Wednesday morning was another chilled one besides the fact that we were awake and ready and down at breakfast by 8am! We had a leisurely breakfast and then returned to our room to brush our teeth and get ourselves ready for our Dhow Cruise. So we “sunscreened” ourselves head to toe and put our costumes on underneath our clothes. We packed a small bag with sarongs, cameras, towels, etc and headed down to the lobby at 9:30 as we were being fetched and taken to the harbour where the cruise would depart.
We arrived at the harbour in about 10 minutes and our tour guide informed us we were waiting for another 20 odd German tourists who had been collected from their hotels in Dubai (about a 3-4 hour drive so they must have been fetched super early). So we busied ourselves taking a few pics before making ourselves comfy on the boat.
The other passengers finally arrived and our tour guide handed us each a piece of paper mapping the cruise we would be doing. We were also told that we would be stopping at Telegraph Island to snorkel and then again at Seebi Island.
We passed many small villages on the way to our first snorkelling spot. And they were quite difficult to spot considering the houses blend in so well with the mountainside. These villages are only accessed by boat and so each family has a speedboat in order to get to the “main land” for school or shopping. We were told that the largest village has about 100 people. Another interesting bit of info is that water and electricity/gas is provided by the government to each of the villages.
Our first snorkelling spot was at Telegraph Island. For a short time in 1865, this island was a manned land station when the telegraphy line to India was built. This island has a diameter of about 150 meters and was home to several British men during this time. The phrase “going round the bend” originated from this island as not all of its inhabitants could cope with the isolation.
We snorkelled for about an hour here before getting back onto the boat. We had a yummy lunch of flat breads, humus, chicken and rice before heading to our next snorkelling spot at Seebi Island. The island marks the end of the fjord and is secluded so it was perfect for a swim and some snorkelling.
On an aside… We met a wonderful Australian guy while on the cruise that ended up spending the day in our company – snorkelling with us, sitting and chatting with us, eating with us, etc. At both snorkelling spots, the three of us were the last to get out, and this provided us with many a chuckle and giggle at the other passengers. I’m not quite sure why the ladies did what they did or why it was necessary but it was funny nevertheless. There were 2 rather round ladies who decided they needed to change out of their costumes after the first snorkelling spot. They started off with a teeny tiny towel around themselves as they shimmied out of their full piece costumes. It became quite interesting when they decided to bend over. And at that point I told my mom and Jake to turn around and look at the scenery. The ladies performed the same procedure after the second snorkelling spot only this time we saw less bottom and more boob. Although it was funny for us, I couldn’t help feeling uneasy for the Omani guys on the boat…
Back to the trip. I had to include these pics as evidence that my hair is curly. My mom was ecstatic when she put snorkelling and my straight hair together and realised it would result in my hair getting wet and my curls being let loose. It had been so long since I had worn my hair curly that for a moment I thought I had GHD’d my hair permanently straight.
The best part of the cruise was seeing three separate schools of dolphins playing in the waves made by the boat. I had wanted to upload a video I had taken but it was just too large to imbed. So I hope these pics will do!
We arrived back at the harbour around 4pm and awaited our transfer back to the hotel. And once we were safely back at the hotel, we made our way to the pool to cool off. We spent the rest of the afternoon chilling in our room as it had been a fun but exhausting day.
Once my red-from-the-heat face had returned to normal and we had rested and cooled off enough, we headed into Khasab to see the Khasab Castle and to find some place exciting to eat. (All Khasab Castle pics will be posted in Day 6 as the castle wasn’t open when we went.) After taking pics of the exterior of the castle, we took a drive through the town and found a small restaurant to have dinner. The restaurant must be used by local workers as there were no patrons when we arrived. And we agreed that they must have decided to stay open when they saw us arrive. We ordered a local fish “sheri” to share and it was grilled and served with the usual salads and flat breads. It was a yummy dinner that was made all the more special because it was local and I experienced it with my mom.
*Day 6′s adventure to come soon…
Hugs & Kisses