The highlight of not just our time in Musandam but also of this whole summer was today, Friday, July 18th, when I, a new swimmer and not yet excellent, decided to jump off the boat into the Gulf of Oman.
We went on a 4-hour dhow (boat) cruise today, and for some time, a couple of dolphins swam along with our boat! It was precious. When we stopped where we were supposed to, we swam, floated, and snorkeled in the water. I had a life jacket on because I don't think I'm at that level of swimming yet where I can swim in deep waters, but when I was in the water without a life jacket, I did pretty well, so I'm probably not giving myself fair credit.
Being in the deep water was so exciting and such a wonderful feeling, and I wondered what it'd be like to get back up in the water while having dropped into its depth. So there I am, climbing up the little ladder into the boat from the gulf, excitedly telling my friends I was going to be brave and jump into the water. There were people from all over the West there and the Arab boat driver (are they called drivers?) and his South Asian assistant; the German, Austrian, Australian, and Portuguese people noticed this crazy girl on the boat railing claiming she was going to jump in and all. But since I'm not a good swimmer yet, I'm freaking out the whole time, right. And they're all cheering me on, all of them saying, "You can do it!" And "Just do it!" "Nothing will happen to you, I promise!" "Look, if anything does happen, which it won't because it's salt water and the salt level will push you back up into the water, we're all right here and we'll jump after you!" I'd barely said hello, what y'all doing in Musandam/Oman to these folks before that time, and all of a sudden, we all became best buddies! IT WAS AMAZING, alhamdulillah! So, I'd say my bismillah and get ready to jump, and then I'd remember how deep the water was (I'd snorkeled a little bit) and freak out and get off the railing into the boat again. And they'd all go, "Awww, nooo! C'mon, you got this!" And somehow, I'd awkwardly attracted everyone's attention and literally everyone is watching me go through this. My friends had their cameras out, some of them since the instant I made my decision to jump and that'd been a while ago, you know, and no one was going to miss this exciting moment.
An older man heard about the decision and first said, "Jump in! You can do it!" And then I said, "But, you see, I can't swim!" (Because everyone needed to know that. You understand.) And he goes, "Oh, if you can't swim and you've never jumped into water, certainly don't do it here. It's not safe at all." And everyone else went, "Awww! That's not true!" I was initially going to jump in with my life jacket on, but then I heard that that might not be a good idea because it could hurt me. Plus, I probably wouldn't have gone in as deeply as I did without it. So I took it off, fully assured that I was going to be alive coming out of the water, thanks to the crowd nearby, and that's when it all began with my, "Okay, I'm gonna do this. One ... Two ... oh, f*ck, I can't do this. Who'm I kidding" crap.
And then I did it! I jumped. I jumped into the deep, deep waters of the Gulf of Oman. I jumped in without thinking about it any further because I was now surrounded by lots of people who would save me if anything were to happen, and I had friends who were in the waters awaiting my arrival to the top of the waters after the jump. I was under water, while holding my breath, for maybe a second or three, and I made it to the surface of the waters quite safely and well. I could still hear everyone's laughter and applause. IT WAS THAT EXCITING!! Hamdulillah for good people and overall goddness.
What a day full of blessings that include adventures and wonderful memories, hamdallah!