Sunday, October 14, 2012

Traditional Sailing Dhow Race–Abu Dhabi

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Emirati crew. Photo: Terry Mercer

On Saturday, we worked on Unwind  in the morning, and took our friends Terry and Pete sailing in the afternoon.

They are novice sailors. Pete did a good job driving, but when Terry took the helm, she accidentally tacked the boat. No worries! We just continued sailing in the new direction, and that turned into a very good thing.

Call it “Wildcard luck.”

Sailing Terry & Pete 033

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Photo: Terry Mercer

Sailing along, we noticed a dhow in the distance, sailing toward Abu Dhabi. Where there is one dhow there are more and, like magic, a fleet of about 60 dhows suddenly appeared on the horizon – headed right at us!

Behind us where we had just sailed, in front of the Emirates Palace, they were setting up the finish line. We were in the perfect location to watch and photograph these magnificent, all-wood ships.

Photo: Terry Mercer

They don’t have a keel, so all of their ballast is human. And their crews must be 100% Emirati nationals. The dhows are an important part of their heritage, dating back to the pearling days when the ships would race back to port after weeks at sea.

Enjoy this video, and the music – “In Paradise” by Mohamad Hamami.

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