1903 - Lady Mary Curzon
The morning after we left Muscat we reached Musandam and we cruised all day amongst islands and fjords of the most barren description. The land is uninhabited save for a few fishermen, and its main interest is a strategic one, as the bays and inlets afford anchorage for a fleet, and as the land is No Man's Russia or France could take advantage of harbourage in the event of war. In 1867 England controlled the region by putting up a flag and a telegraph station, but the heat was so awful, and the isolation so great, that the poor signallers died and it was abandoned. In the afternoon the Viceroy and the Admiral went ashore to examine a particular spot for a cable Station, and the Hardinge anchored in the most beautiful rock-bound inlet. At sunset we sailed out of the network of islands and pursued our way towards Sharjah. The fleet had been waiting for us outside, and we again formed a procession.
Bradley, John (ed.)
Lady Curzon’s India: Letters of a Vicereine