Ship’s logs

Throughout the Jewel project members of the crew and building team wrote diaries about their experiences. In this section you can read all the log entries from the very first stages of construction through the excitement of the voyage to the arrival in Singapore.

Eric Staples, Documentation Manager

There is a controlled sense of excitement at the moment.

Tom Vosmer, Construction Director 

After months the main timber supply for the ship has arrived from Africa

Ayaz b. Khalid al-Zadjali 

The biggest difference for me about this project is that I’ve only worked on small models of ships before

Luca Belfioretti, Site Manager 

Construction is going very well: the speed of the work is increasing and the workers are getting used to reaching high standards

The President’s Visit 

On March 15 the President of Singapore came to the site to launch the website

The first storm 

Dark clouds loomed over the mountains, lightning flickering, an ominous rumbling of thunder

19th strake goes on 

It is getting very hot on the construction site now: in the last few weeks the temperature has reached 52C

The heat is on 

The heat is on, literally and figuratively. Temperatures regularly top 40° C, wihumidity like a heavy, hot, clammy blanket

Preparing for launch 

The scaffolding has come down and now the tricky planning for the launch has begun

The Captain’s First Log 

I am honoured to be selected as the Captain of the Jewel of Muscat

Eric Staples 

Eric was one of the divers in the sea around the Jewel of Muscat as she was launched

Saleh Al Jabri 

For me the launch was like my baby being born, it was exciting but there were some bad minutes

Tom Vosmer 

The launch was such a long process I am absolutely confused how long it took. Someone told me 46 hours – it could be

Luca Belfioretti 

After the launch we had to face another delicate process – to dry the boat we had to bring her out of the water again!

Tom Vosmer, Construction Director 

Things went so well today on the first sea trial. I’m exhausted and sunburnt, but relieved

Saleh al Jabri, Captain of the Jewel of Muscat 

I was feeling really nervous as we left harbour, a lot of things might have gone wrong. But the first sea trial was excellent, things went really well

First overnight sea trial 

We completed our first overnight sea trial today

The voyage ahead 

We are getting so many messages of support and good luck wishes

A message from H.E. Sayyid Badr

A personal message from H.E. Sayyid Badr, Sec General, Oman Ministry of Foreign Affairs

As we set sail 

I’m very sad at the moment, to leave the family back home, but we have to leave one day

The first morning 

Greetings from all of us aboard the Jewel of Muscat on a bright, still morning

Winds, stars and dolphins 

As one can see from the website map, we’ve made good progress the last two nights, only to have our gains erased by a combination of very low or even contrary winds during the day

Sailing on the Jewel 

I am very happy to have the chance to sail on the Jewel of Muscat

Traditional Arab navigation 

Today is sunny and clear with a light southerly winds. It’s good to see we’re making progress on the map

A dream come true 

I feel very attached to this ship. It has become a close friend

Captain’s Log 

I’m learning how Omanis over a thousand years ago managed to cross the Indian Ocean on cleverly designed but simple ships

‘Round her, the abysses of sky and sea’ 

A calm and beautiful day, with scattered white clouds and light winds. We are learning that good sailors must be patient

Tricky work on the mast 

The major task on board today was to fix a large support strut to the mizzen mast – a difficult and rather tricky task

Calm wonders 

We took advantage of the calm seas to clean the ship and air out the space below decks

First Mate’s Log 

I did not want to miss this chance to learn what it was like for my ancestors to sail to distant lands

A fine sailing day 

The crew gave a cheer when Captain Saleh announced we had covered 66 miles in the last 24 hours–our best day for some time

Monsoon winds 

Readers might find it interesting to learn a bit about the wind system that most characterizes the Indian Ocean–the monsoon

Captain’s Log 

A special message from Capt Saleh Al Jabri and the crew to the victims of the Chilean earthquake

Arab master of navigation 

Fair winds give the Captain and crew time to study the works of the great Omani navigator and poet Ahmed bin Majid

Savouring every moment 

Even as I hope for favourable winds, I will be savouring every minute of this exceptional voyage

Captain’s Log: The Jewel family 

Before the sunset tonight, I looked at the Omani flag flying on the ship and was once again filled with pride about this voyage and what it represents

Humbled by the heavens 

We have been observing the stars carefully every night, for navigational purposes and to learn the various constellations and planets

Whale-watching and other sports 

The Jewel of Muscat crew is treated to a very special event – a sighting of a blue whale

A day of rest 

A day of rest aboard the Jewel and a night time visit from dolphins

A life at sea 

We come from several different countries, but we are truly one team with one heart and we help each other do our best

Safety first 

The crew prepares for stronger winds and practices vital safety drills

Islands ho! 

The Jewel approaches the Lakshadweep Islands

Record speeds 

In strong winds the Jewel covers more than 100 miles in 24 hours

Fickle winds and ancient navigation

Fitful winds mean the Jewel is only crawling along as the crew tries to evaluate ancient navigation techniques

The story of the Jewel 

The Singapore Foreign Minister tells the Singapore side of the story of the Jewel of Muscat

Dog days 

Becalmed just off Cochin the crew is suffering in the heat and jumps at the chance to take to the sea

Slow but beautiful 

The Jewel is slow, but she is a beautiful ship and it is interesting for me to see how Omanis sailed across the ocean a thousand years ago

Inching towards Cochin 

The Jewel inches toward Cochin through a stifling heat relieved by an excellent dinner!

Pepper and spice 

The Indian Navy pays a welcome visit to the Jewel as she heads toward Cochin – a city with a long history of trading spices with the Arab and Roman world

Final straight 

Excitement mounts as the Jewel approaches Cochin, but not just because of the prospect of stepping ashore after 26 days at sea

End of the leg 

The crew of the Jewel of Muscat make final preparations to land in Cochin, with mixed feelings

Captain’s Log 

Captain Saleh gives thanks and pays tribute to his crew at the end of the first leg

Captain’s Log 

It is quite magic now to arrive here in Cochin with the crew all safe and well

An exciting day! 

An exciting and busy day today as the Jewel of Muscat began the second leg of its voyage to Singapore

A knotty problem

As the crew gathered for its first breakfast of this leg, it was clear that it will take a while to get used to life aboard the Jewel of Muscat again

Meet Tuanie Ismail

Last night’s storm remained several kilometres ahead of us through the night, before finally dissipating at dawn. Despite our earlier expectation of rain, today was sunny and clear wivery light winds

Ready for rain 

Today began with only a light breeze, so the ship poked along at less than two knots for several hours. By late afternoon, however, the skies began to darken and the winds picked up–propelling the Jewel along at a more dignified rate of four knots

Stormy weather 

A long and tiring day. The winds overnight increased to

20+ knots, briefly propelling the Jewel of Muscat to a new top speed of 7.8 knots, wiPushpadas at the helm

Repairing storm damage 

Jewel’s crew work hard to recover from the aftermath of the storm

Jewel nears the island of gems 

The crew of the Jewel cope with more rain and look ahead to their arrival in Sri Lanka with its fascinating history as a stop for traders through the centuries

A beautiful day at sea 

The crew enjoy a visit from the Sri Lankan Navy a tropical sunset – and a shampoo!

A love of the sea 

Hussein Al Ra’isi, ship’s bosun and rigger, tells of his love of life at sea

Final approach to Galle 

The crew prepare for the arrival in Galle Sri Lanka

Busy days in Sri Lanka 

Work on preparing the Jewel for the next leg of her voyage is making good progress while the crew welcomes many Sri Lankan visitors to the ship

New sails for Jewel 

Work begins on preparing the new woven sails for the Jewel while some of the crew answer questions from students of the local International School

Busy days in Galle 

Jewel’s crew has been involved in many and varied activities in the past few days in Galle, Sri Lanka

The masts take shape

Work on hand-shaping the new masts moves forward as Jewel has a close call in the harbour at Galle

A emotional send off for Jewel

A first hand account of an emotional send off for Jewel from the port of Galle

Wind and rain

A day of rain and squalls as Jewel begins the leg to Malaysia

Top speed: 8.4 knots! 

Jewel is making fast progress across the Bay of Bengal but it’s hard going

Roughest day yet 

Jewel covers huge distances as the rough weather continues

Calmer weather – for now

Jewel’s crew is relieved to get some calmer weather

Growing up with the sea

Fahad Al Shaibi tells the story of how he came to help build the Jewel and now sails on her as crew

Jewel’s carving 

An explanation of the new inscription to be found carved into the Jewel

Rectangles and triangles

Maintenance and repairs on board Jewel and why the ship has rectangular sails rather than triangular ones

Keeping it safe

Jewel passes Great Nicobar Island and the crew practice safety drills

A love of sewn boats

Sajid Valappil talks of his love of sewn boats