Back to the Middle East
As you read this column, I will have just returned from an assignment to the Sultanate of Oman. Even though I travel for work regularly in this country and abroad, and enjoy all of my trips regardless of where they are to, I was particularly looking forward to this one, as it would represent the first time I had been out to Oman since way back in 2000. I was enamoured with the desert country on my initial visit, succumbing to the allure of the barren mountains, dramatic wadis and inviting coastline, but at that time it was still relatively unknown on the diving scene and we felt just a hint of that pioneering spirit that the first divers into the Red Sea must have felt. How things change. Now Oman has a thriving tourist trade, but it is still not that widely spoken of in the diving world. I reckon this is because everyone who goes falls in love with the place and doesn’t want to share it with anyone else, which means I will probably get lynched when my first article extoling the virtues of Oman appears in next month’s issue! So use my adventures to serve as an incentive for you to tag on a repeat visit to somewhere you have ventured to in the past among your upcoming dive trips. It doesn’t have to be abroad - there are plenty of great diving locations in the UK that you must have frequented once or twice but haven’t been back to in an age. I love exploring new destinations, but there is something special about returning to an old favourite and getting reacquainted... On the new experience front, I finally got up to the Farne Islands to dive with the seals, and I dragged my wife Penney along with me. A committed warm water diver, she was tempted by the promise of getting up close and personal with friendly seals, plus she’d just got her Long Term Test, made-to-measure drysuit from Roho, so she had no hope of avoiding going for a couple of dives in the UK!