Dhow Adventures

Bahrain’s rich history is steeped in the pearl banks that once lined the outer edges of this Arabian Island, drawing traders to its shores. The incredibly hardened pearl divers of years gone by are now inked images in local museums and pearling, once Bahrain’s main source of income, is not much more than a tourist attraction as Bahrain trades well beyond this natural resource.

Trade seems to pump through Bahraini blood, generating the commercial and cosmopolitan hub that modern Bahrain is today…

This ecumenical feel is not new to the area…Grifford Palgrave, an English explorer and Arabic scholar drew attention to to it a few centuries back  describing a local scene as:        a a mix of strangers, settlers and locals blended together at the Market Places and Coffee Shops, the colours of India blending in with the Saffron stained vests of the Oman, the white robed  Nejed and stripes of the Baghdad gowns. The atmosphere open, with an urbane outlook, unlike the zealots and fanatics, camel drivers and Bedouins of the more closely knit and bigoted universe of Central Arabia… A Year’s Journey through Central and Eastern Arabia (1862-3)

Along side pearling, fishing was and still is an integral part of the economy, and today the fishermen go out, dawn and dusk, on various crafts,…most striking of which are the fishing dhows, once magnificent – pearl laden and in full sail, but still dramatic even though engines have now replaced sails, puffing smoke into the air as they charge off into the distance.

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From the Bahrain Yacht Club where our little sailing boat sleeps, we have watched these dhows head out just before sunset for a night of fishing.

And recently, in search of an ‘up-close’ view, we took Singapore Sling out around this time – our sightseeing interrupted briefly when distracted by the passing scene, we momentarily lost our focus and landed up pivoting on a sand bank. An appropriate amount of yelling as we pondered the 200m swim in through the passing stream of boats seemed to wright the problem along with a few fancy  moves and sail yanking from our Skipper.

A visit to the local souk for Bahrain pearls or the Manama Central Fish Market completes the trade circle where on any given day a vast selection of fresh fish, prawns, and at times oysters- sans pearls, can be purchased and cleaned, sliced or diced, “as you please Madame” –  along with the usual smiles and service that we have come to appreciate  on this busy, buzzy, trade friendly Arabian Island.

Celebrating Middle Eastern Living and Rich Trade History- December 2016

Jeanie’s Boat

Sometimes the grandest of adventures are those we don’t plan.

Eric loves boats – and although we are yet to do the ‘boat part’ of our life, it is coming….

Meanwhile, boat opportunities are not passed up lightly.073

And so when an unexpected delay in Durban created an extra day to fill, we jumped onto Angra for a relaxed harbour cruise.

Angra Pequena hails from Namibia, where she was born in the early 60’s. She has lived a life of adventure.

In her youth she worked as a fisheries patrol vessel and spent time diamond hunting and more recently she has provided a platform for ground breaking Coelacanth research.

Durban Harbour is big and busy,

any day of the week.

Crafts of all shapes and sizes get on with the business of making things happen.

Heli-lift

Moving stuff across oceans.

And yet, just beyond the walls,

in the shadow of the city-scape,

Durban City

and its Great Stadium,

a mother and her child,

 practise their moves.

 A stark reminder of Mother Nature  – a contrast against the striking concrete surrounds.

Swoooosh….

And then it was time to head back, the setting sun as our guide…

Angra Pequena will be based off the Mozambique Coast for a large part of this year. She operates as a research vessel and live aboard dive and adventure craft. She is owned and run by Marine Scientist, Dr Jean Harris (a.k.a.-  my sister-in-law, Jeanie.)

For more about this beautiful Craft and what she offers, go here: Angra.

Spring 2013 – Celebrating the joy of surprises.