Friday, May 25, 2012

Diving Musandam Far North, May 11, 2012

My logged dives #1117-1119

We went with Nomad Ocean Adventure on a trip to the far north of Hormuz, getting as far as this spot (available full size from

We were meant to dive Fanaku and then choose dive spots as we worked our way back south. An hour and a half out of home port we passed through the gap between the mainland fjord and Musandam Island, as indicated on the map.  But then we bypassed Kachelu on the right and what we had thought was Fanaku just to the north, and settled on the big island indicated (whose name is not mentioned on the Google Earth map) and dived there.  No problem, though it wasn't much of a dive, green algae messed up vis for much of it except at depth.  It was a drift at depth, but then toward the end of the dive as we went on the north of the island with the wall on our left, we came to one of the most pristine coral fields I have seen in some time, a large variety of corals, and a nice long dive to enjoy it.  Bobbi and I were diving with Luke and his friend from Belgium, they surfaced after 50 minutes or so, and we stayed down an hour, the last of it shining a light in a lair with a crawfish caught naked in my torchlight, and we surfaced cavorting with dancing squid.

But where is Fanaku?  I Google unEarthed it to be a bit north of where we've come before on dives with Nomad Ocean Adventures.  On this map there is a Flickr photo at Kachelu at a sight the fishermen who took the photo called "Pop Rock".  But two other web sites suggest that this is indeed Kachelu:

Google Earth and another website both put Fanaku a bit north of where we usually dive.  The latter web site at gives the position as "latitude of 26.49778 and longitude of 56.52861" and adds that "it has an elevation of -9999 meters above sea level."  The maps online seem to make Fanaku the last significant island or set of islands between UAE and Larak Island, just below Hormuz, both in Iran just 40 km to the north.

Our second dive was at Um Faraan, Mother of Mice.  The vis was nice and we saw morays but neither Bobbi nor I remember much remarkable from that one.  Our last dive was at Octopus Rock.  Vis was awful and the current not benign.  There were lots of nudibranchs, we saw an electric (torpedo) ray, and a pair of lovely cuttlefish.  Apart from that, not great.  Still a fun day out and a chance to dive with Aliona, though we lost her on all our dives.