Telegraph Island snorkellers’ delight

While Musandam is a geologists’ delight, it also attracts students of history, especially of telecommunication.
According to experts, this is where the Arabian Tectonic plate meets the Eurasian plate. The intricate fjords ensured water ways are the major means of transportation between some of the villages. It continues to be so.
When the tour operators take you for sightseeing, there is one island where they slow down the boats.
At first, Maqlab Island, popularly known as Telegraph Island, looks like any other islands that you have passed by while sailing in a dhow or motor boat.
But as the boat gets closer, you see the steps that lead to nowhere.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, Telegraph Island came into prominence in 1864. It was chosen as the location for a telegraph cable repeater station.
You can see the location where telegraph operators probably secured their boats. The steps remain steady and wide, but what’s left now are ruins leaving behind the traces of communication that was in practice those days and which stresses the importance of Strait of Hormuz.
According to historians, the island was abandoned in the 1870s. One of the reasons cited has been the summer heat.
But the island is gaining popularity. “It is one of the best spots to fish,” say the tour operators.
It has also been identified as one of the best places for snorkelling. The island is only 12 km west of Khasab, which is a popular destination throughout the year.
“The fish down there are very colourful. Snorkelling here is amazing,” said a tourist.

Lakshmi Kothaneth