Saturday, May 11, 2013

Camping on Hamdan Island

The group! In back: Boz, Brad, Casey, Rachel, Jay & Jamie
Sitting: Amy, Ashley, Jordan, Naomi, Me, Ben
Not pictured: Jessi & Casey C.
We FINALLY went on our camping trip to the World Islands! Our first attempt was postponed due to 8-10 foot swells at sea and we were not keen on re-enacting The Perfect Storm.  So we rescheduled for May 3rd & 4th.  There was a small group of us and we had the entire boat to ourselves! The weather was warm, but there was a slight breeze that made it an absolutely perfect day.

Our baller boat!
We boarded the boat and embarked upon a leisurely sail on the Arabian Sea. (Well, around the coast of Dubai).

On the bow

Naomi being adorable.
That is also where we were allowed to jump off of!
When we reached Hamdan Island (one of the islands that make up the World Islands) our captain Alda lowered the anchor and we went for a dive! They allowed us to jump off of the 2nd deck of the boat, so with a 'just do it' attitude and a girlie scream, I went in. (The 1st girl to do it, too!) The cool, salty water felt wonderful. The current was a bit strong so swimming to the ladder of the boat was a challenge. I'm a big baby when it comes to water so I only jumped in once. The current and not being able to touch really freaked me out. Ben stayed in longer and jumped off the 2nd deck a couple more times.

 We were all back on the boat within 45 minutes of stopping.  Our captain remarked that we had spent 5 hours on the boat and hadn't once gone to the island.  I told him that we can go to the beach/pool whenever we want.  The boat was the luxury that we had been looking forward to! We ate a small lunch of chicken breast with mushroom sauce and mashed potatoes and not long after we finally ventured to the island.  A few people, including my brave hubs, swam the couple hundred yards to the island and others, like me, took the 'White Lightning' to shore. White Lightning was the little boat that we dragged behind the big boat to get us to shore. Most people laid out and chatted.  Ben and I played catch in the waves for a bit and went on a walk around the island. We didn't stray too far, though, because we were warned that if you get close to the caretaker's house police will come with helicopters and all sorts of craziness. No thank you!

Absolutely beautiful!

View of part of the city from the boat.
Gives you a better perspective on how the the Burj Khalifa actually is!

You can see the hammock we laid in @ night!
When we returned to the boat and showered, we went on a sunset cruise. Talk about beautiful! To top it off they served us chocolate crepes.  Yummmmmmmm! We were then served supper which consisted of chicken and mixed meat kabobs & Lamb Chop.  It was crazy good, in my personal opinion, but it could have tasted like butt and I probably would have still liked it.  The sun had wiped my energy and the refueling was much needed.

 After supper and drinks on the boat, we boarded White Lightning and went to our camp!  One of the guys had stayed behind while we had our sunset cruise and supper and set up the tents for us.  Yay! Getting everyone to the island turned out to be a bit difficult.  White Lightning started pooping out on us.  When Ben and I were on the boat it stopped and the guy struggled to get it going.  When we did eventually make it to the island, we worked on getting the campfire started and lighting tiki torches. Everyone was able to get out to the Island but the guys aboard White Lightning literally went walking on the island to find something to use as a paddle.  They found a random piece of wood and paddled back to the big boat.  I felt AWFUL for them.  At some point in the night they came back to the island and set up a water jug for us but no one heard them.  I hope that doesn't mean they paddled back to the island after reaching the boat. . . If they got the mini-boat working, we should have woken up to it.  It is about as subtle as a train.

When the fire died down we all went to our tents and passed out fairly early.  Naturally, we awoke early as well.  As everyone trickled out of their tents, we spotted two dolphins! We were too far away to get a really good look at them, but you could see them surfacing as they swam.

Sleepies :)
With a little spit and glue they were able to get White Lightning functioning enough to get everyone back to the boat. We had a huge breakfast spread of meats and cheeses, fruit, hummus, croissants and freshly made omelets   There was also endless coffee, which was nice, even if it was Nescafe.  Something about being completely zonked makes you like and appreciate crap coffee. :)  

When breakfast was finished we started our ride back to land. Ben and I passed out for almost the whole thing and were woken up as we were coming into the marina. We grabbed our things and headed home once we docked.  It was an amazing weekend!

Flattering picture of us passsssed out.
Our favorite parts:
The boat ride
Walking on the beach
The campfire
The sunset
Coffee on the boat in the a.m.
When the sails were up
Sitting in the hammock off the bow of the boat at night

Not so favorite:
Sea water & the salty grit left on your bod. (BJ)
Lack of potties on the island and harsh, harsh, harsh laws here about indecent exposure. Eff. (LJ)

We hope to go again before leaving Dubai for a day trip!

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