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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Some Other Sides of Abu Dhabi-Part 2

So the launching went without further incident. Being midweek, the resort was rather empty so the event drew a few security guards who were no doubt were secretly hoping for a disaster in the making to provide stories around the dinner table that evening.

Teamwork in a two person craft like this requires some time for coordination before the desired straight path is achieved. I am sure our small audience on the beach was amused at the zig-zag course we assumed at first, but in a few minutes we straightened out and started to make some real progress.

View from 27,000FT, the slanted island is our destination

We paddled against a headwind and it was good exercise, almost too good as I do not paddle everyday and was not used to it, but I soon got warmed up and found my "Sea Arms". Now making straight, steady progress and out of the "Two Stooges" mode I started to enjoy the scenery. We soon passed this:

Giant Concrete Conch Shell

There are a a lot of very wealthy people here that do not have day jobs and I think this object is a result of that condition. This is an anatomically correct conch shell that adorned a large piece of groomed property adjacent to our course. I got a twinge of homesickness for some of the tacky resort areas in my home state of Florida, USA. All that was missing is a big "Shell World---Next Exit" sign in bright colors. This shell is obviously not for commercial gain and existed just for the whimsy of the owner. I kind of like that!! A "Because I can, I will" thing. I truly appreciate the effort!

Anyway, the scenery became more rustic just past this landmark. In twenty minutes we were at a mangrove estuary. 

Estuary Inlet to Lower Right from 2200FT

We paddled into an enticing small inlet and observed several interesting things. There were fish jumping all over the place, a feeding frenzy was happening. The tide was exiting the inlet at a very rapid rate, making paddling difficult, and then we saw this:

Large, Texas-sized Barbeque Grill 

This was quite a surprise way out in the sticks. This is an industrial-grade grill that could cook a side of beef. Apparently, some serious parties have occurred here or this semi-permanent facility-with a sun shade yet-would be not have been built. 

A great venue for a beer kegger and a roast pig. but this is a Muslim country and I doubt that type of activity has happened here. There were no broken bottles, empty cans or dare I say lost panties or condoms littering the ground. It was spotlessly clean. No frat parties in this place recently.

We noted the location for just such a event in the near future (just KIDDING!) and paddled upstream against the outgoing tide where we took a break, beached on a sand shoal and took a look around the amazing natural beauty that surrounded us.

Break Time...Barbeque Pit in the Background

Heineken Fever Sets in. Il Capitano contemplates how an 
outboard motor would be nice to get back to the launch area.

 Mom says I need to put on some weight, Mom is always right!
 I miss her Southern Fried Chicken!

Not too far From Civilization, Aldar HQ in backgound

I had intended to make this trip report in just two parts, but like George Thorogood of The Destroyers' fame, I have a friend named Jimmy Beam that helps me write creatively and now he is tapping me on the shoulder and suggesting it would be better to extend this to a third installment. I have a lot more to talk about.

If you noticed in the first Google Earth photo, there are a lot of paved and dirt roads around the island as well as buildings and houses. too. This is a mystery to me as there seems from the overhead photo no way for autos to get there. No bridges or ferries are obvious. I will have to look into this!

Next time, I will expose what flora and fauna that we found among the mangroves as well as why mangroves are so special. The eventual landing back at the resort was a classic experience in itself!


Neil Roberts said...

Cool, great experince

Ace said...

Neil, it was fun to "get away" for a few hours. I am considering getting my own kayak. It is great exercise and is cheaper and more fun than a gym. The hot summers could be a problem. though.

We ought to start a kayak "Yacht Club"!

Neil Roberts said...

I'd love to join you, but Kayaking kills my back!