The voyage ahead
15th February 2010
Captain Saleh Al Jabri
We are getting so many messages of support and good luck wishes
Many people are worried about the dangers of the voyage. They ask me about pirates, about other ships, about the weather and the fact that we will have no escort ship with us. But we have careful safety plans and we are ready, so now I want to go. I am very excited, very nervous and sad to be leaving my family. I have four children aged 16, 14, 9 and 3. Leaving them for the long voyage will be hard but I have to go. This is my dream to captain an ancient ship like the Jewel. A ship like this is built only once in a lifetime and I am so honoured to be her captain. My family is so proud of me.
Now I am just counting the hours until we leave. I can hardly sleep at nights. I lie there making lists in my head of all the things we have to do. In the mornings I’m like a zombie but then I have hot, strong coffee to shake my brain and the warm sun comes up and off we go again into another day.
I have been imagining that moment when we drop the tow and hoist our sails. The coast of Oman will disappear and then we will look east towards Cochin. We will be on our own, though I know my family, my village and my country will be with me in spirit. We will be independent at last, nobody with us except the wind and God himself. Then we will be happy in our hearts because I am a sailor and I love nothing better than doing just that – sailing.