Hi there!Mark Whitworth I am Mark Whitworth -
writer, educator, traveller
and all round good guy.
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Horizons: Oman 2011

dolphin, splash, Muscat, OmanOman Woman, Muscat Big Splat!

It’s not often I find myself at a completely loose end but the morning of Andrea’s birthday, was certainly one of those times. The sun was shining and the surf was up, but as for snorkelling ...no chance. So, I sat, pondering when I could acceptably order my first pint, awaiting the return of the newly forty-nine year old scuba warrior.

Well, that’s a slip and a half isn’t it! We’ll all have to remember that in twelve months time a year has to be deducted, not added. Got it!


dive, boat, scuba, Oman, Dive, Centre, MuscatIt has to be said that there’s not many girls who get a scuba diving trip to Muscat as a birthday present and I was delighted with the idea. It’s a short flight from Doha, yet a world away in terms of attitude, and the diving was supposed to be pretty good too. Unfortunately there was a two metre swell outside the bay, impossible conditions to snorkel in, with any sort of fulfilment or murky, waters, Oman, Muscat, divingenjoyment, but only inconvenient for the scuba divers on their entry and exit from the water. The neoprene clad warriors spend only a minute or so bobbing up and down and then descend into the calmer ocean layers, for this is indeed, the Indian Ocean, and the latex lads and ladettes are not going to let a two-metre swell ruin their day disturbing the fishes.

pennant, coralfish, Oman, MuscatAs it turned out the diving conditions were pretty poor, as the photos indicate, visibility was limited and Andrea took solace in the idea that the trip proved more of a training exercise than a voyeuristic paradise. That said, she almost bumped into a turtle and appeared ecstatic that she could have been in touching distance of serious sharks without having been able to see them. It was so murky that she lost contact with her dive buddies on two occasions, but confessed the experience was confidence building rather than nerve-shredding. Three dives in seven hours was apparently a pretty good present and the girl left the water exhausted but happy.

Andrea, Kidd, Omani Dive Centre, Oman, MuscatThere were apparently more “confident” divers who ran out of air, had equipment problems and one even managed to vomit into his regulator, due to sea-sickness. Andrea became aware of something in the water as she ascended through it and at first thought she was witnessing a fish that had been shredded by a predator, before she was informed she had actually swam thorough a semi-digested fresh fruit lunch! On balance I suppose you have to consider its plus points as a hair conditioner!