(Continuing from Part 1 located here) – Our next location and the 2nd diving spot in Bandar Al Khiran that we headed to was the one pictured above which is known as Mermaid Cove. Just as Seahorse Cove was without seahorses, this cove unfortunately had not even one mermaid (at least while we were there! ). Like many of the coves in the Bandar Al Khiran area, this place is inaccessible by land and must be reached by boat.
Keith Fernandes (on the left) was an incredibly patient instructor as he is so good at explaining things and answering silly questions. The great thing about the DSD is that “your PADI Professional will be with you throughout“. If he can teach AndyinOman how to scuba-dive, I believe he can teach anyone! :-) The whole Omanta Scuba team was a professional gang and yet they were also a whole lot of fun.
Pastor Chris Howitz ready for Dive #2!
Ali doing a last minute check on my equipment before hitting the water while Keith looks on. This was a perfect opportunity for us to get familiar with scuba diving equipment.
Okay! All is well! Let’s get this party started!
Yours truly unknowingly giving the “ascend” signal in scuba-diving hand language (even though I’m already on the top!) instead of the “okay signal” once I’m in the water. (Bloody amateurs, haha!! )
No underwater pics for now…We dove to a depth of 9.2 meters for a bottom time of 32 minutes. (I think we dove at a slightly shallower depth for about the same duration on our first dive.) We saw so many incredible underwater life forms including moray eels, a large sting ray and so many clown fish and angel fish. It was like a scene out of “Finding Nemo” except instead of animation, it was in High Definition! :-) We got to learn so much practical stuff such as how each piece of the equipment works and how to do safety checks before diving, how to empty the water out of your mask underwater, how to control your buoyancy and many handsignals that could mean the difference between life and death underwater as you communicate with your diving buddy and so much more.
Other divers in the distance. The gentleman on the left is demonstrating the “okay signal” with 2 hands.
Another great thing about boat diving is the boat ride! Like the Open Water Diver Manual reads, “It’s fun to go boating with other divers. You get to know new people, sight see on the way to and from the dive site, and generally enjoy the whole experience.” In the pic above, you can see the Shangri-La at Al Jissah.
Sea-arch at Barr Al Jissah (also spelled “Gissah”) with more of the Shangri-La on the left side.
There sure are some beautiful scenes along the Muscat coast!
The Al Bustan Ritz Carlton Hotel from the sea
This is a pretty cool modern dhow berthed at Marina Bandar al Rowdha.
Back to the marina and then back to the Boat House at the Intercon to have our instructor fill out the Training Log and Completion Form inside the Discover Scuba Diving brochure. You get credited for “Confined Water Dive One” and “Open Water Dive One” which will be recognized as you move on to PADI Open Water Diver course. It certainly was a life changing experience and I highly recommend anyone thinking about scuba diving to give it a shot. The Discover Scuba Diving experience will most likely give you enough experience, confidence, and thrills to motivate you to go on to do the PADI Open Water course!
Thanks to our instructor, Keith Fernandes, and the entire Omanta Scuba diving team for an unforgettable experience!