01 Jan - 19 Jan 2008 Fujairah

Indian Ocean
Gulf of Oman
Emirate of Fujairah
SY "Kamu II" alongside a floating finger pontoon.
AED 800.- or US$ 217.- per month plus AED 10.- or US$ 2.70 per hour for wireless internet access.

Click below for an interactive satellite view of our marina berth at the Fujairah International Marine Club:

Touring the spectacular Pirate Coast north of Fujairah, where the majestic Al Hajar Mountains meet the aquamarine waters of the Gulf of Oman in the UAE’s most picturesque landscape by means of a hired car (Honda Jazz for only AED 90.- or US$ 25.- per day from Al Mesmari Rent-A-Car +97192231338 in Fujairah: "...who needs a four-wheel drive jeep when your standard hatchback subcompact from a rental company is perfectly capable of all-terrain amphibious landings...") and visiting (i) the Creek of the Two Jaws aka Khor Fakkan, the most beautiful harbour in the United Arab Emirates, (ii) the town of Dibba, the only town ruled by two sheikhs and one sultan: Dibba Muhallab (Fujairah) by Sheikh Zayed, Dibba Hisn (Sharjah) by Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed al-Qassimi and Dibba Bayah (Oman) by Sultan Qaboos bin Said, and (iii) the traditional village of Badiyah with the oldest mosque in the United Arab Emirates.

Joining the cheering local crowds at the traditional bull-butting arena of Fujairah where great Brahmin bulls, specially raised by local farmers, are set nose-to-nose in a push-and-shove to test their strength against each other which hurts neither party and which has been held in the area for centuries.

Matt: Touring Sharjah, one of the northern emirates, both a modern and conservative university city and the cultural capital of the United Arab Emirates, a place where alcohol is strictly banned and not even sheesha cafes are allowed, strolling around the Khalid lagoon and visiting the stunning Al-Hisn fort, located in the faithfully reconstructed heritage precinct, the former residence of Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammad al-Qassimi, the ruler of this emirate.

Getting a foretaste of India in the myriads of simple, clean and cheap Indian vegetarian restaurants which feed the hundreds of thousands Indian migrants who work for and outnumber the Emiratis in the United Arab Emirates: dhosa, naan, bathura, idli and paratha in combination with daal, chaat, aloo gobi, sambar and sabji plus spicy samosas by the pound and rice till the holy cow comes home.

Making arrangements for our upcoming long-term stay on the remote, isolated and uninhabited Chagos Archipelago, thus (i) changing our diet (more carbohydrates: pasta, bread and beer) in order to put on weight, and (ii) applying by fax for expensive visit permits to the British Indian Ocean Territories for a duration of three months (the obscure BIOT government charges a stiff GBP 100.- per month for the anchor permission without offering any ship-related services) and, by sheer chance, in the night after the executed money transfer to London, having vivid dreams about daylight robbery from some medieval robber barons.

Responding to an urgent recall for corrective action from Zodiac International, learning that we had been sailing for over seven years with a defective life raft that would have malfunctioned in a maritime emergency, due to its faulty overpressure valves which would have led to a complete deflation of the device (probably our own big bang!), and successfully negotiating a swop, very old against very new, free of charge; thank you very much, Ahmed from Fujairah International Marine Club +97192221166 and Sebastian from Zodiac International, for your help with the logistics and in dealing with the United Arab Emirates Federal Customs Authority.

Increasing the battery capacity of SY “Kamu II” to a total of over 600 Ah by adding two 85 Ah wet-cell heavy-duty truck batteries, no-name and made in Indonesia, for the price of AED 280.- or US$ 75.- each. 

Refuelling with 300 litres of clean diesel fuel for AED 1.88 or US$ 0.51 per litre, subsidised for agricultural, fishing and boating purposes, from a nearby ADNOC petrol station, using a hired car from Al Mesmari Rent-A-Car +97192231338 and our own jerry cans, and with 20 litres of petrol (for outboarder, generator and dive compressor) for AED 1.37 or US$ 0.38 per litre from the opposite EPPCO petrol station.

Laundering for an expensive AED 2.- or US$ 0.50 per piece at a nearby Pakistani full-service laundry (all items were picked up from the ship, washed, dried, pressed and delivered back to the ship on the same day - just magic).

Enjoying tremendously a wonderful Grand Tour through Fujairah, the Arabian Jewel, prepared and executed by Major Ahmed Durak himself, the friendly and welcoming marina manager, and visiting together the area's highlights such as (i) the al-Hayl castle, nestled in the hills behind town, and (ii) the historic Fujairah fort, overlooking the old village, where little Ahmed had spent his boyhood in his father’s compound.

DM Konni: Cleaning the bottom of SY "Kamu II" with a strong scraper, using up the air of two 12-l tanks, whilst removing a thick layer of very hard barnacles that were stubbornly clinging to our hull below the water line in order to have a smooth ride across the Arabian Sea to India; all done in waters below 19 degrees centigrade, brrrrr.

Saying goodbye to the Arabian Pensinsula and to the Arab World, paying the marina departure charge of AED 200.- or US$ 55.- per ship and clearing out of the United Arab Emirates, all the Arabic paper work for the vessel clearance certificate being done by the ever so helpful and competent marina secretary Haythem; maʿa s-salamah, Arabia, and namaste, India. 

Click below for more blog entries about car rentals 

Click below for a summary of this year's travels