The feeling of being in a beautiful country, exploring it with two fellow bloggers and being hosted by Tourism of Sultanate of Oman was exhilarating for me. I guess this was the reason why I sat upright and awake at five in my hotel room in Radisson Blu in Muscat. It was the second day of my prize winning trip and I was in a happy state of mind. To add to the excitement, the itinerary for the day too seemed quite promising. We were supposed to go dolphin watching at the Marina Bandar. This was something I had never done before and thus I was looking forward to it eagerly. Usually water activities make me jittery because I aren’t a swimmer but the blue-green crystal colored water of Oman had already made me fall in love with it. I wanted to experience it more closely.
Our guide had already told us if we wanted to see the delightful creatures in real, the day had to start early. So by seven thirty in the morning we (the three bloggers) along with the driver cum guide were on the road to head for Marina Bandar Al Rowdha. We did not know that on the way we would be feasting our eyes on the beautiful landscapes, craggy mountains and picturesque settings that eastern side of Muscat has to offer. It was all so serene and peaceful. Further more, the marina is situated midway between Al-Alam palace and Al Bustan palace hotel, just beside Sidab the fishing village. The picture below lets you see the lovely setting it has, no less than a fancy, premium dock housing colorful boats, cruisers, yacht, dhows, charter boats etc. More, it has a fully equipped marine workshop and a licensed restaurant to its name too. The sight of zillions of charted boats standing in order looks really beautiful.
Whales and dolphins inhabit Oman’s long and varied coastline. Gladly, one does not need to go far, dolphins can be spotted in the azure waters of Muscat at the Marina Bandar and thats in the city. On reaching there once you book your tickets at the counter at the entrance, you just got to wait for more passengers so that the boat reaches its full capacity. And this doesn’t take time, believe me. The moment it happens, you are signaled to move towards your boat. Its fun to walk along the whole setting and locate your ride that promises a great show ahead. As far as weather is concerned, its mostly scorching sun in Oman. In the last week of October, it was a hot and sunny day for us too.
As the boat picked on speed, the gushes of wind came as a soothing respite to the body. In the lap of nature, I smiled to myself ear to ear. The bloggers with me Aseem and Mithun too were having a great time. As the boat moved further, the natural beauty of Muscat took us all in captivation. I was left gasping and wondering how colors like green, brown and blue had painted the desert so beautifully.
And just then someone saw a glimpse of them. Contrasting to the water in white, we saw something in black emerge over the blue surface showing a little bit of maybe the nose first and then the fin. Everyone in the boat cabin shrieked in delight. It was a baby dolphin. But before we could breathe in the beautiful sight, they gracefully disappeared. They were so quick to vanish that capturing them in camera, handy-cam or mobile was out of question. All of us kept our eyes fixed in the direction where they first appeared but they chose to play hide and seek for long. We waited, fingers crossed because it was also said that many a times you may return without spotting much activity.
While I was looking here and there, the two young girls on our boat squeaked in delight, Dolphins-— they are there!
And we all turned our gazes to the side where their little fingers pointed.
They came in a bunch, a group of ten or maybe more were just there. Delightfully, some of us shifted to another side and suddenly the cabin cruiser/boat began to dis-balance. Instantly we maintained it. Our happiness knew no bound. It was a sight of pure joy to see those cute little dolphins hop in and out of the blue pristine waters. It seemed no less than a spectacle to see them gallop, play alongside the boat. The sight was mesmerizing. Just then there were too many around us on both the sides. In fact they gave us enough time to photograph them too. Memories were captured and like a kid, I kept walking around the charted boat not to miss any of their glimpses. The lovely dolphins made my day absolutely!
To sum up the visit to Marina Bandar, I would say we had a thrilling, adventurous time spotting number of spinners, bottle nose dolphins frolicking all around our boat. It was one lucky day and thankfully our boat took a route that got us to see lot of action. We did not mind missing on the whales as more than hundred dolphins kept us thoroughly entertained. For whales, its said that they are occasional visitors to Muscat’s waters. The fun doesn’t end with this. After dolphin spotting, as a ritual the boat takes you around through the most picturesque sites of Omani coast line and one gets to feast eye on Oman’s beautiful rocks and mountain structures.
After two hours of zestful ride, we returned to the bandar as happy and satisfied people. Oman gave me a thrilling experience of my life and I thoroughly enjoyed Dolphin watching activity off Oman’s coast. The video above captures one of my many Arabian experience. Dolphin watching boat trip is a must do in Oman. If you have been to Oman, let me know what all you did there and if you looking forward to it, maybe I can be of help to you. Waiting to hear from you.
P.S. Muscat definitely has a fascination for dolphins because later I also came to know that there is a residential resort community named ‘Dolphin Village’ located in the heart of the fast growing Bausher area of Muscat.