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CAPTAIN’S LOG OMAN AGGRESSOR
CRUISE DATE: September 8, 2018- Spetember 15, 2018
ITINERARY: Daymaniyat’s Islands
HIGHLIGHTS: Leopard sharks, spearing mantis shrimp, jawfish, black spotted rays, point nose rays, kangaroo nudibranchs, spinner dolphins at the surface, cuttlefish
Avg Air Temp: 29-38 oC /84-100 oF
Avg Water Temp: 21-27oC /69-80 oF
Avg Visibility:5-20m /15-60feet
Avg Wind Speed:4-15 knots
Weather: CLEAR, hot and dry
GUESTS: Jon, Twila, Johannes, Renate, Paulo, Esther, Marco, Izzy, Paul L., Sam, Lucie, Thibaut, Jane, Mayumi, Ernie, Shiori, Clarice, Paul A., & Dina
DAY 1 – Saturday
It’s a sunny afternoon in beautiful, historic Muscat as 19 international divers are showing up for their weeklong adventure in Daymantiyat’s Islands. We would like to welcome our guests from United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico, Ireland, France, Australia, Canada, Japan, USA, Egypt, Switzerland, and Austria (What a combination!) to Oman Aggressor. After guests are greeted by our friendly crew and shown their cabins, we set up our dive gear and gather in the salon for the boat briefing. Chef prepares a fresh caught mackerel dinner, then we are off to bed dreaming of the adventures to come. Welcome aboard the Oman Aggressor.
DAY 2 – Sunday
Guests wake up to a colorful Omani sunrise and fresh brewed cappuccino as we prepare for our dives at Fahal Island. Just as the briefing was finished we were passed by a pod of about 25 spinner dolphins showing off their spinning skills at the surface! Starting at Fahal North as a check out dive, then moving over to Fahal Artificial Reef for dive two, we had an interesting and exciting morning. The sloping coral reef and coral gardens were teeming with fusiliers, pairs of butterflyfish, schooling longfin bannerfish, and a variety of nudibranchs ranging from microscopic to thumb size. Photographers had an opportunity to photograph a pair of honeycomb morays sharing a crevice in the coral head, also several squat shrimp peering out from a bubble anemone, an active black spotted ray, a zebra moray, and two juvenile crocodile fish who were cleverly camouflaged on the sandy sea floor. Next we head south to Decorator Bay for our last day dive, as well as our night dive. The night dive was full of excitement as divers got to spend time with a big, strange looking sea slug called Clumpy Dorid, different from any we had seen before, looks like a pancake, is pinkish brown, and slowly inches its way across the sandy bottom. Very interesting to look at. We were also graced by the presence of two small cuttle fish, and a variety of nocturnal echinoderms, mostly of the urchin and cucumber variety. After returning from the night dive and warming up with hot showers and warm towels, guests are ready for their dinner of perfectly seasoned beef filet and a chocolate marquise dessert. A perfect ending to a wonderful day of diving, then off to bed so we can do it again tomorrow!
DAY 3 – Monday
After a good night’s sleep at Bandar Kairan Island, we gear up for an incredible dive at Al Munassir Wreck. This vessel sunk in 2006 when it struck the reef and damaged the hull beyond repair. Divers enjoyed diving first the deepest part near the propellers at 30 meters, then winding their way in and out of the wreck as we slowly made our way to the surface. Back on the boat the Chef prepares omelets made to order right in front of the guests, as well as assorted fruits, waffles, and sausages. Next we head back up to Fahal Coral Garden where we were lucky enough to find two eagle rays and a cowtail ray, 3 adult cuttle fish, and a few beautiful nudibranchs. For the afternoon and night dive we head to Aquarium, one of our favorites spots. When first descending the visibility wasn’t looking so great, but to our luck when we reached 15 meters it was almost completely crystal clear and so full of life! We saw three huge pointed nose stingrays sleeping in the sand, a big grouper, a torpedo ray, two kangaroo nudibranchs, some friendly porcupine puffers, several pairs of cuttlefish and one very rare, special finding of a spearing mantis shrimp. We returned to the boat for a wonderful tuna steak dinner, drinks, then bed. Congratulations to Izzy and Renate for completing their 100th dives and happy birthday to Twila & Jon!
Day 4 – Tuesday
Good morning from Daymaniat’s Islands. Guests wake up with a hot cup of our locally harvested Omani coffee. We jump in at Aquarium and are amazed by the amount of fish life happening below the surface. Hundreds of yellow snapper and fusiliers were schooling above us as we made our way at depth along the edge of Aquarium. Pointed nose stingrays passed around us the entire dive, some up to 5 meters length and others only juvenile. Our German buddy team found a curious jawfish in the sand, peeping in and out of his burrow for the camera. Two Hawksbill turtles were munching away at the coral near the top and one double ended pipefish (about 40cm long) hovering in the sand, camouflaged to be looking something more like a stick. Next we dive at Sari Island and saw two leopard sharks sleeping in the sand, hundreds of schooling snapper, a couple of rays, and a hawksbill turtle. Back on board guests enjoyed an authentic Egyptian style lunch of paella rice, Korsheri, Moussaka, Konafa, and fresh baked fish. After a nice 2hour break, we headed by dinghy over to Junne’s Island to dive Junne West wall, where we saw ANOTHER two leopard sharks! We stayed here for the night dive which was very exciting, although most guests decided to stay behind to take advantage of the Jacuzzi and beverages. We finished off the night with made to order ribeye steaks topped with mushroom sauce and then an apple pie dessert. Another fantastic day in the beautiful Gulf of Oman. Sweet dreams everyone!
DAY 5 – Wednesday
Good morning from Daymaniyat’s Islands! Today we suit up at the usual time and dive in at Sari Island at a site called Mousetrap. The leopard sharks did not let us down today and at one point some of our divers were surrounded by five or six of them. Along the reef we also spotted a pair of reticulated filefish, a thorn-back trunkfish, a few citron gobies chilling on the staghorn coral, and several beautiful blue-tail trunk fish. Next we go to Junn Island via dinghy and roll in at Junn Center Wall, a beautiful wall dive where we saw two black spotted rays and a huge (2 meter across) Pointed Nose Ray. Amazing dive! We return to the boat for a hot lunch of Hungarian goulash soup, beef & spinach lasagna, hummus salad, chicken shish tawak, and zucchini with herbs, very delicious. After their meal, most guests decide to rest in their cabins or on the sundeck before the afternoon dive at Doc’s Wall. It is a nice drift dive where we saw hundreds of schooling catfish, which was awesome for video and photograph. The night dive was also very nice and divers got to see dozens of cuttlefish, cornetfish, and sardines.
DAY 6 – Thursday
It’s another beautiful morning in the Gulf of Oman as we gear up for our morning dive at Tito’s Run. We have many interesting underwater encounters including a huge purple jellyfish just hovering in the sand for our divers to take wonderful photos and video. We also found a juvenile and an adult crocodile fish side by side, a juvenile emperor angel fish, a grey moray eel, some nudibranchs, and several pairs of Arabian butterfly fishes. After breakfast, we jump in at Three Sisters where we encounter a variety of angelfish including yellowbar angelfish and Emperor angelfish. Inside the crevices we find schools of sweepers and golden cardinal fish. Towards the end we reach a cavern home to several nudibranchs, and some very large filefish. For lunch, Chef prepares avocado salad, molokheya, chicken curry, and rice pudding. After a nice, long afternoon break we gear up and jump in the dinghy to dive Police Island. Congratulations to Shiori for completing her 1,300th dive!! Guests opt to skip the night dive and instead spend time in the Jacuzzi and also playing games in the salon until our traditional turkey dinner complete with stuff peppers, baked potatoes, and salmon salad. Once we finish our dessert of fresh baked Omani tarte, we gather to watch our fantastic weekly video, then off to bed in anticipation of our final day at sea tomorrow.
DAY 7 – Friday
It’s a bittersweet morning on the dive deck as guests gear up for their final two dives of the week, and what a finale it was! Our last two dives at Aquarium were packed with action. We saw huge groupers, a marbled ray, double ended pipefish, schooling catfish, kangaroo nudibranch, Hawksbill turtles, three pointed nose rays, an eagle ray, a juvenile scorpion fish and three adults all different colors, and several Pharaoh cuttlefish, some of which were mating! On the safety stop we were surrounded by bat fish swimming only inches away from our masks, seemingly intrigued by our bubbles. Back on the boat, our guests relax with a hot lunch while crew washes their gear. We relax a for a couple hours as we head back to the harbor. In the evening we celebrate our week of diving with a cocktail party, then guests make their way to land for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. Thank you everyone for an amazing, unforgettable week on Oman Aggressor, we hope to see you again soon!
Your Oman Aggressor Crew.