March 4, 2011
muscat, what a treat!
after so many rough miles sailing up north the indian coast and then west on the pakistani and irani coasts we arrived at our original country of destination: oman. unbelievable, when we could have just sailed 1000 miles from Maldives straight to salalah, but instead sailed triple the amount of miles and arrived in the same country but in muscat… close to the strait of hormuz… far from where we wanted to go…. but what a place it was.
Here we met our friend justin who came from london to sail this leg with us. we also met friends from other 2 sailboats that joined our little mini convoy of only 2 boats; so now we were 4 sailboats who would sail together hugging the omani coast. We were surprised by the port sultan qaboos which we found incredibly clean and beautiful. also the city of muscat was very clean and pretty. What a contrast from india. We saw gardens everywhere with blooming flowers in the middle of the dessert!!!
We went to a very nice and comfortable marina where we got some well deserved nights of sleep and did a much needed maintenance to the boat. By this time of the trip most of the lines are of have already chafed and almost everything on the boat has been replaced or mended or is not in use anymore because it doesn’t work. So this place with unlimited water to clean the dirt from india was excellent for the boat and for us. the only downside of it all was the cost. this marina has been the most expensive of our entire trip. oman in general has been the most expensive country. Not only everything costs more here but the exchange to the dollar does not benefit us so everything is triple the price when compared to US.
we also discovered the best supermarket ever. a chain from the arab emirates called LULU. what a place… with all the arabian sweets one can think of and with my now favorite snack: dates!! overall muscat was an amazing treat. Delicious food at the market and at the restaurants. we went to the best fish place ever. what a delicious meal.
we also were treated exceptionally well by all the locals who gave us a ride everywhere, helping us save a little money on taxis. we felt clean and rested. still anxious about the remainder of the route which was still long and the same if not more dangerous that what we had already covered. but with a clean and ready to go boat we felt it was time to move on.