Organizing Your Trip
Hopefully you can use our experience and suggestions to make it easier for you.
We started the day very early, thinking we had signed up for Kayaking and Snorkeling at the Muscat Diving and Adventure Center. The night before, our guide/driver called them and it seemed as though they did not have a kayak. Needless to say we were already a bit hopeless when we arrived the next day, as this had been prepaid by us months in advance. They did have kayaks sitting on the beach. They said they were not available. Our trusted guide did a lot of arguing on our behalf after confirming with us that those things on the beach were indeed called kayaks. I then made the assumption that this was not a traditional sport in everyone's home in Muscat.
The kayaks became available after arguments broke out between the gal at the counter and our guide ended abruptly. It was not the trip we thought we had signed up for, but a compromise had been reached where we would get to take a kayak on our own and wander around with it, then bring it back. No one was going to paddle with us to "a sandy beach and then go snorkeling" like in the ads.
Our recommendation after going through this, dear reader, is probably to make arrangements for the day with the kayak and snorkel place in person and then check in personally the day before to make sure everything seems right. That way a conversation is face to face and all the pointing at physical items that needs to occur can actually occur. I think the gal at the counter was some northern European language speaking native that was not on any of our resumes so this is one of those things where patience during foreign travel helps a lot.
We made the best of it as we love being out on the water. The conditions were picture perfect, and the water was like a lightly rippled glass. We paddled around for about a half hour by exploring around the rock structures in the area and returned to the Dive Center. The rocks jutting out of the sea were beautiful and there is a hole worn out of a cliff near the dive center. I did some nice photography and we had a nice paddle. I am really glad we did it.
It looked like the business was expanding when we were there and people from Europe were training locals in the pool so this is something we would probably go back and try for again now that we know more about how to ask and what to ask for. The bath houses were really nice and we were able to shower and dress and get ready for our afternoon trip to Wahiba Sands!