Although I’ve lived in Dubai for 4+ years, and have even worked for a yachting company, I’ve not done much ‘boating’ (there was that time in Musandam) – until recently when I got to enjoy 2 very different kinds of boat trips… 1 = PARTY; 2 = overnight getaway.
Trip #1 = PARTY
Friday the 13th – ominous for some. Most hotels around the world won’t have a 13th floor because of the superstition around the number 13. But I don’t fall prey to that… and so when I received an invite for a boat party on Friday 13th, I could not resist and immediately arranged to have our names added to the list. You had to ‘request’ your spot on the boat as only 150 guests were allowed. This party wasn’t going to be any ordinary boat party though, no sirreee! Friday 13th means WEAR BLACK. And so the objective was to dress up in as much black as possible – bikini’s, speedo’s, dresses, hats, shorts… you get the picture!
Of course, there are always the few people who have no idea how to dress for a theme and came in all sorts of colours. Oh well. The party was enough fun to forget very quickly! The DJ’s started belting out awesome tunes right from the get-go, and off we set towards the horizon. The Captain brought the boat to a stand-still (not very far from the horizon though 😦 ) and a bunch of us went for a swim, in-between shaking our booties, nibbling on some snacks and in general having a PARTY!
Unfortunately the afternoon ended too quickly and before we knew it we were on our way back to land 😦
Trip #2 = overnight getaway
I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with things such as Groupon, Cobone, Living Social etc., which are social websites that you can join which offer discount vouchers to any number of things in and around your particular city. This little holiday of ours was found on Cobone.
Some history: waaaaay back in 2010 when Murray and I flew to Syria, as we were taking off from Dubai, he noticed this island in the shape of a crescent moon and has since then been talking about finding the island for a visit. One day when I received the Cobone advert for a boat trip to this island called “Crescent Moon Island” I thought – surely it must be THE ONE?! So I booked it!
And sure enough – it was THE ONE!!
Crescent Moon Island – a man-mad island located approximately 32 miles (50kms) off the coast of Dubai towards Iran. It was built on top of a reef that was found and therefore offers amazing snorkelling and diving possibilities. It is not a well-known island (yet) and has nothing on the island, not even a tree, apart from an Etisalat tower*, a couple of “Keep the island clean” signs, and TONS of litter. It’s rather upsetting to arrive at this island and see the amount of litter that is left behind by people who couldn’t care less. But, I’ll not harp on the negative.
The trip was organised superbly and the crew on the boat were fantastic – they catered to our every whim, and really did a fantastic job of feeding us, and providing us with enough entertainment for the lengthy trip to the island… approximately 5 hours! 2 of the guys onboard did some fishing and actually caught a couple of fish. One was kept (but went off before being eaten), another was released, and then 2 of them managed to snap the line just before being brought onto the boat. One the way back one of the guys onboard caught another fish which was eaten as a little snack – apparently it was delicious 😕
Once we arrived at the island we got to jump overboard and swim to shore with snorkels and masks (or take the speed boat for the lazies). The snorkelling was out of this world in crystal clear water – with more fish than you could ever imagine! Being engulfed by a school of tuna was an experience I will never forget! The rest of the trip was spent hanging around on the boat, reading, snoozing and gorging ourselves on a scrumptious dinner. And then heading back to the island by (almost) full moonlight, on a speedboat, around 9pm to pass out in our (supplied) tents.
We were all up early the next morning (7am – coudn’t help it as the sun starts beating down on your tent a.k.a oven.) But not to worry – the water is refreshing and inviting. We slowly make our way back to the boat where we’re once again fed a huge breakfast of omelettes, croissants, cheese, fruit and made-that-morning-onboard scones. YUMMY! And from there we headed back to Dubai to say farewell to Le Jaine – you will be missed, little sail boat!
*Etisalat tower – the government has provided an Etisalat tower on the island, possibly requested by the local Sheikhs, so that there can be some form of communication. But it needs to be switched on! Each day! By one of the visiting Sheikh boats! The craziness of this country, I tell ya!
Lots of photos taken, so only thumbnails provided – please click on each to open a larger view.
The following photos are the underwater photos – all taken by Murray, bar one (of him) which was taken by me… enjoy!