8.45 start from the hotel to the port. Passed the two cruise ships that arrived this morning! The water was flat as a tack across the bay outside the port. We were heading to the back end of the khor, for our last two swims. First a 4km around 5 bays on the southern side of the channel. This was to be followed by a swim along CeeBee island later in the day.
We didn’t see any dolphins today in the way in. Matter of fact, no one was looking. I think we were all enjoying the smooth ride on the dhow, the magnificence of the surroundings, and the anticipation of two great last day swims!
We motored to within a few kms of the end of the khor, and started preparing for the first swim – slapping on sunscreen, fitting rashies and caps, adjusting goggles, and getting ‘Vaseline’d’.
The five bays looked a bit like this:
You know the drill by now – yellow caps first, then pink caps, and orange last, went over the side and into the first bay. The water felt a bit cooler today which could have been due to the lack of wind! Because all of the bays in the khor are surrounded by fiords, we had to be careful as we hugged the shoreline that we didn’t run into submerged rock and shale in our paths.
Green algae has been a small nuisance in some days this week. We swam through some today in a couple of the bays. The first and second bays were ok, but the third had a real buildup in one corner, which meant we cut across the bay about two thirds of the way in.
We did about 2 kms through the first three bays and another 2 around the last two bays. Amy and I teamed up in the fourth bay going in, and with a following swell and the breeze behind us pushed the pace up for a very quick crossing!
After this swim we moored a few hundred metres further along, and the guides led most of the group on a climb up to the mountain top for a view over the meeting place of the gulf of Oman and the Arabian gulf. Steve and I stayed aboard and had fun with the crew, as Badir tried to coax a manta ray over to our shore.
They arrived back just as curried lunch arrived. I made tomato in flat bread sangas for the 4th time as the others devoured the local fare!
A bit later we prepped again and went over the side for our final 2 km paddle. This was a smooth run along the leeward side of CeeBee island, which extended into a full circumnavigation to provide a very satisfying end to a brilliant week of open water swimming.
As I write this on the dhow nearing port, I can say that this trip has met and exceeded my expectations. The group and guides and dhow staff have all been easy to be with. Every element of the week has been filled with humour, cooperation, and the most positive vibes.