Today was an awesome diving day! Went out with a boat of 10 people with Omanta Scuba from Marina Bander Al Rowdha at 8h30 this morning. Some would call my 2 dives today dives #3 and #4 since they are the 3rd and 4th after getting qualified as an Open Water Diver but my instructor, Faisal, convinced me that since the PADI course consisted of 4 open water dives, these were technically my 7th and 8th dives. Sounds good to me! ;-)
This is the one and only pic I took at the site of the Al Munassir wreck site. I believe that was the last member of our group to pop out at the surface. I didn’t think I would get a chance to do wreck-diving till after at least my 20th dive!
Here’s a pic of the83-meter long Navy vessel, Al Munassir, which was sunk by the Royal Navy in Bandar Khayran in 2003. (Photo from Vance Steven’s website) What an experience! I definitely have to get myself an underwater camera soon! I found a decent video on youtube that did a great job of capturing the experience of diving at the Al Munassir site:
The visibility was extremely good today perhaps in part due to the fact that the waters were quite calm. My diving buddy informed me that my dive here was 35 minutes at 24.5 meters.
In between our 2 dives, we had a nice snorkeling/lunch break at Nursery Cove. The water was so gorgeous here. This is a very popular place for snorkeling. We dropped 3 people off here who signed up with Omanta Scuba and were doing their “confined dives” towards the PADI Open Waters Course.
Plenty of baby fish here which is why they call it “Nursery Cove”! Just look at that water! It was great snorkeling here! (If you are into snorkeling, but not diving, call up Omanta Scuba and ask about coming out with them for snorkeling!)
Nice to see the Al Khayran in action while in Nursery Cove! “The semi-submersible vessel Al-Khayran takes visitors on an ‘underwater tour’ of the coral reefs of Bandar Al-Khayran. Visitors sit in air conditioned comfort 2 meters below the water line and watch fish, turtles and other sea creatures which inhabit the coral reef, through large viewing ports in the underwater hull. Passengers embark in a fast transfer boat at Marina Bandar Al-Rowdha for the half hour trip to Bandar Al-Khayran where they board the semi-submersible. They then experience the wonders of the underwater world in air-conditioned comfort for about 1 hour before re-embarking in the fast transfer boat for the return trip to the marina. The whole round trip takes just over two hours.”
This is the only pic I have from a cool divesite at Bandar Khiran called “Wallstreet” as there is a huge wall as a reference point on your left as you dive in the direction of Muscat. One unique feature to the site was the large numbers of some type of purple plant that looked like something out of a cartoon or kids drawing. (Can’t seem to find this type of underwater plant on google images but this was the closest I could find.) There was a bit of a current here so it was a bit of a workout! This dive was for 46 minutes at 21 meters. Again the viz was fantastic!
One gentleman I met on board the boat today was Alastair McGregor who takes his underwater (UW) photography quite seriously. He’s stationed in the UAE and displays and sells his professional pics here on his personal website. I definitely need to get myself either a digital camera with housing or an underwater camera. For any divers out there who enjoy UW photography, what do you recommend?
Another 2 fabulous dives! Thanks, Faisal, Jez and the entire crew at Omanta Scuba!