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SCUBA-L  May 1999, Week 1

SCUBA-L May 1999, Week 1

Subject:

Re: Diving the Arabian Peninsula (was Re: What is the diving like in Sydney?)

From:

"Hewitt, Paul" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Scuba diving discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 4 May 1999 11:05:05 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (178 lines)

-----Original Message-----
From: Hanna Steplewska [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 1999 10:37 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list SCUBA-L
Subject: Diving the Arabian Peninsula (was Re: What is the diving like
in Sydney?)
 
 
"Reef Fish (Large Nassau Grouper)" wrote:
 
> At 07:41 PM 5/3/99 +0400, Hanna Steplewska wrote:
> >Paul, Monk and all you fellow wwws - Come and live here in the Emirates!
Our
> >water temp is rarely below 25 degrees -
>
> Brrrrrr ... shaking uncontrollably!
 
Midwinter for us... could be a lot wwwworse :-)
 
> >in the summer the water's a balmy 32 degrees,
>
> You call that "balmy"?   :-)   34C, perhaps.  Even then, it gets
> COLD by the 4th and 5th dive of the day.  :-))
 
Aren't the 4th and 5th dives of the day what Semi-dry wetsuits are for????
<G>
 
 
Paul:
call me a (m)UK diver, but . . . . last year in Thailand I was diving in a
swimsuit +BCD
in 31 degrees water.  And using a 6.5mm one piece semi (no hood) in 17
degrees last September
in Plymouth.  However, before anybody gets the wrong idea ; I LOVE warm
clear water, it's just
that the local dive-spots aren't warm or clear <SIGH>
 
Having read this email, I'll have to look into this Gulf diving lark.  I
didn't realise
recreational beer drinking was available there . . . . . sounds close to
diver-heaven.  I've been
on a couple of Wreck diving trips to the Red Sea lately - marvellous.
 
 
> >the air's a scorching 40-something
>
> It's that in Las Vegas now.  :-)   Not far behind here.  You have
> air-conditioning in Emirates?   O)
 
Iin the Muslim calendar 1999 is 1420, so for  the Middle Ages we are really
quite
advanced in this part of the world - only the dive boat is "naturally air
conditioned" <G>
 
> >and there's nothing but fish,
> >turtles, snakes, sharks, dolphins, rays and coral for miles....
>
> Wot?   No whales?
 
I've heard of whale sightings here including Blue whales, but haven't seen
one
yet...You can be sure SCUBA-L will hear about it if I do... <WG>
 
> >often no-one
> >else at the dive sites....been diving every week-end since the New
> Year....don't
> >own a dry-suit....
>        ^^^^^^^^
> I hope not!
 
Banish the thought!
 
> >Need I say more?
>
> Yes!   :-)
 
OK you asked for it. I'm based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (not the
hotbed of
Islam fundamentalism you're led to believe it is - but that's another
post!),
which means I have the choice of diving in the Arabian Gulf (on my doorstep)
or
the Gulf of Oman (90 mins' drive away) every weekend - how spoilt am I???!!!
 
I do most of my diving off the east coast of the Mussandam Peninsula, which
is at
the tip of the Arabian Peninsula (!), right by the Straits of Hormuz. The
area is
beautiful, and totally unspooilt. The whole Mussandam is mountainous (up to
4000m
asl), reddish-brown rock plunging straight down into the very blue sea. The
Peninsula is almost uninhabited; the only settlements on the east side are a
few
Omani fishing villages (the Mussandam is part of Oman, although not
connected by
land) which are only accessible by boat. The only visitors to these waters
are
the Omani fishermen, who fish for their families from tiny boats that look
as if
they would sink given half the chance, and us divers. The tankers moving
through
the Straits are so far away we never see them. Occasionally a sea falcon
will
swoop past the boat, catch a fish and fly away.
 
Underwater, the reefs are stunning; fan coral, soft coral, (more coral than
I can
name at present!) - we regularly see most fish you'd expect to see in the
Maldives or Seychelles, maybe a little smaller, but they're here. There are
leatherback and green turtles, since they nest on the beaches of Oman,
further
down the coast, so we often see babies as well as huge adults. Nurse sharks
are
frequent companions, as are various reef sharks; in the summer months we get
Hammerheads schooling up around Khasab (on the West coast of the Mussandam)
and
Whale sharks are virtually guaranteed on the dives out of Khasab June-Sept.
Dolphins, of course, whales (I'm told), sea snakes, barreling barracuda,
tuna,
jacks, sting rays, guitar fishes, devil rays...the list goes on.
 
The vis. can be a poor 3-4metres in winter, but in summer it's known to be
as
good as 30 metres or more. The currents can be etremely strong, especially
up in
Khasab, but the dive operators know the area very well and are very well
equipped, experienced and prepared.
 
There are also quite a few wrecks over in the Arabian Gulf proper, off Dubai
and
Abu Dhabi especially - passenger ships, cement barges, transport ships,
munitions
ships, that we know of -  there's also plenty of undocumented dhows which
sank in
the past and divers keep uncovering. The mangroves off Abu Dhabi are also
home to
the world's second-largest dugong population - pretty hard to get diving
permits
there, but well worth it!
 
All in all, the area is unspoilt and as yet not overdived. It is very
unusual for
us to see another dive boat all day on the east coast, especially once we
cruise
past Lima Rock and go into Khor Habalayn at the top of the Peninsula...
 
I think I'll stop now before I really annnoy everyone with all this
bragging..
<G>
 
> >Oh yes, and the salaries here are tax-free...
>
> You mean you have to w**k there?
 
Unfortunately. Or at least look as if you're w**king. It pays for my diving.
And
stops the satellites from dropping into the sea.
 
> >...And the beer's cheap <G>!
>
> ... And hoss-p*ss is free <BG>!
 
Bob, what are you saying???!!! We have nothing but the finest draft Stella
Artois, Miller Draft, Heineken, Fosters, Guinness, Coors, Budweiser,
Carlsberg,
Kilkenny, XXXX, John Smiths..... better stop now, I'm showing my true
colours <G>
 
>
> You're on the right track though, Hanna.   I hereby declare you
> a wwwn (www Newbie)!   FUC 6.1.
>
> -- Bob.    NED VP on WWW Certification and Grades.
 
Sir, I'm honoured. Thank you.
 
Hanna wwwn FUC 6.1 right back at ya!

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