Bec and I had one last emirate eluding us…Fujairah…and fortunately, our friends invited us to join them for a weekend on the Gulf of Oman coast. So on the evening of Thursday, March 12th we set out from the Abu Dhabi Corniche. Most of our drive through the UAE’s scenic Hajar Mountains was in the dark, but we would have the drive back on Saturday to catch the views. We arrived around 9:00 pm and had a nice dinner before heading to bed.
The next morning, we learned that the UAE Coast Guard had canceled all diving that day due to the tail end of a storm causing rough water. However, I had a refresher course lined up that morning to renew my dive skills in the hotel pool as it had been 3 years (almost to the day) that I had ventured into the watery depths. Once again a certified PADI diver, we had lunch on the beach’s terrace restaurant and relaxed by the pool. With the afternoon dive off of the books, we decided to check out the Portuguese watch tower and old mosque. Back at the hotel, we enjoyed an amazing Arabian BBQ on the beach.
The next morning, the Coast Guard gave the green light and we set out around 10:00 am for our dive. Bec wouldn’t be diving with us but she assured us that she’d be quite content ashore. The boat took us about 15 minutes up the coast to a site called Dibba Rock. We circumnavigated the site in about 45 minutes and this was the first time I saw moray eels and jawfish along with a cast of parrot fish, clown fish, lion fish, pipe fish (a cousin to seahorses), puffers, and even a torpedo ray. Back on shore, I found Rebecca soaking up the rays in a lounger and it was easy to join her for a short break. We soon headed back out on the boat for our second dive to a nearby site called Three Rocks (aren’t dive site names so inventive?). This time we spotted a Hawksbill turtle using a table coral to scratch the algae off his back. He was so nonchalant as he casually watched us during the scratch.
With 2 dives complete, we loaded up and set the GPS for good old Abu Dhabi.