On the 24th of November Daniele, Lorenzo and I went to Oman to explore the Musandam Fjords taking a dhow cruise.
After a 3.30 hours driving from Dubai, we met our contact Mazen, from the Musandam Sea Adventures company at their office in Khasab, who took us straight to the port where we would set sail out to the fjords.
There we met some important people for us to name: The chairman Mr. Abdulfattah Ahmed Al Shehhi and our speed boat Captain and Captain Supervisor Mr. Abdul Aziz.
The first part of our tour in the Musandam Fjords we decided to integrate a quick visit to the isolated village of Kumzar which is nestled on the open sea outside of the Fjords.
It took us about one hour of sailing along the rugged coastline, at high speed, embracing the Strait of Hormuz. It resembles the glacier-carved coasts of polar regions, but in this case, the coast was shaped by the movement of Earth's crust.
Kumzar is the most fascinating, unique and isolated of the few villages spread out on the area.
The real adventure took place when we went back from Kumzar to enter the Fjords and intercept the Dhow cruise tour.
Here below you can see the classic Dhow cruise tour from Khasab in a very detailed map.
Entering the Musandam Fjords, the Khor Ash Sham fjord specifically, is like entering another world.
The impetuous waves of the open sea and the arid breeze all of a sudden stop; Like that feeling you have when you are at the top of an exposed mountain and all of a sudden you go down to a sheltered, peaceful, mild wood that wraps you in it's peace and quite.
We arrived with our speed boat fast, but as soon as we entered the calm reflective waters of the fjords, despite going at the same speed, everything stops, as if time had frozen
The rough rocky coastline suddenly turns into arid mountains that take on the appearance of proper badlands.
Khor ash Sham is a spectacular fjord, with crystal clear waters, of the length of 16 km2, surrounded by high mountains, earning the name of "Norway of Arabia".
After few minutes from the "entrance" of the fjord, we finally boarded the recognisable blue Dhow from Musandam Sea Adventure.
We jumped on board and had a beautiful rich lunch sheltered from the sun thanks to the majesty of the mountains.
Was around 13:00 when we sailed off to explore the rest of the fjord.
There are five villages in this fjords area, all accessible only by boats.
The first village of the fjord has about 140 inhabitants. Most of the inhabitants are fishermen. The children go to school in Khasab by boat every Saturday and return to the village on Wednesday, to spend the weekend with family. The government of Oman provides free of charge the village of drinking water.
A small fishing village with around 50 inhabitants. The particularity of the village is represented by the houses made by local stones. On the beach you can see the fishermen boats called "batil".
Mountain village with around 10 houses. It is the closest place to the east coast and the Habalayn fjord.
In 1864 the British built a telegraphic station on this island. They laid a submarine cable from India to Basra (in Iraq) to connect India to England. The island was inhabited only for a short period of time. The island, surrounded by corals and rocks, is one of the best places for swimming and snorkeling.
It is located at the end of the fjord and it's another ideal place for fishing and snorkeling in calm, clear and crystalline waters.
After about an hour we stopped and anchored on the left coast to have a swim. The water was incredibly warm and clean, and we couldn't stop to admire the view.
We stayed in the water for about 30-40 minutes before leaving back on the way to Khasab.
The sun was going down and the light made the rocks shine.
All the boats at sea were coming home including ours, as if it were a pilgrimage, drawing a picturesque atmosphere.
Numerous dolphins followed us on the water surface, in graceful movements. escorting us to the fjord exit. A memorable gift and the best way to finish the cruise.
Unfortunately we didn't manage to take photos of the dolphins as we were fully enjoying the moment.