Scuba Diving Musandam (Oman): We Saw Leopard Shark!

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Maybe another Piscean trait of mine but I love fish watching. No, not endless staring in front of a fish tank, which is often a sad and contrived environment anyway. But actually going out into the ocean and watching them in their natural habitats. Yes, I heart scuba diving.

Scotch has his birds, I have my fish. And my favorite fish of all time is the smooth trunk fish. Here is the little rascal photographed on my 2003 Bonaire trip:

smooth trunkfish

This little trunk fish is seen on nearly every dive in the Caribbean. It frustrates Scotch to no end that as soon as I spot one, I follow it around and take incessant photos while our dive group drifts further and further away from us.

Last Friday, Donald and I went to the Musandam (in Oman) for some diving. No smooth trunk fish there as it is not indigenous to the Arabian sea, but I did see its cousin, the Bluetail Boxfish:


This dive trip was Scotch’s Christmas present to me and the first time either of us had dived since October 2004. We went out with the Pavilion Dive Centre at Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

Since we were doing a day trip, we got up at 4:30am to meet the dive shuttle at 5:30am. Slept most of the 2-hour drive to Dibba port. When we arrived in Dibba, technically we were not entering Oman, so there were no immigration controls, just a vehicle check for contraband or who-knows-what. The drive to Dibba was pretty cool – we left the flat Dubai desert behind and entered the Hajar mountain range:

Musandam Dhow Cruise
Musandam Dhow Cruise

At Dibba, we embarked on a spacious Dhow (like the one in the photo above), motored into Omani waters, had breakfast, went for our first dive (woo-hoo!), then had lunch (spaghetti bolognese and also a curry chicken), and then off to our 2nd dive where we spotted our first (of many) lion fish:


And also our first leopard shark:

leopard shark

Then back to Dibba port to board the bus back to Dubai. I slept most of the way again and arrived home about 8:30pm. All in all, a great day of diving!



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  1. Sandy, I get a similar thrill from snorkeling… and like you, I will follow a fish for a long time trying to get a good photo. I am also planning a snorkel story for my blog.

  2. hey sandy, those pics are gorgeous! what are you using to protect your camera while underwater? i’ve gone on a couple of dives before and would really love to photograph them…