It occurred to me last month as I gazed out of my living room window the the millionth time that I should actually do something about the yachts beneath me. Not necessarily purchase one, but at least chartering one for afternoon would be a special thing to do. So I set about some research and came across a company called xclusive yachts who were well respected locally and known the the manager of the yacht club. With my birthday just around the corner, it would be really memorable to take me and my friends out for an afternoon onto the Gulf on a Gin Palace of note. Also with my oldest friend Amber coming over to Dubai for the weekend it would be an extra special occasion all around.
Amber and I enjoying the beautiful weather on my balcony and it was such a special treat to have her as my guest in Dubai:
Prior to making my booking I had taken the time for a little inspection and was not disappointed. The interior lounge and bedrooms were beautifully finished, with a great top deck and plenty of seating all around for us to relax on, it was the perfect vessel. We arrived at the Dubai Marina Yacht Club about half an hour before our departure and everyone’e sense of anticipation was clear. It felt it had been ages in coming and we were all eager to get on board.
You might be able to tell that I am a tiny bit excited as we boarded:
As we ambled along at 5 knots through the Dubai Marina people ran around the boat exploring all the various nooks and crannies, while I busied myself getting the iPod hooked up to the stereo for some cheesy rock tunes. While we gently cruised up the Marina it was great to get some views of the exciting new “Infinity” Tower with a twist in that is progressing fast:
Once out of the Marina the captain opened up the motors and we were soon heading out past the Palm and deep into the Gulf. The skyline behind us of the Marina skyscrapers was just amazing:
Everyone was able to relax and enjoy the wind rushing around us as we cruised out. We were well looked after by the deckhand who was just everywhere. One minute serving soft drinks and nuts, the next ensuring everyone had a glass of champagne in their hand that was consistently full till we ran dry of the bubbly:
The captain was equally amiable and had a few fun stories about previous parties he had taken out:
Once we had gotten to a certain area of the Gulf we dropped anchor and the fishing rods were pulled out and a number of lads got stuck in. A little competition started – who would catch the first fish, who would catch the biggest fish and who would catch the most fish. Below Werner does well and gets one of the first bites:
All to soon fishing time was over and it was on to the next part of the trip. We set sail for the “lagoon” which is conveintly located just outside Barasti. We weren’t the only ones there – it seems this is where the luxury day tripping yachts head to allow for their passengers to swim into the sea. This being a bit of a party boat soon most were in the water splashing around:
There was also a bit of fun with people leaping and diving off the top deck. Matt with his mad skills was the clear winner:
After the swimming was over people were feeling exhilarated, so it was about time I got busy making some cocktails for the cruise back into the Marina:
And what better backdrop to enjoy a limey refreshing cocktail as the sun went down on a rather sensational day…
Once back in the harbour I gave the crew a generous tip and we hiked back across the bridge to my place for the “after party” however not before enjoying the view from the bridge:
Once back at my place we teamed up with more of my friends who had also been out on a yacht the same day. It was very kind of Chef Tom (from Ask One TV Fame) to sort out almost an endless supply of tasty prawn, beef and lamb kofta kebabs. Here he is having a bit of a bus man’s holiday working hard on the grill:
He also managed to fix up a cake for the Birthday Boy (me) and the Birthday Girl (Laura his wife) with a rather giant and very tasty cake. This arrived with loads of candles and a rapturous version of happy birthday:
We partied late into the night and I can only be thankful that the cleaner came in the following morning to sort out my place which was looking very sorry for itself the morning after.
It was a fantastic day. A trip on a yacht around Dubai with great friends is an experienced not to be missed and I can only rate it as 10/10. A bunch of my mates were in Sri Lanka during that weekend and I really wish they could have been with me, I hope that there will be a next time.