Monday, September 25, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 9, 1445 H
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Swimming with Sharks!


SWIMMING along the Daymaniyat Islands with whale sharks for company can be fun. That’s what Nathalie, an entrepreneur from New York City, experienced during her visit to the Sultanate. On her bucket list for long, Nathalie made it a point to travel during the annual whale shark season from September to November. Nathalie admits this was her best moment during her short visit while swimming along the protected area of Daymaniyat Islands.

Nathalie, an entrepreneur from New York City, shares her experience of swimming with majestic creatures at Daymaniyat Islands[/caption]

This is the time when whale shark (‘glorious giants’) and their pups migrate south to the warmer waters of the southern hemisphere. She had an amazing experience swimming along with the majestic creatures.

Nathalie got absolutely lucky during her swim as she ran into five of them and being in a little group was able to swim with one of them for a while.

“It was exciting to be near such an enormous animal. I tried to swim carefully and quietly to match its calm disposition. It was so magical being just the two of us together in the sea and truly a magnificent experience. This was one of the most impressive experiences,” she recollects.

Despite its size, the whale shark does not pose any danger to humans. They are docile fish and sometimes allow swimmers to catch a ride, which impressed Natalie no end.

After 30 minutes of hopeful searching for the majestic creatures, they finally appeared in the silky waters. The milk fish and sea serpents also made for exciting company, she adds.

“We had the opportunity to swim and connect with the whale sharks in a way I never thought was possible. It was by far one of the most wonderful experiences of my life which I hope to do again in the near future,” she says.

She approached the whale shark from the side and for the best view, swam alongside the shark near its pectoral fins.

Whale sharks however, have very large mouths and are filter feeders. They feed almost exclusively on plankton and small fishes, and pose no threat to humans.

Nathalie was mesmerised with what she saw during her brief five nights stay in the Sultanate.

Towards the end, she became addicted to local cuisines with lots of beautiful spices and flavours.

She was surrounded by smells that were foreign which quickly became addictive with scenes of magical lights and an ambiance to remember.

She was accompanied during her trip to Muscat by Benjamin Brey, her husband.

The couple explored the rich history of Oman through tales of inspiring leaders and buildings that represented the change and growth of the country.

“I was also especially excited to be visiting during October because I knew it was the whale shark season. Our trip to the Daymaniyat Islands was surely one of the greatest highlights of the trip.”

Desert experience at Rimal al Sharqiya was another highlight from the trip. She fell in love for the vastness and beauty of the desert.

Camels kept her cool and had a well-deserved rest among them. She enjoyed the rolling desert dunes and beautiful scenes like this were around every corner. Waves of sand as far as the eye can see on a clear day, she mentions.

“It was a thrill watching the sunrise together and some truly unforgettable times with good friends. ‘Priceless,” was how she put it.

The captivating rhythm of the desert, the big smiles of the camels enthused her to stay on for a longer time.

“How impressive, yet subtle and quiet it was. The stars glittered in the sky and the softness of the land was humbling,” she adds.

Nathalie admits Oman is impressive and feels like a secret you want to keep to yourself.

The beautiful architecture and kind people who take the time to look you in the eye to ask how you are whenever you meet. The delicious food and elegant atmosphere, she mentions that she was not prepared for how much she would enjoy Oman, although Kevin tried to inform her.

Nathalie looks forward to coming back soon by April as she knows there is so much more to see and do.

As a pop singer, Nathalie has sizzled innumerable fans from all over the world under her artistic name Telihana, having performed in Europe, Asia, Australia and the US.

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