Forget about Arabian nights – try scuba diving the Arabian Sea! 

They say some of the best diving in the United Arab Emirates is on it’s East Coast, so naturally I had to arrange 3 open water dives with Al Boom Diving  during my vacation here.

After emailing Al Boom in Fujairah, the booking process was easy, with a deposit or full payment to secure my place on what is usually a very busy weekend. So I definitely recommend booking your place ahead of time.

The organisation of my three recreational dives over two days was excellent, with equipment bags prepared for all the divers on arrival, and a short walk down to the beach and onto the boat. We were provided with water and fruit, with the option of paying for a sandwich from Le Meridien Resort. 

My friend and I dived across three locations, Martini Rock and Hole in the Wall on the first day, and Sharm Rock on the second. With the water temperature at 26 to 27 degrees celcius, I was comfortable in my 5mm long Fourth Element wetsuit, while my friend was comfortable in a short wetsuit. 

The visibility at Martini Rock and Hole in the Wall on Saturday May 19, 2018 was excellent. At a maximum dive depth of 19 metres at Martini Rock, we saw lots of butterfly fish, trigger fish, moray eel, stone fish and trumpet fish.

The second dive at Hole in the Wall was a great experience, with the dive instructor leading us through a tunnel or “hole in the wall”. At this second site, we saw more trigger fish, stingrays, trumpet fish and butterfly and angel fish.

Our third dive on Sunday May 20 was at Sharm Rock. The visibility wasn’t as good as the day before, but we still saw barracuda, trigger fish, butterfly fish, moray eels and clown fish.

Al Boom Diving In Fujairah are based at Le Meridien Al Aqah Resort. As divers at Al Boom, you can also collect a food discount voucher to be spent at the beach bar and hotel restaurant, which I recommend.

Pradeep Fernando, the manager of this 5 Star PADI Dive Centre is friendly, and his staff are professional, helpful and hospitable. My friend couldn’t complete the second dive on the first day, and was offered another opportunity to dive again. The service was excellent and I’d highly recommend diving with Al Boom Diving in Fujairah.

For more info, visit Al Boom Diving

“Speed is the only way to be on water” – Blue Cave, 5 Islands Day Trip 

On Thursday August 17, 2017, we spent a fantastic day with Toto Travel exploring the islands of the Adriatic, off the coast of Split in Croatia.

An early meet time meant we were on our way by 07.30am, on a speed boat built for 10 passengers and two skippers, speeding towards the island of Bisevo to visit the Blue Cave.

Speed really is the only way to be on water, as we flew past all the other boats heading to the same destination. Arriving ahead of the Summer crowds, we didn’t have to wait long to enter the Blue Grotto, aka the Blue Cave, with no line of boats to queue behind.

The Blue Grotto reminded me of a secret place pirates would bury treasure! With crystal blue water, and a depth of 16m, the diver in me really wanted to venture beneath the water’s surface to see what else lay hidden. If only diving was allowed there!

Our day continued to the island of Vis, and the fisherman’s village of Komiza. The 45 minute stop was enough to explore the  narrow streets along the bay.

Stiniva Bay off the island of Vis was really busy with boats, and it was hard to anchor, so many of us chose to just swim near our boat as opposed to swimming through the gap and onto the beach. The island of Budikovac was more quiet, with its Blue Lagoon the perfect place to submerge into the turquoise clear waters.

We went on to visit one of the Pakleni Islands (Pakleni Otoci) and then onto Hvar Town where we had a good two and a half hours. You could hike up to the fortress for a superb view of all of the Pakleni Islands, explore Hvar Town, swim or find a bar and relax with a drink.

Clockwise from top left: Vis, Hvar town and the Blue Lagoon

The speed boat journey home was exhilarating, with our skipper treating the ocean like a roller coaster, twisting and turning the boat in all directions,  leaving wide grins on our faces. Hold onto, or take off your hats, you will lose them!

I was disappointed once the day ended, I would have quite happily spent a few more hours speeding across the Adriatic. This was definitely the best day trip and tour during our 10 days in Croatia.

For a memorable day of adventure and fun, I highly recommend this tour with Toto Travel. The boys looked after us well, and we got a taste of many of the Dalmatian Islands at a comfortable pace. The day was excellent value for money given all the places we visited.

Helpful Hints;

  • If you are prone to sea sickness, make sure you take medication well before the boat departs the harbour. I had no problem all day.
  • The speed boat journey is fast, exhilarating and sometimes bumpy so if you have back problems, be wary.
  • They do supply snorkelling equipment (we had our own), and you  don’t need a pair of fins.
  • There is a great bar on Hvar Island called Bon les Baines Beach Club.It’s a great place to drink gin and tonic, (or whatever your choice of liquid), and watch all the holiday makers  below.