The Damaniyat Islands, “The Aquarium” (Divesite)

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!)

School’s in!

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!)

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10 responses to “The Damaniyat Islands, “The Aquarium” (Divesite)

  1. Great photos! Looks like it was an awesome dive. :) Do moray eels actually lunge out at divers?! That would be scary.

    • Shtina,
      I wish we had video from that dive because the sights were phenomenal! I will definitely try to get back to the Damaniyat Islands at least a few more times, God willing. About the moray eels…No, I don’t believe they actually “lunge out at divers:”. That’s just the idea that goes through my mind as I see them underwater, haha!

  2. Pingback: The Damaniyat Islands, “The Aquarium” (Divesite) « Andy in Oman | Diving Adventures Scuba Diving Travel

  3. Your very first dive was to 26 metres?! That’s strange. You normally shouldn’t go below 12 m until you have your advanced qualification!

    • Dee,
      Yes, I thought it was rather strange as well as I learned that divers are only recommended to dive up to 18 metres. Advanced allows 30 metres and divers should never dive more than 40 metres. That’s what I learned. Maybe it was okay because I was with 3 experienced divers, all with at least 150 dives. The instructor was also my “diving buddy” so maybe that made it alright. ??

  4. Ok, I need to do this!

    • You really do need to try this out, Antony! Plus, it would cool to have a blogging/scuba buddy to go out on a dive with! :-)

  5. This is a beautiful post! Am I a bit spoiled? I say that because my husband is a hobby salt water fish aquarist, and many of those beautiful creatures you showed us were in one of his tanks at one time.

    You are very brave to go down that deep. I get panicky if I’m not within reach of solid ground.

    • Thanks, Ronnie! Glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, I would say that you certainly are spoiled if your husband had so many of those critters in one tank. :-) I wouldn’t say I’m brave at all. My life is simply in God’s hands and I trust that He knows what He’s doing. “Perfect love casts away fear!” (1 John 4:18) Thanks for commenting.

  6. Pingback: Back to the Aquarium, Damaniyat Islands (Dive #22) | Andy in Oman

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