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Diving in Muscat - trip report

Discussion in 'The Gulf' started by diveUAE, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. diveUAE

    diveUAE Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Abu Dhabi
    207
    127
    43
    As UAE National days meant 4 days off, we decided to head over to Muscat for some diving, just wanted to post a review here about the conditions of especially Daymaniyat Islands. Might be helpful to others:)

    We were a group of 8 divers - AOW-Instructor level, on our first 2 days we were alone as a group, on the last day 5 other divers and 3 snorkelers joined us (very crowded on the boat). All dives were booked with Omanta dive center. Their boat leaves from the Waves Marina - meaning: no easy access to changing facilities or toilets and you have to cover shoulders/knees (women) while in the marina. Would rather dive from a resort.... On top of this, they were late on 2 out of 3 days diving, so will find someone else, next time we go.

    The weather was fantastic: sea was the calmest I've ever seen, lots of sun, I was a bit cold, when you get out of the water, but not too bad. Water temperature 25-26 C - some in the group was diving without any suit, I was surprised, that my rash and shortie along with a hood was enough for me.

    Viz: In general good to very good - certainly better, than in the UAE.

    Dive sites: Daymaniyat islands: Police Run and Coral Gardens, dusk/night and night dive. Mostly dead corals, not a lot of fish although I did manage to find a small frog fish (that I lost in my triumph, trying to get my husband (buddy) to see it, I must have drifted off), and Coral Gardens had the largest amount of little coral crabs (porcelain crabs) I've ever seen, along with tiny lobsters.

    Jun Island: morning and early noon dives: Doc's wall and Gargoyle cliff - beautiful reef! Lots of colorful corals, an abundance of fishes, rays and nudies, so much to see, loved this place!

    Fahal island: morning and early noon dives: Burgur Reef and Fahal Island (on the "back side" starting from the lagoon) First one was utterly boring (could have been good, but we had been told, the first dive site would be a deep dive to 40 m to possible see sharks, and the dive guide did not do any briefing to tell us, they changed the dive site, so we ended up trying to find the 40 m, very confused) but the dive from the lagoon was amazing! Beautiful corals, teeming with life including some small yellow fish with a white stripe, that I have never seen before, on almost every coral (one of the other divers told me it's a guppy, but I've not been able to find any pictures to confirm), rays, nudies etc.

    All in all: if you go to Muscat, maybe focus on Jun and Fahal Islands before Daymaniyat.
     
  2. Azbuceadora

    Azbuceadora Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Muscat
    50
    10
    8
    Thanks for posting; brought back many wonderful memories of my life in Muscat. I dove many times with Omanta when it was under the previous owner/manager and the boat was at the Bandar Marina in the opposite direction. It was an excellent op then, very customer-focused on giving you a great day of diving. You are made of stouter stuff than I; I did not dive Dec-Feb, even with a 5mm suit, beanie, and booties. Sorry to hear about the dead corals at Damaniyats; they were in good shape when I was there (Omanta arranged for an overnight liveaboard one time).
     
    chillyinCanada and diveUAE like this.
  3. Searcaigh

    Searcaigh Chromodoris gordonii Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Dubai, UAE
    5,590
    4,239
    113
    Sorry to hear that your experience in Oman did not live up to your expectations.

    I normally dive with Oman Sail and Dive from Mussanah, an hour out of Muscat so much closer to Dubai / Buraimi.

    We were last diving the Damaniyats mid August and I have to say that on the whole the coral was in reasonably good condition.

    However, I did come across 14 Crown of Thorns on Waleed Jun, and my daughter counted 21. This was reported to the dive centre and the staff there mentioned that they have been reporting this to the ministry responsible for fisheries.

    I have to say that Omanta's website leaves a lot to be desired

    SCUBA DIVING AT DAYMANIYATE ISLANDS | Omanta Scuba

    Grab a wet suit, strap on the oxygen tanks, and dive into the waters for an amazing scuba diving adventure in Daymaniyat Islands Oman!

    I hope your next trip to these islands is much better.
     
    Diving Dubai and chillyinCanada like this.
  4. RainPilot

    RainPilot CCR Instructor Staff Member

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: UAE
    4,079
    3,731
    113
    They may have meant "Goby" if it was perched on corals, that or a type of Blennie.
     
  5. Searcaigh

    Searcaigh Chromodoris gordonii Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Dubai, UAE
    5,590
    4,239
    113
    Most likely a Citron Goby, I have seen lots of them there in the acropora corals.

    Citron Goby - Bing images
     
    RainPilot likes this.
  6. jdevic

    jdevic Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Toronto
    98
    15
    8
    thanks for the review. I am heading to Muscat in mid March for a land-based tour around Oman. I have a full free day on arrival and was thinking about doing a 2 tank day dive immediately after landing. I wanted to go to Daymaniyat, but it seems it may not be worth it.

    I initially thought about contacting Omanta because I will land from LHR at 7am and they are close to the airport according to google maps. Now it seems i'd better find another shop.
     
  7. diveUAE

    diveUAE Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Abu Dhabi
    207
    127
    43
    Jdevic:
    I’m sorry, if I made it sound like Daymaniyat is not worth visiting- it’s a big area and the 2 dive sites chosen for us (and for the time of day) was not interesting - other places/time of year and day may be much better:) Also both jun and fahal were great, so you can always ask for them.

    However I would look for another dive operator.

    Searcaigh: will look at Oman Sail next time; how long time does it take from there to Daymaniyats? And spot on with the Citron Goby - thanks!
     
  8. Searcaigh

    Searcaigh Chromodoris gordonii Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Dubai, UAE
    5,590
    4,239
    113
    Around 35-40 mins depending on weather conditions. 60 mins to the "Aquarium" which is the furthest south.
     
  9. Boncel

    Boncel Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Switzerland
    25
    2
    3
    How cold did it get down deep? I am not sure what wetsuit to bring since the surface water temps are teetering around the 3mm range. But the last time I was in Bali we hit the thermocline and it got cold, so I was thinking of brining a 5mm no hood no gloves. Will be there Feb. the 16th through the 24th. Doing deep dives with some wreck weather permitting.
     
  10. diveUAE

    diveUAE Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Abu Dhabi
    207
    127
    43
    Yes, we were cold in Bali as well:) Especially at ‘Manta Point’. For February in Oman it makes sense to bring a 5 mm and hoodie- the water might be cold, but the sail will be even colder, so maybe bring a jacket.
     

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