Wednesday, May 31, 2023 | Dhu al-Qaadah 10, 1444 H
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Ocean of vocation


ENCOUNTERING morays, scorpion fish, nudibranchs, leopard sharks, black-blotched stingrays, octopus or ghost pipefish during a dive in Oman’s waters can be a thrilling experience.

Yes, the Sultanate is famous for its rich marine life and underwater world. A plunge into any of the diving sites can encounter countless rare fishes from whale sharks to bottlenose dolphins.

Diving in Oman was an interesting experience during the recent past few weeks for scuba divers and tourists who visited Extra Divers Qantab (EDQ).

For the divers and repeat visitors it was a sheer challenge despite challenging visibility and dark green colour of the water on the surface. Still they were able to chance upon some amazing encounters.

Says Barbara Alessi, diving instructor, manager, EDQ, the divers were lucky enough to spot octopus hiding in cracks and crevices, slender ghost pipefish blending into their surroundings at Al Fahal Island (Shark Island, north of PDO Club) and massive black-blotched fish.

The divers also saw ray fish taking naps on the sand while eagles soar through the water column.

“When we arrived and took our final breaths on the surface, this area has not stopped amazing us either. With feathertail stingray frolicking in the sand looking for a snack, or bent stick and network pipefish poking their heads out of holes in the rocks or cuttlefish flash their psychedelic colours. There is never a dull moment diving with Extra Divers Qantab,” she says excitedly.

EDQ runs daily dolphin and snorkelling trips as well as combination tours and is eager to bring in more tourists and divers to experience Oman’s waters.

Their diving boats go twice a day where they dive either at Bandar Kyran or Fahal Island depending on weather conditions as well and Dimaniyat Islands once a month while night drives depend upon request.

Jessica and her friend who visited EDQ for the first time underwent an Open Water Diving certification.

The couple spent the first day in the dock area practicing skills and the second and third days in the open water diving from the boat (in mermaid cove, seahorse bay and Fahal Island).

“There were beautiful coral reefs, fish, turtles, a ray and an amazing experience with a school of circling Barracuda! I would definitely recommend this dive centre and would be back 100 per cent to dive or do other courses,” she says.

Barbara says all trips with Extra Divers Qantab are fun, and invites amateurs and others to come and experience the wonders and undergo an exciting adventure together.

“However, the fun still has not stopped. Our guests have spotted hundreds of dolphins playing on the surface almost every morning, and as for snorkelers, not only did they get lucky enough to swim alongside turtles, but one group was extremely lucky to see a whale shark during their trip,” she explains.

Graham and his wife visited EDQ to undergo the Open Water Diving certification. Their first day was at the marina practicing skills and the second and third in open water from the boat. They were able to spot coral reefs, fish and sharks! On their return journey to the marina on the third day, two schools of dolphins crossed the path of their boat.

EDQ has also other important dive centres located in Sifah, Daba, Mirbat and Salalah.

Their dive-live aboard-vessel is also exploring the south coast (Halaniyat Islands) and north coast (Dimaniyat Islands and Musandam Governorate) during different times of the year.

Scuba divers and instructors, world travellers and boat skippers say the ocean is their vocation.

Their choice of Oman is due to its unpredictable marine condition, surprising underwater encounters and a relaxed lifestyle and high quality level of living.

So if you plan to undertake underwater adventure, visit Extra Divers Qantab, where trained instructors will be at hand to help.

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