Day 4 of  The A to Z  Blogging Challenge

D is for Dhow

daou in Musandam, Oman09162014Pre-dawn darkness shrouded and protected as our 3-car caravan headed for the dhow excursion in Dibba, Oman. There, we would set out for Musandam Peninsual and the Strait of Hormuz for a day of snorkeling and diving. If luck were with us, by afternoon we’d see a dolphin frolicking in the waves.

As I stepped onto the flat wooden planks that made up the crude bed of our dhow–a traditional Arab sailing vessel–I saw several beams that stuck out  from the top of the dhow. They reached halfway across the deck, reminding me of a single set of ribs stretching out sideways from a smooth breastbone.

The damp wood attested to the dhow’s seaworthiness. These beams would never be in port long enough to dry out. The sea called to its, and it answered its beckon.

Seated on the starboard side, I watched the huge rock mountains as they paraded into view.  The rocky mountain range with its sharp angular lines appeared as if drawn with bold strokes of a child’s marker. The caves inside resembled heavily penciled dots.

The dhow stopped at Lima Rock, where divers and snorkelers prepared their gear. “Watch out for the current,” warned a Kiwi diver in the group and pointed. “Stay on this side of the boat”

The sky turned darker and the wind kicked up a notch. I shivered and threw a towel over my legs.

Suddenly, we heard the quiet voice of our Kiwi diver tense up. “Someone is tugging on our emergency line!”

A female–or perhaps more than one–surfaced beyond the dhow.

“Two females,” the Kiwi reported. “We’ll pull ’em up here,” he said moving toward the rope. His voice infused calm and soon the women were rescued.

“Than–Thank you for the leg up,” the first one said, ashen. “That current is wicked.”

The second woman coughed up seawater. Her eyes darted from person to person without recognition.”Umm, who … are you?”

After a few started looks, someone laughed and the Kiwi, who’d become our spokesperson, grinned. “You’re safe, matey, but you’re on the wrong dhow, are ya?”

Clearly, they were embarrassed but not enough to test the water again.

With the rescue behind us, the mood turned lighter. When the sun came out, I must have closed my eyes and drifted off. They flew open when the Kiwi cried out, “There’s someone else out there on the rocks and they’re tugging on the line!”

One of the divers said, “It’s Ed and his wife.”

Ed was our college director.

I squinted but, of course, couldn’t see much.

This rescue would have gone smoothly had the line not broken. The dhow crew tied on a thicker rope but, again, they had problems.

Time was passing. The pair had now drifted away from the rocks and into the sea!

The two dhow drivers threw the motor into gear. About thirty minutes had passed since the first tug on the distress line. The dhow circled out and drew close enough that a diver could throw out the thicker rope. Ed’s wife came first. Then Ed. Those on board burst into cheers.

Ed smiled, gave a half-wave and muttered, “Helluva current out there.”

An exchange of tales flew between the two parties. “We wondered for awhile if you saw us.”

“We’d a pulled ya in sooner but the damn line broke…”

After the hashed out rescue, Ed looked quizzically at the two unknown women seated on the dhow.

“We’re the first rescue,” she said, with a rueful laugh. “We got back on the wrong dhow.”

Then we all turned to the great comforter in any crisis–food.

In late afternoon,  with the dhow gently rocking in a placid area, someone shouted, “Ohhh, look at that dolphin!”

I couldn’t see anything.

But by the sounds of the ooohs and ahhhs of those who could, one must have been frolicking in the waves, after all.

What kind of dangerous situation have you faced? Does it seem as dangerous to you now as it did then? 

You have just read, “D is for Dhow,” by Amy L. Bovaird. Copyright April 4, 2015.You can see who else is participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge HERE.

D is for Dhow
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20 thoughts on “D is for Dhow

  • April 5, 2015 at 2:11 am
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    Your posts always awaken the gypsy in me. I have GOT to make traveling a priority in the next few years! Thank you for an amazing read.

  • April 5, 2015 at 2:13 am
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    Interesting reading! Thanks for sharing! #ultrablog

  • April 5, 2015 at 2:22 am
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    I am not a danger seeker. I am someone who would rather stay home and cuddle up with a good book. This boating trip would have been a bit too adventurous for me.

  • April 5, 2015 at 2:35 am
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    What a fascinating story – must have been quite the adventure for all concerned! Thank you for sharing.

  • April 5, 2015 at 6:36 am
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    Wow, that was quite the adventure! I love your writing, because you use such great imagery and descriptions – helps your readers visualize what you’re sharing!

    In answer to your question- my dangerous situation was the fire I discussed in the post linked with my name, 30 years ago. And yes, it still seems as dangerous now as it was then- and it has taken me all these years to begin writing the story!

  • April 5, 2015 at 1:55 pm
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    Hi Christine,
    Thank you. I hope you could read the entire article. I was having problems with my post for awhile!
    Thank you so much for stopping by and please come back!
    Amy

  • April 5, 2015 at 2:03 pm
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    You’re welcome, Diane.
    So glad you enjoyed it!
    Amy

  • April 5, 2015 at 2:06 pm
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    Ha ha, Alana.
    I hear you. 🙂 And it would have made it so worthwhile if I could have seen the dolphin!
    I regret I didn’t take other opportunities to travel there and see the dolphins. But I have…that almost seeing them experience! LOL.
    And I’m glad my director and his wife got rescued from their peril in the sea!
    Amy

  • April 5, 2015 at 2:09 pm
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    You’re so welcome, Laurel.
    Yes, I think it was. I emailed the link to this post to my previous director to see if he remembered it. Waiting to hear back.
    Take care! So glad to see you are participating in the challenge and combining it with your wonderful poetry!
    Amy

  • April 5, 2015 at 2:28 pm
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    So glad you enjoyed it, K Lee!
    Where can I find that story? Sorry, it does sound life-changing.
    Thank you for commenting on my post!
    Amy

  • April 6, 2015 at 8:41 pm
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    Great story, Amy. I so enjoyed the images and the message at the end. Have you considered writing fiction? Do you have a stash of fiction I’m unaware of? Loved the details of this piece.

  • April 7, 2015 at 10:44 pm
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    We were taken to see people hand building Dhows when we were in Oman, but never got on-board. You had quite the adventure. LOL – we try to avoid dangerous situations, when we travel, but they just seem to pop up when you least expect them. I, like you, find food as my comfort.

  • April 7, 2015 at 11:49 pm
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    Ha ha! Thank you, Tonia,
    That was such a memorable outing. I love dhows. They’re so old and simple. I love the craft of dhow building too.
    We had one that used to sit on its side where i lived. I was fascinated by it.
    I think I’d like to write fiction eventually.
    Amy

  • April 8, 2015 at 12:09 am
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    Hi Rhonda,
    Oh that must have been fun to see them building it! A shame you didn’t get to take a short voyage. You’ll have to go back and do so. I think these ships are similar to the falukas in Egypt except they look a little different. My dad rebuilt a boat so I’ve always loved boating. You know, I think you’re right. Danger pops up when you least expect it even in more “touristy” outings. 🙂
    My next story will be about an indigenous tribe in Colombia. I’m a day ahead of myself (forgot to skip Sunday) so I’ll be posting that tomorrow. Hope you come back to find out more about it.
    Take care,
    Amy

  • April 8, 2015 at 1:29 am
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    This one made me a little nervous as I read it. It reminded me of a freaky little movie called Open Water. I am glad those people were okay. The ocean is amazing, but its currents, for example, are scary in reality. Seeing dolphins in their natural habitats is so cool. Love your descriptions, such as the mountains carved and outlined like with a child’s marker.
    🙂
    Very vivid.

  • April 9, 2015 at 8:46 am
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    How many people can a dhow take? Thank God you all rescued those women! Where did their dhow go?

  • April 9, 2015 at 9:52 pm
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    Depends on the size of the dhow. We had about 15 all together on ours, Corinne.They were carried away by the current past their dhow. They eventually found it again. I think the Captain came looking for them. 🙂
    Amy

  • October 20, 2017 at 7:43 am
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    Had a quick look at your blog and love it already. Have subscribed. Looks like you’ve spent time in many of the places listed in this post.

  • October 20, 2017 at 4:06 pm
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    Hi Frakin,
    Thank you so much for your encouraging note. I have traveled to many places both globally and in the Middle East.:)
    But I’ve taken a hiatus in posting about my travels to work on another project, which I am currently blogging about.
    Thanks you again for your interest.
    Amy

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