18 March 2008

Salalah, Oman

Team Sandpiper Update 18 Mar 2008

Anchored 16'56.2N/54'00.3E
Salalah Inner Harbor
Salalah, Oman
Middle East

Oman. Never thought I would be here but here we are officially in the Middle East surrounded by camels and desert. Upon entering the Port of Salalah we contacted port control on the VHF to make sure it was all clear for us to enter. Once the hook was down and we were settled in, Steve and Rene picked us up and we were on land again after 13 days at sea.

A local by the name of Mohammed is the cruiser's unofficial agent. He helps with anything from checking in, car rentals, laundry, etc. We have dubbed Mohammed the "Eddie Murphy of Oman". He looks just like Eddie Murphy in 'Coming to America' dressed in his Muslim attire and his big gold watch with the flag of Oman on the face covered in diamonds. He drives a 2007 Hummer and has a smile to melt your heart.

After we were checked in we went straight for the Ex-pat club (The Oasis) and consumed way too many beers and some good eats. Yesterday we got our car, checked out town, then went to LuLu's the grocery store. Then on to the Crowne Plaza Hotel pool and had lunch.

While driving around town we noticed there are no women around. The few we did see at the store were full on covered up. I'm actually being a rebel by walking around town in pants and a short sleeved shirt. I should be covering my arms as well. But PLEASE! It's so freakin' hot here.

Steve picked out a great Pakistani restaurant for lunch. Once inside we were quickly escorted to the 'Family' section behind a sliding wall. Heaven for bid Rene and I eat with other men.

While driving around the desert we captured many photos of camels and just took in the natural beauty of the landscape.

We did our first diesel run yesterday, taking on 40 gallons of diesel for $75USD, which is around 40 cents a liter (0r USD$1.86 a gallon). Today (Tuesday) we will provisions, find 'Pizza Hut', and visit a few local stores.

Rene and I want to buy turbans and learn how to tie them. Tomorrow we hope to relax pool side at the Crowne Plaza. On Thursday afternoon we plan to head off for the 600 nautical mile run to Aden, Yemen.

We miss you all back home and want to wish my Mom a 'Happy Birthday' on the 17th, and a Happy Anniversary to Jen and Tim on the 20th.

Love to all,
Amy and Tom

Notes From Ron: Found a couple of good web pages from other cruisers who have stopped in Salalah. Here is a summary page, pretty much what Tom and Amy have worked from. The S/V Moonshadow stopped by in May 2007. Last, I ran across this post about a pirate attack off Yemen in 2002... really more of an open-sea mugging.

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