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ADDITIONS TO THE BLOG as of April 2017: Shamal and her Crew being Mum and Dad are in the Cayman Islands * Should you want to contact us, you can do so by clicking on the Contact Us tab below. * PLEASE subscribe to the Blog, so that new posts are emailed to your inbox.



25 November 2010

Farewell To Dubai

Hello Again To Family and Friends


It has been a long time since you have heard from us and with people now contacting us to see if we are still afloat, here comes an overdue letter with a bit of an update.

Yes SHAMAL is nearly ready to begin the next leg of her adventures. We arrived back in the United Arab Emirates on the 15th October after a four month holiday back in New Zealand over a very cold winter there, and a very hot summer here in the Emirates. We returned to Fujairah International Marina where we had left SHAMAL in the water for the summer. It was still too hot to sleep on board as the temperature was over 40deg. C. when we opened her up, but, we were really pleased how she had stood up to the heat of the summer. No nasty smells, no bugs, and after a quick dive Alec was pleased to see the hulls had hardly any growth on them apart from the props, which looked like small Coral Reefs. Also there was a nice coating of sandy dust all over her. Nothing that a good wash down couldn’t put right. So it was back to Dubai and to Brigitte’s lovely cool apartment. I was so glad we had taken 95% of the food off as it would have spoiled in those temperatures.

We returned again a few days later as we really needed to start work. It took us about 10 days to get ourselves sorted, and then we motor sailed SHAMAL around to Dubai. A 34 hour trip passing between the Islands of the Musandam Peninsula in the Straits of Hormuz, which is the entrance in and out of the Gulf of Oman and into the Persian/Arabian Gulf. We arrived in the Straits at dawn and we were among the Iranian traders come smugglers taking goods at high speed to Iran in small boats that look more like an elongated plastic bucket than a boat, then returning empty a short while later. We had a group of five empty bucket boats come circle around us to have a look and see if they could glean cigarettes or some other goodies from us. No problem as they were gone as fast as they arrived after Alec sent them away. Then it was on to the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah which has a brand new marina where we spent a night. We pulled into the pontoon to pick up crew and then anchored out in the bay as it is always cooler as the boat will sit into the wind and a lovely breeze comes in.

Once in Dubai it was onto the pontoon at the Dubai Yachtmaster Yard where we were hauled out for the annual maintenance. In this part of the world one usually has a small team of ‘guest workers’ ready to do all the work for you. In our case we prefer to do the work – no, I should say Alec prefers we do it. In temperatures of 35deg c plus, all I wanted to do was any cleaning that evolved using water and preferably in the shade under the boat. So my job was scrubbing up the copper antifoul paint which to date is working very well. We have had it on for a couple of years now. Our 2-3 days out of the water turned into 8 as we found extra things that needed replacing and changing. Alec was sending emails offshore for parts, so there was a bit of a wait while they arrived. All part of boating. We were wondering where we would park once back in the water as the marinas here are full and the word going round is that due to security reasons you cannot park off the coast here. But with a little research and some asking around we have found the perfect place by the Jumeirah Palm. We are anchored in a wonderfully sheltered spot about 70 metres from a pontoon belonging to one of the marinas where we can bring the tender ashore. The area is in front of a couple of the big Hotels and swimming off the boat is wonderful. It is all free of charge and we are in walking distance of Brigitte’s Apartment. We now have a new addition to SHAMAL’S floating flotilla which is in the form of a double sea kayak. An early Christmas from Brigitte and Dan – great fun.

Son Murray joined us about three weeks ago which is great. Much of our time here has been work related but we have found time to fit in visits to some of the amazing shopping malls. Not up Alec’s alley but he has to see them!! We have not yet been up the Burj Khalifa – the worlds’ tallest building – as it is still too hazy. Anyway you only go about halfway so it is all a bit of a have. We have taken a ride on the new metro, and it has been great as we have caught up with old friends, and made new ones. Last Friday we were invited to an Aerogulf Reunion. That is the company Alec started with out here in Dubai in 1979!!!! Alec and I have done lots of driving around and have visited six of the seven Emirates as we have been looking for things. Alec is off trying to find a place to fill our cooking gas tanks today. Not to say that we spent a good part of yesterday doing the same thing. The roading system here is really something else. There are just too many of them and all are still at some stage of major construction. Then when you finally get to where you want to be you are told, no not here but across the other side of town!!

As one only get issued with a months’ visa here, Alec and I did what is known as a boarder run the other night. We drove the 140ks to the boarder with Oman and get yourself stamped out of here and into Oman, then out of Oman and back into the UAE. Sounds complicated but is very simple and quick. We took Murray with us and reminisced about all the past trips we had done along that road since the early 1980’s.

The other exciting thing is that at the moment the Louis Vuitton Sailing competitions are on out of the Marina we are staying next too. We have wandered around the yard and spoken with some of the Emirates Team New Zealand guys. We took SHAMAL out the other day but the water police will not let you get close enough to really see much. Tonight we have been invited to dinner at the Dubai Off-shore Sailing Club where the boys will also be attending.

So within the week we hope to up anchor from Dubai and start the trip back to Oman stopping off at bays and towns along the way.

You will all be getting ready for Christmas and the festive season. Again it will be another very simple one for us without any hassle I hope. So we wish you all the very best

Lots of love

The Admiral and The Commander

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