I have done dolphin watching before, the kind where you see two dolphins in a blink it and you miss it kind of experience! Dolphin Watching In Muscat was on my itinerary in Oman too. It was a 8-9 am slot and I was wondering if it was too late in the day? I was invited to Oman by the Ministry of Tourism and the ground arrangements were made by Afaq Tours.
The captain of the boat was Mr. Ibrahim, he was quiet but navigated at a great speed. We went off to the open sea and kept going for good 30-40 minutes. I spotted a few birds far away from the shore. I wonder why they fly in so deep and how do they go back! I clicked this photo at the end of the trip, when I went to thank him. Our smiles are am indication of the kind of trip it was!
But going back to the experience, the captain reduced speed after what felt liked ages and invited us to the deck! And suddenly there were dolphins, jumping in the water all around us. Five boats were there to witness the spectacle at the deep sea!
For me photographing the moment is equally important as watching it. I didn’t know what to do, use my DSLR, use cell phone or make videos with the cell phone? In the end I made videos and grabbed still shots from it. I have a new phone too, Cool1 from Coolpad.
Wichever way you would turn there would be a dolphin jumping out of the water! There were boats being lead by the dolphins, they would literally keep jumping in front of it!But it didn’t happen in front of my boat.
As I said I have watched dolphins in Trincomalee Sri Lanka and Goa, India before. But I have never been to one of the captive dolphin shows in my life and I intend to keep it that way. I firmly believe that these gentle creatures are born to be free. It is a privilege to watch them in their natural habitat!
After a while the captain asked us to move back to our seats and increased the speed of the boat! We were headed back to the shore or so I thought.
Quite close to the shore the captain reduced the speed and invited us to the deck again! And this time the dolphins were all around my boat, jumping at random. I rarely ever post two minute video clips but this one is full of dolphins, this time leading our boat!
The water was so clear that I could see them before they surfaced! It was sheer magic! Abhishek Pathak from Afaq Tours said it was like we paid the dolphins to put up a show specially for us!
This is my most memorable dolphin watching experience till date! And I didn’t even associate dolphins with Muscat and Oman! I wonder if any destination would be able to beat this one? Time will tell …
My Srilanka trip was in June 2016. Sometimes I feel what I can remember about a trip after 4-5 months is actually what the trip was about! I hardly take any notes on my trips. I reconstruct them more through the pictures I click. But I clearly remember the day when I went Dolphin watching and to Pigeon Island in Trincomalee.
To go dolphin watching we had to get up really early. I had been up till late the night before because I was completing my Eastern Sri Lanka blog post so that it would be eligible for the awards! When the alarm went off in the morning at 5.00 am I wanted to flung the cell phone against the wall. But I got up somehow and went to our boat which would take us on the dolphin watching tour first.
Early on, I saw the Koneshwaram Shiva Temple in the middle of the sea! Even to my sleep filled eyes it looked worth exploring but we were not stopping there. Later while searching on the net I discovered that the temple has a fascinating history. It was destroyed in 1622 and the main idol were discovered in 1953 by Sir Arthur. C. Clarke on a scuba diving trip in the region! You can read more about it here.
The water was choppy that day. We were getting splashed from all sides in the boat! I think the water woke me up! After a while the leathery escaped. However, if I have too many tiring days in a row I do get scared because I might get an injury. My body was protesting for sure on that day.
And then there were dolphins, only there are no good pictures of the sighting in my camera. We must have traveled for 45 minutes in the choppy waters. Suddenly our boatman would point out at a spot and say dolphin and sure enough dolphins would surface out there!
To me it all looked like ocean water, I don’t know how he could spot where the dolphins were and point to the exact spot before they surfaced! And yet I could not click one good picture! Actually the best picture that I saw of the dolphins was taken by Himal, on his cell phone which I have embedded above!
After the dolphin watching adventure we were headed to the Pigeon Island. While going to the island the sea was less choppy.
Pigeon Island is a national park and some restrictions apply. For example, some members of our group wanted to fly their drone but the permission was denied. It is a coral island and the snorkeling is beautiful.
In fact it was here for the first time I realized that I wanted a camera that I could take underwater, the snorkeling was that beautiful. I thought I would go back and buy a GoPro. Later I won a GoPro at the awards night in Sri Lanka for a twitter contest!
Later when we headed back to our hotel, Trinco Blu, I realized I had forgotten the fatigue. But when I got an hour free in the afternoon after lunch, I spent it sleeping in my room instead of going to the pool! I must have been really tired in the end! And yet I remember the day fondly.
PS. I was part of the group of 60 international bloggers invited by the Cinnamon Hotels for the TBC Asia 2016.
I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!
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