16-18 November 2010
Tom waking up
Waking up after a night in a tent is just the same in the Emirates or in Oman as it is anywhere else in the world. Well, actually you might notice some subtle differences when you stick your head out into the sun. First of all, yes, there is sun. Otherwise you’ve been very unlucky. Then you’ll notice you are usually not on a crowded campsite, but have a lot of space for yourself…
Goat waking up…as long as you don’t take all the goats into account!
It had been a long drive from Abu Dhabi to this lovely place on the Mussandam peninsula the previous evening. Held up either by endless queues at the border post (thanks to Eid holidays), or late departure from Abu Dhabi, none of us had managed to arrive at the campsite before darkness. But apart from some locals drumming away in a distance it had been a quiet night under the clear sky, followed by a beautiful fresh morning:

Liv waking up

While some desperately tried to decipher the user manual of their newest piece of camping gear to brew a cup of coffee, others remembered the excitement of playing with fire or just tried to figure out where exactly we had ended up the night before.

Charlie waking upSteve waking upGraeme waking up

Soon it was time to leave the mountain scenery and head for the harbour in Khasab to board a Dhow – our home for the next 24 hours.

near Khasab

In the harbourWe had pre-booked the trip, so after a bit more negotiation they finally accepted the previously agreed price. They clearly wasted their time trying to get more from our chief negotiator Rachel!
But everyone was happy at the end, so we enjoyed the busy harbour while the dhows were getting ready.
The Dhow

sailing North Soon we were allowed to board and quickly arranged all our belongings on deck in a huge pile – maybe not quite as organised as the “boat people” are used to…
One by one the boats left the harbour and started the journey towards the famous Telegraph Island.
The sea was calm, and we slowly moved through clear blue water along impressive cliffs.
folded limestone

Dhow Not quite the usual adrenaline rush we had experienced at many of our previous Alpine Club adventures, but every now and then it’s also nice to just relax and watch the cliffs from a distance.
Massive layers of limestone, sometimes folded as if they were made of really soft material – just spectacular!
But things were about to get even better. Much better! The flat surface of the water wasn’t the clue….
deep blue

What’s that? Oh my god – SHARKS?!?

Sharks? – No…

No, DOLPHINS! And loads of them. They obviously enjoyed “surfing” the waves of our boats.


playing with the waves


Telegraph Island

Some time and thousands of photos later, we finnally reached Telegraph island around lunchtime, where we explored the ruins and swam surrounded by little colourful fish – and some tiny jellyfish, which we noticed as soon as we were out of the water and our skin started itching! But luckily it just lasts a few minutes.



The plan for the afternoon was clear – more rocks, more dolphins, lots more photos!

banked carbonates


going fishing


daytrippers heading home

In the late afternoon, the day-trippers made their way back and the dolphins waved good bye!

bye Dolphins!

We convinced our captain to find us a quiet bay a bit further North for the night.
After a day on the water with just a small snack for lunch, we were getting really hungry.
When the dinner delivery boat finally arrived, it felt almost like finding an oasis in the desert!

dinner delivery

The food was excellent – but definitely not too much for ten hungry people. If you ever do one of those trips, make sure you bring a bit of extra food!


a bay for the night


the crew

heading back


After a safe return to Khasab port, we stopped at the pre-historic rock carvings of Tawi – easy to miss, if you don’t know where to look for them, but a friendly local pointed out the spot:

rock carvings - camels

Camels, ships and other figures were clearly visible – well worth the little detour!

rock carvings - ship


Some of us had more time to head into Mussandam instead. Amazing scenery – this needs another trip to explore more!

 Mussandam  Mussandam  Mussandam



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