Transit of Venus from Muscat on a cloudy morning

One of the oldest descriptions of Oman’s coast is from the ‘Periplus of the Erithian Sea’ written by a Greek sailor, which describes the southern coast, improbably for an Arabian land, as being “wrapped in thick clouds and fog”.

Transit of Venus Sun above Qantab
Transit of Venus Sun above Qantab

So it was today, as I woke early for yet another once in a century, or so, event – the Transit of Venus made famous by another seafarer, Captain James Cook, on his voyage in 1769. To try and get above the thick clouds on Muscat’s coast I ascended a mountain and waited;

Transit of Venus from Oman
Transit of Venus from Oman

until, like Gloriana, the sun appeared through a gap in the clouds and Venus was revealed as a tiny silhouette passing over the top left of the suns face.

Author: Tony Walsh

Book author including the current Bradt guide to Oman – edition 4