Slow but beautiful
10th March 2010
Ahmed Al Baluchi
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
My home is the village of Al Musanah, not far from Barka on the Batinah coast. My father was involved in several businesses, but his main career was in the navy of the United Arab Emirates, where he worked for thirty years.
I grew up enjoying fishing and the sea, and when I heard about an opportunity to join the Royal Omani Navy, I became excited about the life it might offer me so I joined. I have done a great variety of jobs in the navy and have enjoyed studying many subjects in the courses they offer including navigation, engineering, and commando training. Currently I am Chief of Security at a naval base, but I am also heavily involved in the Royal Navy’s Parade Team. I very much enjoy working hard to make our parade team perfect, and I am proud to have paraded in front of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said every year since 1995.
Over the years I have worked hard to improve my knowledge of sailing. I especially enjoy racing the Sigma 38 boats in the Dubai-Muscat Regatta, and I am proud to say our team has finished in the top three places almost every time we have entered.
Sailing on the Jewel of Muscat is very different from sailing on a Sigma 38 racing boat. The Jewel is slow, she doesn’t have electricity or modern toilets, and pulling and tying all the lines by hand without winches is hard work. But she is a beautiful ship and it is interesting for me to see how Omanis sailed across the ocean a thousand years ago.
My family is certainly happy that I joined the crew of the Jewel of Muscat. In fact, everyone in my village is happy for me. Of course I want to make them all proud of my role on this voyage, so I work hard, make lots of jokes with my crewmates, and remain confident that, God willing, all of us will reach Singapore safely together. When we do, the first thing I shall do is find a mosque and thank God for our safe journey, then I shall thank our captain, Saleh Al Jabri. After that I want a cool shower, a change of clothes, and a nice dinner of rice and fish.