Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be moving to a foreign country to live, let alone a country in the Middle East. Over the 2009 Christmas and New Year’s holidays, my husband Roger and I discussed what we wanted the next part of our life to be like. He thought that before retiring, he would like to do one more airport project but only if he could find something very interesting. I half-jokingly agreed that would be fine but could he try for an exotic location? As usual, Roger came through and soon we were headed to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. This blog is a recap of our "leap-of- faith" wanderings around the Middle East and beyond. We joyfully share these expat experiences.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Prince of Sea . . . . A Royal Seafaring Day in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE


We are headed out to sea on the Prince of Sea sailing yacht when the deck hand Tamer motions for me to come to him.  He's holding a woven rope basket  that he's been vigorously rigging since we left the dock. I look around thinking he means someone else, but no, he really wants me. I hand my camera to Roger and walk gingerly towards him.

The contraption is indeed a basket to sit in. I notice it is attached to the boom of the sailboat but what that implies doesn't exactly register. He motions for me to sit. I glance over at Roger and see his look of trepidation. 

Katie in the rope swing.

The minute I am in the basket Tamer lets go of the rope and I swing out over the water on the ship’s starboard side. The swiftness of the movement startles me. As the basket tilts at a dangerous angle, it takes a minute to comprehend that if I don’t hold on really tight I will plunge headlong into the briny deep. Is this a modern version of walking the plank?

I careen alongside the starboard hull of the speeding yacht inches from the water; I feel like one of the dolphins I have seen racing next to excursion boats.  I am just about comfortable with this, when Tamer hoists me higher and I quickly fly over the boat to the port side only to be sharply brought back again getting a great seagull view of the surroundings.

Wait a minute – this is great! 


I spend about 15 minutes suspended over the water swinging back and forth being hoisted up and down as Tamer has his way with me.


Prince of Sea under full sail. 
onphoto courtesy of Prince of Sea
The Prince of Sea is a motorized luxury sailing yacht that travels out of the Al Hambra Yacht and Marine Club on the Arabian Gulf coast in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) about 45 minutes driving time north of Dubai. This 80-foot gullet is the traditional two-masted wooden sailing vessel from the south-west coast of Turkey. Our vessel has three levels, three separate dining areas and seven en-suite air conditioned cabins. Yes, that was seven cabins! This "PRINCE" is luxurious.


Roger supervises the hoisting of the sails by our shipmates.  

Prince of Sea is named after RAK’s most famous son, Ahmad Ibn Majid.  A master navigator in the 1400’s, he was famous for his navigational knowledge of the Indian Ocean at a critical time when the European ships were just arriving.  

The Prince’s gregarious crew works vigorously to engage the guests - this is definitely a participatory trip.  Along with the swing basket, some guests try their hand at acrobatics swinging from a harness trapeze, body sliding and speeding pontoon boats rides. There is even a lesson in hoisting the sails. Roger and I opt for the more sedate swimming and snorkeling off the side of the ship.

By mid-afternoon, after all these water sports, we are famished and welcome the scrumptious buffet lunch laid out in the main salon – a selection of perfectly chilled fresh salads, simmering pasta, fresh garden vegetables, tender grilled meats and fish. To top off a completely satisfying feast are petite pastries and ice- cold fruit.


After lunch Roger and I relax on the forward deck. There is just something magical about the rhythm of a ship under sail. Her slow steady thrust against the waves, the ripple of her sails catching the breeze and the freshness of the salt air lulls us into an almost hypnotic cat-nap state.     

Our merry band of sailors. 
By the end of our 6-hours on the sea our merry band of sailors has bonded and is reluctant to say good-bye. Weary and sun-burned, Roger and I agree this was one of our best days in the UAE and an experience we would love to do again.   

We enjoyed the full day excursion but the “Prince” offers other options - sunset cruises - dinner cruises – ½ day cruise, 2 and 3 day cruises to Dubai or almost wherever you want to go in the area.  They have hosted corporate gatherings, weddings and birthday parties.

We give the Prince of Sea 5 stars!!!. 

Disclosure: Roger and I were guests of the Prince of Sea.  

Here is a video of some fun activities on board the Prince of Sea. These waters are known for sightings of rare large green turtles - and eagle-eye Roger spots one.  At the end of the video look for Roger pointing to a turtle swimming alongside Nimi, one of the guests, who is cavorting in the water in the trapeze harness.   

VIDEO


PHOTO ALBUM













8 comments:

  1. How fun!! Great post, Katie!

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  3. Hi, Nice post thanks for sharing. Would you please consider an intro to my website on your next post, I’ll return the favor. Please email me back. Thanks!

    Aaron Grey
    aarongrey112 at gmail.com

    Insurance blog

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  4. The pictures are simply amazing and inspiring , suspended over the water must be very exciting i should try that .
    Visit Dubai

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    1. Yes do try it. I was great fun once I got used to it!

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  6. very nice article of must-see places in Dubai and a must-have for all traveling there ! Truly delightful place for the entire family - beaches, malls, theme parks - my favorite is the desert safari, have to make it to the miracle garden the next time -visit Dubai

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