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Oman - Masirah Island February 2002 Surfari

Base Camp One

The veranda

Suburbia - bloody snobs!

Prime location down on the beach (we sold them the plot at low tide...).

The absolutely incredible inflatable wok. Great for scallops!

Ha ha, let's tie this old ute to the back of Tim's car and see if he notices.

Bathroom with a sea view

Where's the surf brah?

Crowded line up - between sets of course.

One hour later, still between sets.

Paddle for your life - another Masirah Monster rolling in!

Er, maybe you should've gone left Joe?

Ahah! There's that set.

Now if you're a good boy and peel those spuds...

...we'll let you have this wave.

First reef (we really should come up with a better name than that...).

The beach break. How does Surf Beach sound?

Surf chicks and a man in a silly hat - or is that a hat on a silly man?

There's that silly man again trying to keep his balance.

Winner of the Masirah Mr Universe regional finals.

Naish and Neil, a great partnership...

Yeah thanks mate, just rip that corner off there.

Another kite photo??? Isn't this supposed to be a surf website?
Yup. So send me more surf photos from Masirah!

Another great trip for a weekend on Masirah Island with Team SOD. A smooth trip to the border, minor delays at the border thanks to what must be the slowest passport stamping man I have ever encountered. The ratio of cups of tea to passports seemed to be around 1:1. And if by any chance someone from the border authorities is reading this then I am full of praise and admiration for how masterfully they deal with the highly stressful arduous taxing job they have and I am always impressed with their incredible degree of efficiency. Several hours later we rolled on to a 1000 ferry on Thursday morning, rolled off about 1200 and were surfing by 1300. I think. By the way, from the Nizwa/Bidbid turnoff to Shanna Ferry Terminal is about 450 km. Through the night everything between is shut - especially petrol stations and especially when you're fuel meter (I can't spell gaidge) is getting low. So fill up at or just before the turnoff on the coastal road to Muscat. But no dramas, we made it without pushing. Phew!

Surf was absolutely fantastic!! Clean, 6-8 ft sets, no crowds, warm water. Just perfect. A week later when we arrived, it had dropped to 3-4 ft. Bummer. And kept dropping. But as you can see on the photos, there were some fun waves - and it was great for the beginners. First reef was fun on the low tide. Second reef on the high tide was a bit shallow (doesn't seem to work on low tide but that's when you hit the beach break). Dragging fins on the rocks on the way in was a bit unnerving.

Thanks again to Joe, Neil and Jon for setting up a fantastic base camp, doing the diving thing and sorting out refreshments. Oh yeah, and those scallops have got to be the biggest and best I've ever had. The trip was worth it just for them!

By the way, just before the Nizwa turnoff at the clocktower roundabout, there's a new Muscat City Center complex - similar kind of thing to Deira City Center. Handy place to stop get a feed and buy at Carrefour what you forgot to bring. About 500 m after the turnoff at the clocktower roundabout is a BP station with a Muscat Bakery shop next to it. Useful meeting place if you want to avoid the City Center complex.

A few approximate distances - give or take a few km - to help you find your way (set your trip meter to 0 at the Nizwa/Bidbid turnoff just before Muscat airport - at the big clocktower roundabout), second column is the return journey:

Clocktower roundabout  0 km
~435 km
Mudaybah/Al Mudaiba turnoff (Shell station on the corner - turn right just after it)
~110 km
~325 km
Sinaw/Sanaw turnoff (turn left) 
~175 km
~260 km
First Shanna/Masirah turnoff - signposted (turn left - Al Maha station on the corner)
~355 km
~80 km
Second Shanna/Masirah turnoff, wasn't signposted (turn right, small hut was on LH side of road) 
~415 km
~20 km
Shanna ferry terminal
~435 km
0 km

As for those blasted ferries. We got there at about 0830 to discover there was only one ferry waiting and it wasn't sailing until 1300. Only one had left that morning - at 0430 or something! There's no rhyme or reason.  But then one hour after we arrived, another ferry turned up, loaded us up and sailed back to the island. The smaller one can apparently sail when it's low tide - but not too low. Good luck!

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