Alan and Jean sharing our cruising news with friends, family.

20 July 2015 | Rabi Island Fiji
29 June 2015 | Suva Fiji
18 December 2013 | Auckland
05 December 2013 | Auckland
27 October 2013 | Vavau Tonga
12 September 2013 | Samoa
24 July 2013 | Moorea, Tahiti
19 July 2013 | Papeete
19 June 2013 | Nuka Hiva
02 June 2013 | Pacific Ocean
29 May 2013 | Pacific Ocean
24 May 2013 | Eastern Pacific Ocean
19 May 2013 | Western Pacific Ocean
16 May 2013 | Western Pacific Ocean
13 May 2013 | Isla Isabella
06 May 2013 | Isla Isabella
08 April 2013 | Shelter Bay marina, Colon.
28 March 2013 | Belize
27 March 2013 | Belize
03 March 2013 | Panamarina, Panama

Salalah to Ra's Sharma

26 February 2010 | Yemen
26th February 2010 Salaam al haykum

We had a great stop in Oman at Salalah, the people .. men were very nice , very helpful, saw very few woman. The most we encountered were the few on supermarket checkout counters and one ( eyes only) at the spare parts shop which was full of men hence only the eyes showing. But the supermarket girls had uncovered faces, it's funny how no matter what culture, there seems to be a universal checkout "look" the one that says you may be a customer but you are disturbing my day! The Salalah port was a bit dusty, Tuatara was covered in a film of dust inside and out when we left, thanks to trucks moving rocks in the port. On a couple of days there was one of those little one man street sweepers sweeping the car park. It was just making a cloud of dust that the wind sweep off to settle somewhere else. It reminded me of a kid out of the Charlie Brown cartoons, Pig Pen, I think he was called. This kid was so grubby he was always surrounded by a cloud of dust. We checked out the sights, did some shopping, fantastic tomatoes who knew Oman could grow luscious things, it looked so dry and barren.

The Dhofar mountains provide a spectacular backdrop to the town of Salalah. In this season the hills are dry and barren looking, camels wander at will looking for any green titbit they can find. In July and August the misty rains come and apparently the hills turn green with grass and new shoots on the trees. Omanis visit the area to experience, rain, mud and grass. Now seems to be the season for new camel calves and we have seen a couple of cute new calves. About the only time camels are cute!!

We got to know a young man called Omar, he was very helpful showing us where to find alternator mechanics, bolts, etc that between Largo Star and ourselves we needed. On his day off he took us for a tour west along the coast to the Mughsayl blow holes, the SW season is the best time to visit these, the sea is rough then and apparently blows water up to 30 metres in the air. We are in the NE season, good for sailing the coast but not for the blow holes, we had to be content with the loud noise of the sea coming up through the blow holes. Omar then took us to see the tomb of Job overlooking the town. Going by his tomb and foot print, Job was a huge man. We ended our day out with Omani with a meal, sitting on the floor resting against colourful cushions. Our day ended with a visit to one of the many sweet shops by the restaurant to buy a tray of delicious ginger flavoured sweet, very similar to Turkish delight.

We left Oman in our group of seven, aiming to be in sight of each other for the next 600 miles and to enjoy a few stops along the way. Since Phuket the most talked about topic among cruisers has been to convoy or not to convoy along the Yemen Coast to Aden. Two 20 yacht convoys were planned, we did consider joining one but decided a small group was best for us. The convoys are motoring the 600 miles nonstop, we wanted to stop at a few places and we wanted to be able to sail when the wind suited. Silver Fern decided to go with the big convoy a few days before us. Largo Star and ourselves soon had a group of 7 boats with similar plans, 3 Kiwi, 2 Swedish, one American and one English. Looking out on the beautiful scenery of our second anchorage here at Ra's Sharma, we are very pleased with our decision. The nervous convoy boats don't realize what they are missing. We have seen nothing but great scenery and experienced friendly, sometimes over enthusiastic fishing boats, but nothing so far to feel nervous about. Even the gun toting officials that came to check us out near Khaisat were friendly and really only came to visit to try for some beer from us. (See next blog)
Vessel Name: Tuatara
Vessel Make/Model: Alan Wright 51
Hailing Port: Opua NZ
Crew: Alan and Jean Ward

Sailing in the Pacific

Who: Alan and Jean Ward
Port: Opua NZ