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Old 19-04-2009, 03:34   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Manama, Bahrain
Boat: Beneteau First 28.5
Posts: 3
Hallo fellow sailors!

I found this forum whilst looking around (as I do most of the time on the internet) at boats and everything related thereto. I have been a convert of sailing for the past twenty years but, although I co-owned a Holiday 23 (which initially instilled the true love of sailboats in me!) and before that doing some windsurfing, circumstances always dictated that I be based in a location far from the coast.

I have recently relocated to Saudi Arabia (Riyadh), again some way from the coast but now at least have the opportunity to (within a couple of hours) be at the coast (Bahrain) and make a start at picking up where I left off all those years ago.

I intendto obtain a weekend sailboat, based in Bahrain, for the times when I can get away over weekends and at some stage (say two to three years down the line) buy something more substantial. I have considered a Gulet in Turkey or one of the yacht ownership programmes offered by Sunsail or The Moorings (any experiences on this by members?).

It is my intention to, at some point when the time is ripe, leave all and get on a boat with my loved ones that are willing to go along and sail where the wind takes me. As with other "newbie's" to this forum, I have read widely on the subject but will appreciate some guidance/advice form all the "old salts" here!

Any Bahraini sailors around? ......... I will also look elsewhere on the site.

Thanks for the opportunity to be part of like-minded people!

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Old 19-04-2009, 06:52   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cruising
Boat: Privilege 39 Catamaran, Exit Only
Posts: 2,720
Hi Landlocked.

I worked in Saudi Arabia for eleven years, and then I purchased a catamaran named Exit Only and sailed with my family around the world.

I worked at King Khalid Eye Specialist Hospital in Riyadh, and I know Riyadh better than the back of my hand. I had three Land Rover Defenders while in Arabia, and we camped between 60 - 90 nights a year in the desert. One of our favorite camping locations was the Bakra dunes about an hour south of Riyadh.

There is a Riyadh Rover Register that organizes trips into the desert every weekend. There's lots of places to go into the desert out of Riyadh. Once you are outside of Riyadh, you can drive 500 to 1500 kilometers offroad in every direction. You have endless opportunities for adventures in the desert. My personal favorites are the Empty Quarter, the Mundafin Triangle, the granite fields of the southern Nejd Quadrangle, Jebel Sabah, Ibn Huwayil, and the Darb Zubayda. The white and black volcanoes north of Medina are awesome.

Land cruising in the desert is very much like ocean cruising except that the waves of sand don't move. You drive over the waves. It requires the same degree of preparations and self-sufficiency to make a voyage into the desert. We usually did two camping trips in the Empty Quarter each year with the trips lasting nine days and having three to eight vehicles in our entourage. Great fun.

Sailing is possible off Aramco beaches in the Eastern Province. People camp off the beaches south of Dammam towards Qatar.

I learned to do celestial navigation in the desert using an aircraft bubble sextant.

We eventually sailed up through Pirate Alley and up the Red Sea on Exit Only. We made a documentary of our Red Sea trip called The Red Sea Chronicles. Check out clips of it on our website at, and there are lots of pictures of our sand adventures on our website at )

Red Sea diving is fantastic.

Good luck on your Arabian adventure.

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Dave -Sailing Vessel Exit Only
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Old 19-04-2009, 19:37   #3
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Nicholasville, Kentucky
Boat: 15 foot Canoe
Posts: 14,193
Aloha and Welcome aboard! I hope you can find some water.
Kind regards,
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Old 20-04-2009, 03:33   #4
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Boat: Beneteau First 28.5
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Hi guys,

Thank you for the welcome & photos, I have been to the desert a couple of times but will definitely go look if the places you (Dave) visited are still there and let you know in due course. I enjoyed your website and will certainly go back & do some more reading.
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