I'm standing at the airport surrounded by my family who all drove to Amsterdam to say goodbye to me. Saying goodbye is never great fun, but I am in a very good mood as this plane will bring me closer to Guppy, closer to my home. With just a few days stopover in Dubai. An Australian friend whom I'd met in Thailand, lives in Dubai. There will be a sail race going on from Dubai to Abu dhabi and since I'd never sailed a race in that part of the world I thought it be very interesting. So from cold Holland, I landed into a very hot Dubai. I stayed with my friend, Elizabeth, who showed me different parts of Dubai. So I saw the huge shopping malls, the skyscrapers which are all completely different from each other, burj kalifa proudly standing above all of them. In the old part of town there's no skyscrapers but old buildings and little streets, more like I know it from morocco. Somewhere in between all these buildings standing on top of each other there is the gold souk, a street... well a couple huge streets with shops that just sell jewelry and gold, and it just keeps going and going and going… It was amazing to see but I was over it quite quickly as it was way to busy for me.
A couple boats had pulled out from the race as the forecast gave almost no wind for the period that we would be on sea, but luckily my boat still got to do the race. We had a great start, sailing in front of the boats we had to be in front of and making good progress. There are a few great sailors on board. But then after a day of sailing, the weather forecast made it's words right and we where becalmed. We could have made it back to the finish line in probably another 17 hours if it would have stayed like that, but one of the crew had to catch a flight that night and we where forced to start the engine so we could make it to Abu Dhabi in time. I had a great sail and time on the ocean anyway with very nice warm temperature's and new waters. To bad we had a deadline to catch :-( Next day I had to wake up early as we wanted to see the camel racing before I would have to go to the airport. Camel racing is a very seriously taken sport and there is heaps of arabians training and racing their camels, a quite spectacular thing to watch. I knew that they could run fast, but just having seen our lazy camels in Morroco I was quite impressed how fast they where, sprinting over the racetracks here. I couldn't stay to long as I had to make my flight back to New Zealand. Such a torture sitting in a plane for 17 hours not being able to do anything and so exited to go home! But it made the arrival even better. The same day I drove back to Whangarei where I was very happy to learn that Guppy was still patiently waiting for me and had only taken on some spiders inside of the boat. Also my car Joy was still there where I had left her and started without a peeps! So I just got some cleaning to do now, most challenge thing will be to find time for that as I am always very busy. The next day I already had to drive back to Auckland for a Y for Youth meeting and now I am finally actually sitting still for a couple ours since I arrived home. So happy to be back. :-)