Savouring every moment
2nd March 2010
Jeff Khoo, Foreign Service Officer, Singapore
Even as I hope for favourable winds, I will be savouring every minute of this exceptional voyage
Sailing on the Jewel of Muscat is for me a tremendous honour and a great pleasure.
My involvement in the project first arose from my work at the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I recall being pleasantly surprised when the project first came to my attention. While decidedly unorthodox, the project is of unparalleled elegance as a gesture of the friendship between Singapore and Oman.
The historical significance of the Jewel of Muscat Project is equally impressive. The project is the symbolic recreation of the Maritime Silk Route that had for centuries linked the peoples and marketplaces of the Middle East and East Asia. It is also a present day affirmation of Oman’s rich maritime heritage and Singapore’s position as a crossroads for maritime trade.
I am not a professional sailor, but have some experience sailing. Some time ago, I spent five thoroughly enjoyable days on a sail training yacht operated by the Marina at Keppel Bay Sailing Academy in Singapore. The experience gave me a Royal Yacht Association competent crew certificate, and gave me a first taste of the pleasures of sailing. I was most fortunate to have been offered the chance to participate as a Singaporean crew member on board the Jewel of Muscat. Friends and colleagues have been tremendously supportive, and have provided me with valuable advice.
Over the past weeks, as we slowly made our way across the Western Indian Ocean, I have learnt a great deal from my fellow crew members – about sailing, about living at sea, and also about Oman, its people and its rich culture.
The Jewel of Muscat project is a celebration of cultural heritage, of historical rediscovery, of passion and adventure. Therein perhaps lies the project’s deeper richness and beauty. Even as I hope for favourable winds, I will be savouring every minute of this exceptional voyage.