One thing about moving is you discover things you didn’t know you had. Just came across an SD card with some more photos from the Salalah trip.
Archive for the ‘oman’ Category
Sa-la-lah. Just rolls off the tongue. Located way down south on the Arabian Peninsula it’s in the Dhofar region of Oman and a grenade’s throw away from the Yemen border to the west. The country’s second largest city has got some east African flavor thanks to the centuries of trade with (and partial colonization of) the east coast of neighboring Dark Continent.
It’s also hugely exposed to swell and the seasonal winds that send the monsoons to India. I’ve been meaning to get down there for a while but it’s a hell of a drive from Dubai (1,200 km). With my time in Arabia coming to a close, we decided to check it out last weekend despite less-than-ideal ocean conditions*
Had a pretty good look at the coastline to the east and west. Some set ups with potential
*no, we didnt drive it, we flew from muscat
Dubai death heat has started. Luckily that coincides with increase in indian ocean storm activity. Updates soon enough…
I didn’t make it down to Oman last weekend but my buddy Saeed did making that his third week in a row. I did the back-to-back-to-back two years ago and have yet to meet anyone else whose managed to make the hellish drive that many times in a row. Much respect to the three-peat (like the bulls in ’93)
This is my fourth season chasing down waves in Oman (shit, time flies). As I’ve said before, there is tons of potential and constant swell, it just takes some rolling-up of the sleeves to get the goods, plus a little luck from the weather gods. Finally I feel like I’ve got a grasp on the place and can know what to expect from the charts. I took a last-minute call on Thursday afternoon and charged nine hours straight down to a point we’ve been eyeing for the right low tide. With spring lows in the morning and evening, it was 2 days of sick waves and just me and my travel buddy frothing on the conditions…
Hopefully I can get some actual surfing shots on the next trip but when there’s two of you wave-starved and psyching you can’t get in the water fast enough. More photos from the trip CLICK HERE.
By the way, Surfing Mag hooked me up with some free RVCA gear for writing them a little email about my oman missions. Check it out here on the SURFING MAG LETTER OF THE WEEK Older Oman posts can be found here
I’ve managed to squeeze in two trips down south since the cyclone struck and have been quite impressed with the cleanup efforts. With pumps running 12 hours a day most of the flooding has been reduced to manageable lakes and the sand dunes and trees that littered the roads have been diligently ploughed. But there’re still reminders of the carnage around every turn- sheets of asphalt cast away like orange peels, skeletons of unfortunate 50-foot dhows beached inland and the bare bones of fishing shelters along the beaches.
It’s just been the usual monsoon wind-swell the past two weeks so it’s a little early to know if the sand deposits at the points have been wiped out but seems like the banks are starting to form and with a little searching have been able to log some much needed water time…
A local guy I was chatting to mentioned that in his grandfathers lifetime on the omani coast he had only witnessed two cyclones and they’d both been in the past 4 years. Anyone still doubting global warming?
- Phet is a Thai word pronounced as Pet, meaning “Diamond”.
- Intense hurricanes are rare in the Arabian Sea, due to the basin’s small size, the interference of the summer monsoon, and the frequent presence of dry air and dust from the Arabian Peninsula.
- Phet is now the second strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Arabian Sea, behind Category 5 Cyclone Gonu of 2007, which devastated Oman.
- Phet is over some of the warmest ocean waters on the planet, 30 31°C (86 88°F), and warm waters in excess of 26.5°C (80°F) extend to a depth of at least 50 meters (165 feet), resulting in a Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential high enough to allow Phet to attain Category 5 status.
- So far, at least 24 people have been killed after the onslaught of Cyclone Phet in Oman
- Phet has the potential to be worse for Oman than Tropical Cyclone Gonu, which did $4.2 billion in damage and killed 50 people in June 2007.
Phet also left me very depressed as I was out of town — but the boys scored. Seek and you shall find…
So you can disregard that last post about the sand looking good down in Oman. Shit is about to get out of control down there…
The only other time I’ve seen the charts even close to this was 3 yrs ago when Cyclone Gonu touched down and leveled the towns and killed a few people. Phet will either:
- Move NW very close to Oman easternmost coast, bring heavy rain, high winds, and high waves to easternmost Oman, or
- Make landfall over easternmost coast of Oman with destructive winds, flooding rain, and significant storm surge to a large part of eastern Oman.
Either way the entire coast down there is about to get a beating. Time will tell what it does to the sandbards.
I’m unfortunately on my way to Hong Kong right now but a few of the boys might go looking for some sheltered spots.
I posted this footage before but the clip is so good I couldn’t resist
Summers basically set in here in the sand pit. There was a final hoorah of wind swell last week allowing for some wedges in the bath-tub warm water that is now the Gulf. Air temps are passing the 100 degree mark with 100% humidity and the Russian tourists are getting more sunburned than ever.
This also means that monsoon winds are kicking up in the Arabian sea and Oman surf season is back on the radar. Couple of the boys did a mission last week and said the sand is looking pretty good and ready for a solid pulse… (all photos by PJ Cutting)
Summers here. Stay tuned…
This clip came to me through a friend of a friend. It’s the same right point shown in the photos from the other oman entry. The guy who had it (non surfer) was over at my house and just casually mentioned, “oh I got some funny footage of xxx last week. You should check it out.” I couldn’t believe he hadn’t shown us sooner! There are so many rad things about this clip: (1) the delicate rock dance (2) the voice of his wife in the background (3) the gloves?! (4) no hospital visit was required. See for yourself. Guaranteed you’ll want to watch more than once.