Day 2: Sort of jet-lagged and straight into the water
A full day of diving after breakfast, to Manta Point and Hule Hule – sites that are about an hour away from Dhigurah. But I’ve learnt the hard way in diving, that the sea life you want to see never shows up as intended; instead, Manta Point was full of fish and coral, memorable only for the very reason that I got stung by a sea anemone when a particularly strong sweep of the current brushed me against its pretty but painful tentacles. I soldiered on and entertained the thought briefly of giving up, until the shouts from nearby boats suggested a whale shark was near.
Everyone jumped into the water – with or without a wetsuit – and congregated on a spot where the pretty big thing meandered across from below. I turned on the camera, got a mouthful of salt water from dipping my snorkel too deep and promptly choked. My short video is shaky at best, cut off by someone’s fins and bubbles in my face.
Still. A whale shark. I think that experience hasn’t quite sunk in yet.
Back at the hotel, they called a doctor – youngish and good-looking in an Arabic music video sort of way – to take a look at the leg, only to be amazed at the amount of medication I’d brought along.
“She’s a pharmacy”, they proclaimed joyously, even if they didn’t quite understand what a sea anemone is.
The painful, burning sensation of the damn sea anemone stayed all the way until I fell asleep drugged on antihistamines.
Day 3: Kuda Rah Thila and Rahndhi Wreck
“Finally we know what happened to you,” the hotel reception people said when they came up to me after breakfast. “You got bitten by the Nemo plant. It’s not serious.”
That’s at least some good news, albeit delayed.
Kudah Rah Thila and Rahndhi Wreck are both sites that are barely 10 minutes or so away from Dhigurah, the former with better sea life than I’d expected. Rahndhi Wreck is less predictable and murkier with plankton, but that guaranteed at least a manta or two.
*Leg update: red and blistering, less painful now. Still looks diseased.