Well it’s been a long time again and this time I will mainly put it down to poor internet connection which slightly curbed my enthusiasm to post regularly and uploading photos would have been a near impossibility. I would however be lying to suggest that the fantastic time I’ve been having hasn’t got in the way a little as well. I will skip past my trip to Australia in November and bring you a little more up to date. I must just point out that a delightful perk of yachting is meeting and making friends from all over the world so my end of season time off was spent exploring greater Sydney, staying with a yachtie friend in Manly.
Post a relaxing few weeks spent touring and surfing on Sydney’s northern beaches, I was thrown swiftly back into the swing of things. A 54 hour flight from Sydney – Hong Kong – London – Dubai (yes I did take an exceptionally long route) landed me in the UAE just in time for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. I was given half an hour to recover from the exhausting flight, to shower and get to work. Luckily it was a light trip for us with only 4 guests who spent the duration of the grand prix in the paddock so within radio contact, we were able to walk the length of the very noisy track throughout the race. I must admit we were a little smug at the sight of the other yachts packed to the rafters with revelling guests!
After a short guest trip we expected to be leaving Abu Dhabi a few days later so had a whole crew trip to the desert; dune bashing, camel riding, belly dancing, amazing food – the full on Arabian experience, and what an experience it was!
With an unknown quantity of time remaining in the UAE, we quickly packed in all of the other must see sights on our to do lists over evenings and weekends. The Burj Khalifa, Burj al Arab, The Atlantis Hotel, Palm Island and the beautiful Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi.
As time wore on, the pending trip to India seemed less likely and rumours of trips to Thailand, Sri Lanka and the Andaman Islands passed us by. By this point we settled in to life on Yas Island and began to live more like ex-pats than tourists enjoying day to day life. I was happy to experience my first warm christmas with my extended crew family and to keep us entertained, a series of events and concerts passed through Abu Dhabi including Creamfields, the Volvo Ocean Race and the International Pro Golf Tour to name a few (I am absolutely gutted to have missed Elton John just after going on annual leave).
To top off my time in the Emirates, the highlight was a trip over Dubai by Seaplane taking in the city from the sky.
All in all I’ve had an amazing 5 months of winter in a country that I never had a great desire to visit so it has surprised me on every level. It has been an exciting and entertaining place to live; I would truly recommend it. Unfortunately workwise we had quite a quiet season but with the vessel planning to set sail for Europe, the crew are looking forward to a potentially busy summer.