April 26th, 2014
We woke up to a different world after two days at sea. The arid and rocky Western Al Hajar Mountains dominate the landscape of Muscat.
The city lies on the Arabian Sea along the Gulf of Oman. All the buildings are low, new, neat, and beige accented with the beautiful green of date palms and lawns (thanks to an effective desalinization project). Potable water is trucked in from the valleys in the interior of the country.
We decided to go on more of an adventure-excursion. We were tired of bus rides and tired of the heat. We boarded a motor boat and traveled about 2 miles off the coast to look for spinner dolphins. The spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) is a small dolphin found in off-shore tropical waters around the world. It is famous for its acrobatic displays in which it spins along its longitudinal axis as it leaps through the air. They put on quite a show! Pods of about 60 dolphins, swimming, leaping in unison, and shooting up vertically and spinning.
We then went snorkeling in one of the secluded rock islands. Beautiful fish in blues and yellows and purples - all shapes and sizes.
We returned to the ship with the intention of visiting a souk, but it was closed for siesta from 1-4 and we had to be back on board at 3:30. Anyway, it was already beyond 100 degrees...dry heat in contrast to humid India. But, heat is heat and the decision is whether you prefer to be baked or boiled!
This is the Sultan's yacht that is moored in the harbor!