With the Mc Brides in Muscat 1.3.2011-10.3.2011

The peace, quiet and stillness in Marina Bandar Al Rowhda were very welcome! Baringo needed a lot of TLC and at last we had the time and a limitless supply of fresh water which enabled us to give this to her. The thought of the McBrides arrival spurred us on so we were ready and waiting for them with great excitement on Friday 4th March. Sam and Gilly and the boys had spent a Christmas here so they knew some excellent places to wine and dine which was a real treat. With their sturdy 4WD landcruiser we explored the coast to the west and drove up a dramatic wadi with spectacular scenery. We visited the Shangri la resort and enjoyed a long talkative lunch the following day and then had enough energy to do a mountain walk from Old Muscat which was quite steep and stony and occasionally tricky having to avoid getting wet feet in the water at the bottom if the wadi. Sadly they had to leave on 7.3.2011 but only after giving us invaluable assistance to provision the boat for the next leg. Shopping here is on a grand scale and only alcohol is unavailable. After a sad farewell to Sam and Gilly our companion boats had arrived so we were pleased to see them and they were even more pleased to see the Marina!
The next few days were the usual pre-departure tasks alleviated by a mid day swim in the Marina pool which during the week we had to our selves. We had some last minute provisioning to do and a visit to the internet café in town as the marina wi fi does not work very well. We received the spare parts for the two generators and managed to find some gas with the help of our driver.
Our last night was celebrated with our sailing companions now Lyra (German ) ,Skylark 2( New Zealand ) and Puerto Seguro (Argentinian ) we enjoyed an excellent Omani meal on the corniche and a (real) night cap overlooking the harbour .
I can certainly recommend Oman as a fascinating place to visit particularly if you have read Wilfred Thesiger’s books. The scenery is dramatic, the people very helpful ,friendly and polite and there are some luxurious places to stay. The roads are excellent not too busy and petrol is very cheap .The only drawback if there is one is cost,the prices are European /Hong Kong.
Our next port of call all being well is Salalah and we are traveling in tight convoy formation , keeping close to the coast in stealth mode ( no lights no AIS no VHF ). Luckily Lyra with whom we sailed here happened to have a set of walky talkies one for each boat so we can communicate with those as long as we can keep in our close formation. Unfortunately this will mean motoring rather than sailing and may be quite tiring .It is 640 nm so I hope it will not take longer than 5 days and we have no detours to Somalia.

In a Wadi with Sam & Gilly


View over Muttrah

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