20 November 2005

Diving in the Musandam

A couple of weekends ago, we went to the Emirate of Fujairah on the east coast of the UAE for a spot of diving. As the dhow was due to leave Dibba Harbour on the Omani side at an early hour on Friday, we drove over on Thursday night.

We stayed at the Sandy Beach Hotel which was comfortable and had a good restaurant. The only downer was the amount of disinfectant that they used to clean the rooms - the smell left
us with a headache akin to a mild hangover when we woke in the morning!

Early on Friday we boarded the dhow, and were soon out of the harbour and cruising on a smooth sea - north towards the Strait of Hormuz. After a couple of hours of motoring, and having the luck of a solitary dolphin riding the bow wave, the dhow made its way around the point between Limah Rock and the mainland. We anchored in the shelter of the point with the town of Limah in the distance.

The divers transferred onto the smaller and faster dive boat tender, and we were soon rocketing back towards Limah Rock to do the first dive of the day on the South Wall. Over the side we went, into a cool sea with visibility that wasn't the best, as there was a lot of plankton. It got better as we got deeper, and at around 20m, we were able to see about 15m around us.

The dive was an interesting one - lots of eels, coral formations and fish of all varieties including some territorial hammour. M was diving for the first time with her new underwater housing for her Canon camera and was keen to try it out. As the visibility was not that great with all the sediment in the water, the images were all closeups. The eels were very obliging and posed beautifully, the clown fish were a bit concerned that their space was being invaded, and the lion fish couldn't have cared less!

After an hour, we surfaced to be picked up by the dive tender and taken back to the dhow, where the crew had laid out the most delicious lunch which was devoured by the hungry divers.

The next dive was in the next southern bay on a site called Wonder Wall. Here, as well as eels and fish, we saw resting stingrays and the most enormous porcupine fish that allowed M to swim beside it and actually stroke it! It was totally unafraid, and swam around M for a while before heading off into the deep.

This dive was spectacular because of the rock formations underwater. It was a great experience to swim around a big rock and be surrounded by big schools of fish.

Another hour passed quickly by and after being picked up by the tender, we sped
off in pursuit of the dhow that had started back to Dibba. We caught up with it in a quiet and calm bay and transferred over, making way under a rising moon and with dusk quickly falling. It was truly beautiful to watch the light fading over the rugged Hajjar mountain range, and see the twinkling lights of Dibba come ever closer.

It was a great day, and we met some wonderfully nice people onboard - it was great to spend time with interesting folk and learn more about life from their experiences.

We stayed another night at the Sandy Beach Hotel, as the next day we were going to travel
back to Dubai on the gravel road via Oman and Ras Al Kaimah - but that's another story that will be told later!

9 comments:

mrs. m said...

NZM - first, thanks for the motivating words you left on DCM Blog.. and second i'm glad to know u r divers, since i am one as well..

I loved your post, and i do envy M for the fantastic swim she had.. I have been to Sandy beach hotel, it is actually good for short stays..

Note: the photographer and camera have produced wonderful pictures..

I havent done any diving in Musandam, was scheduled to go, but i ended up knowing i was pregnant!! (Yayyyy).. i usually go with a very nice bunch of friends/divers to khor fakkan/fujeirah.. would love to invite you along should you be interested (of course after i 'casually' pass by the hospital deliver and get back in shape') hehehe..

Cant wait to get back into the deep..

nzm said...

Hi Mrs M!

Thanks for all your wonderful comments.

We love to dive and do so at every available opportunity. We also dived last weekend off Muscat - that report will be posted hopefully some time this week.

Once your bubba has joined the rest of us in the 'real world', we'd love to meet you and come diving with you - it would be fantastic to get together and meet some fellow diving enthusiasts - as well as some very nice bloggers!

Maybe when the weather (and the water) gets warmer again?!

Will send you a private email to Mr M's email address - as I don't know your email details.

regards
nzm

mrs.m said...

nzm - thanks for your quick reply, and please keep this email with you in which you can contact me on mrs.moryarti@gmail.com

That way once all is well with me and i am back into action, we can organize something..

waiting to see your next blog..

nzm said...

Sounds like a plan - I'll contact you!

All the best for the upcoming birth of your baby!

regards
nzm

Amazing Musandam said...

Musandam Dibba is a very nice presentation of culture, beauty adventure

nzm said...

Thanks for visiting our blog - I'll add your fantastic website to our posts on the Musandam. I hope that it will bring you some business!

musandam dibba said...

Dibba tour is very enjoyable because there is a vast range of things to enjoy. The natural sceneries of Musandam Dibba are very beautiful and have no match in the whole world.

nzm said...

Agreed!

Brody said...

Musandam Dibba . It is most interesting and amazing position and we make sure, you will have a journey with absolute entertainment and refreshment.