plus a practice dive. Andree Morrisson had two students Rhonda and Laura plus divemaster Phil McDonald (Mac). Faris came along as my divemaster. Karen Paul and Sarah Johnson on refresher.
Tue Nov 25, 2003 528-529
This link not yet updated
Abu Dhabi: Delta Buoy ADHFC Mohammed and Huda did Open Water training dive #1; Assya did O/W training dive #3 - I thought it was a pleasant day out though 3-5 foot swells, gentle but there nonetheless, caused problems for the ladies on the boat. A mask was left behind so we shared. I took Mhmd and Huda and then Assya, two dives for me, very pleasant, sea snake there each time, grunts and hamour, and batfish above the ridgelines, snappers and a sleek flat fish swirling about. Cool temperatures pleasant. All divers did well but eschewed second tank dives.
Thu Dec 4, 2003 530-531
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Abu Dhabi: Hannan Wreck and Delta Buoy abortive PADI rescue course scenario made real by changes in weather and current ADHFC

Weather report from two day forecast for Thursday 04 12 2003 Weather Partly cloudy and warm but cloudy at times with a risk of rain or light showers. Wind Light to moderate southerly at 08 to 12 knots, becoming a moderate northerly to northeasterly sea breeze at 10 to 14 knots in the afternoon. Temperature Max 30°C Sea State Inshore 2 to 3 feet, offshore 3 to 5 feet but 5 – 7 feet far offshore.

The weather looked to be fine in the 3 day forecast for Thursday 04 12 2003 Weather Partly cloudy and warm with a small risk of rain.or light showers. Wind Moderate southerly at 8 to 13 knots, becoming a moderate northerly sea breeze of 10 knots later in the afternoon. Temperature Max 30°C Sea State Inshore 1 to 2, offshore 1 to 3 feet.


  • Calvin - intended Final skills dive for PADI Rescue Diver
  • Nicki - fun dive and victim for Calvin
  • Stephen and Micheline Landis - fun diving
Fri Dec 12, 2003 532-533
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Abu Dhabi: Bateen Breakwater, 8 meters ADHFC

A rough day out with waves crashing spray over far side of breakwater. Inside we had a current to contend with but fairly calm conditions. 2 day forecast Partly cloudy and mild, but hazy at first. It will be cloudy at times overnight. Wind Light southerly during the morning becoming a moderate to fresh northerly wind of 12 to 17 knots in the afternoon and veering to the east by evening at 10 knots. Temperature Max 26°C Sea State Inshore 3 to 5, offshore 5 to 7 feet.

  1. Vance, instructor
  2. Wael (O/W training dive 1)
  3. Lawrence O/W training dive 1)
  4. Mohammed (O/W training dive 2)
  5. Huda (O/W training dive 2)
Fri Dec 19, 2003 534-535
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Khor Fakkan, Martini Rock and the Pinnacles (Three-Rocks) 7-Seas Bobbi and Dusty (and Mhmd on a plunge to 18 meters) saw 3 turtles at anchor line and 3 more later on M/Rock (we saw 1, plus some scorpion fish and morays, brine shrimp, lion fish, orange coral). Bobbi and I saw a shark at the pinnacles. Lots of fish on both dives, quite nice.
  • Mohammed certified with o/w dives 3 and 4
  • Huda completed o/w dive 4
  • Wael completed o/w dive 2 and ESA and u/w compass
Fri Dec 26, 2003 536-537
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Khor Fakkan, Martini Rock and point opposite Sharq Island to near the harbor 7-Seas Bobbi and Dusty and Omar, and Waheed who found us via the website. We dropped to 20 meters down the new mooring and worked our way west to the shallow rocks. Dusty and I saw one turtle at MR, and numerous morays and scorpion fish, plus a little pipefish. The second dive opposite SI was not where I'd meant to go in and therefore first time we dived that spot. It was shallow boulders, not much in the way of coral or terrain, but housed interesting sealife. We found a honeycomb moray sticking out, other morays, lots of scorpion fish in the sand, flounders, and cuttlefish. A fun day.

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Last updated: January 3, 2007