Day 4 - Sibi, Telegraph Island, Maqlab, and Nazifi

Trip Start Oct 29, 2011
Trip End Nov 06, 2011

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Under the stars

Flag of Oman  ,
Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Around 04:45, the first prayer on the loudspeakers of the village woke us up! But we went back to sleep until around 06:30. M* recorded the prayer:
// Sound to come

Some of us went to the village to fill our bottles of fresh water:
// Sound to come

For breakfast, Marco had a surprise for us: pancakes! He had bought before leaving pancake mix in a very convenient bottle. It was great. It reminded us what we had when we did canoe trips in Canada!

Meeting with residents
As we were about to leave, Sa* came to take us to the village to visit the citizens and houses.
We all were first welcomed in a house where breakfast was offered to us: fresh fruits, coffee....
In this house, the "whole" village came to see us, women or men.

Then, Sa* took us to his place, where once again we were offered breakfast. All of us really enjoyed these two additional breakfasts!! On our way back to the kayaks, some young girls offered presents to C* and V*.

It was around 09:45 when we left Sibi. We may be late, but it was great meeting the inhabitants and spending some time with them.

Paddling and dolphins
We headed directly to our lunch stop, which was on Telegraph island, not that close to Sibi! Once again, no wind at all, perfectly sleek water and hot air. It was the longest stage we had made at one time.

Shortly before arriving to Telegraph Island JM* and S* spotted dolphins. They were very close. Marco was right next to them. It was thrilling.

Telegraph Island
We arrived closed to the Telegraph Island which was surrounded by dhows. Luckily for us, some time after we'd arrived, they'd all left, and the island and its surroundings was just for us.

About Telegraph Island, here is what Bradt guide writes about it:
In the mid-19th century the technological revolution in Europe and the invention of telegraphy via a cable began to change the face of worldwide communications.
The telegraph line was led into Elphinstone inlet and from there onto a small island to be known thereafter as Telegraph Island. The site was selected as it offered more security than the mainland against potentially hostile local tribes, and the telegraph station was built there in 1854 and maintained until 1869, the same year when the opening of the Suez Canal also brought Britain and India closer.
The terminus functioned for only five years since no-one wished to live in such an inhospitable place. Its strategic importance was felt by the British to be such, however, that in 1904 they decided to erect flags there, but could not agree what flag should fly.

While Marco was preparing lunch, we went snorkeling around the island. Seabed was great. There were lots of fishes. Many we had seen before. However they were in great numbers and not frightened at all. They could come very close and thus we took many pictures.

M* had spotted two clown fishes in their anemone, so after lunch, just before going to Maqlab we took some pictures


Maqlab and Maqaqah Khor
Then some members of the group stayed on Telegraph Island whereas others paddled to Maqlab to go on the heights of the village to look at the view on the other side.

After a short walk, we were overlooking behind the Bay of Sham. According to Google Earth it is Maqaqah Khor.
It was a stunning view and really a great moment.


Campsite in Nazifi
It was pretty late when we left Maqlab and so we headed straight to Nazifi. It was a long distance in one go especially since the wind was blowing against us.
We arrived on Nazifi beach: a very shallow and muddy area. But we set the center campsite at a nice location: under the big tree.

The kayak route of the day was the longest of the trip. Details on the route can be found in this post or on a Google Earth file.

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