“The Aquarium” is what divers call one of the 12 most popular diving spots at The Damaniyat Islands Nature Park up the coast from Muscat about halfway to Sohar. I had the awesome opportunity to dive there on my first ocean dive after getting PADI qualified!
Moray eels seemed to be everywhere on this dive! It’s a harrowing experience to swim over their lairs as they look at you, opening and closing their gaping jaws, as you wonder if they’re going to lunge for you!
We saw 3 seahorses on this dive! Apparently these creatures are extremely rare to see when scuba-diving. There are people who have been diving for years who have never seen even one. (And no, we did not go in circles and see the same one 3 times, haha!)
The seahorses were very hard to see and they were all located on or near cables lying on the ocean floor. Ali, an instructor with Global Scuba, must have great eyes as he pointed out all 3 to us.
We were all trying to figure out what this creature is after looking at the pics. One of the diver’s friends on facebook pointed out that it looks like it may be a coral reef eating starfish.
I hope you enjoyed these pics from my first dive. All photos are courtesy of Louise Ragan who was one of my diving buddies. Depth was 26.5 metres and visibility was fair. I had a little over 30 minutes bottom time. Here are a few more pics taken from a 4.5 rial disposable camera (or about $12 US). All the pics with the disposable turned out almost entirely green as you lose more and more color the deeper you dive.
Me doing my best to look calm and relaxed!
This pic is a good reminder to be a “S.A.F.E. Diver” – Slowly Ascend From Every Dive! (from the PADI manual!)