Big surprise at work Wednesday Aug 31. Two significant events, the new brigadier commander of our college undertook an inspection, and it was the last day of the month, also known as salary day in UAE. The result, everyone was granted the next day off Thursday, happy surprise long weekend, and thanks commander.
Bobbi and I were already planning to drive up to Dibba after work on Thursday and stay at Alia Suites on the coast, the better to be at the border at 8 a.m. to cross into Dibba Musandam and dive with Nomad Ocean Adventure there. But we decided to bring our departure forward a few hours and get in a late afternoon dive Thursday with Nomad Fujairah before checking in at Alia Suites.
It was a great day for a dive. The heat knife is coming off the edge of summer, weather is pleasant, water temperatures still warm, 27 degrees at the worst (centigrade) often warmer. We were the only customers that afternoon, so Kyle and Jess just arranged the boat and Bobbi and I were the only ones on Dibba Rock that afternoon. Diving was very relaxed and lasted over an hour at shallow depths.
Kelly Harris drove up from Abu Dhabi and met us at the border at 8 a.m. Friday morning and we crossed over to dive at Nomad Ocean Adventure Musandam that day. Brendan was our boat guide and he left it to me to choose the sites. There were a group of Japanese doing a deep dive specialty. They were looking for 40 meters so we did our first dive on Lima Rock. There was no current to speak of and we had no trouble getting out to the point and crawling all over it. No current meant that no big creatures were lurking there, but it was still a nice dive, water fairly clear and nice and warm.
The sea was slightly rough with swells rolling from the east. They had forced our diving on the north side of Lima Rock, and they precluded our diving Octopus Rock, which we were thinking to do. They made the north side of Ras Morovi rough as well so we went to the south side to the cove that is protected from the direction of the waves. Here we had a lovely dive. There were crayfish at home in the ledge at 9 meters, and I found us a nice leopard ray in the saddle. From there I turned south to find the hidden reef, which we rounded and returned up the top to avoid deco. It was covered with black coral and teeming with fish. On our way to the grotto we encountered a turtle, and other game you can see in the video.
Kelly and Bobbi and I crossed the border that evening for a second night at Alia Suites, all set to dive next morning at Nomad Fujairah. Kelly had never been on the Inchcape before so we all went there. She and Bobbi and I were the only divers on the boat, apart from Kyle Schoonraad, who came along to point out the seahorse he had seen the day before. We also were first on the wreck so had it to ourselves the first few minutes, though we were joined by a dozen divers and surfaced to find boats daisy chained back from the mooring line. It was a lovely dive, good vis, not cold, with free swimming honeycomb morays nestled in with the teddy soft coral, picturesque lion fish, a pair of puffers, a scorpion fish, and of course the sea horse which we saw just after descent, pointed out by Kyle practicing trim with his perfectly balanced twin sidemounts. The video is here
Karen Drest had found out about our trip via our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/froglegs/ and drove down from Al Ain to join us on our second dive of the day on Dibba Rock. Vis was good. We found some flounders and lots of morays. We cut up the gap to the west of the rock and worked up current across the shallows coming out right on the old mooring line and from there easily found the sand flats where there were several active rays, which we captured at the end of our video.
Please view these videos using highest HD setting on YouTube