First, an update in the battle for Muscat's Capital Area Yacht Club. aka CAYC, a members only yacht club that happens to be right next to the newish Marina Bander Al Rowdha (a struggling commercial marina that also happens to be partially owned by... the MoT!)
It seems the Ministry of Tourism and their pet poodle OMRAAN still feel confident that intimidation, desperation and persistence will be enough to overturn the explicit written instruction of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos (who some time ago gave the CAYC a deed to their beautiful bay, which also happens to be Goldilocks 'just right' for an new ITD).
A hired heavy - an expat lawyer for MoT - apparently dropped by the CAYC recently and expressed disappointment that the plucky club had had the gall to keep the club facilities in good shape by renovating the patio.
Photo: The Capital Area Yacht Club... just right for OMRAAN
I'm reliably informed that on his recent surprise visit (co-incidentally just before a committee meeting) the Sudanese MoT lawyer asked the Club Manager "why they were carrying out improvements to the place?" (extension of patio area, new showers, shades etc). He then said rather ominously that they would be "moving within a week or two...".
What's next MoT? The old horse's head trick?
The MoT are now trying to move the case (a legal battle over the MoT's right to destroy the bay) to a different court, and are hoping to try their luck at the Oman Primary Court, even though the on-going case is already lodged with the Administrative Court. Any legal experts able to explain the difference?
Good luck CAYC. You should be able to get better lawyers than MoT, to be frank. In fact, maybe even get Omani lawyers, seeing as how the MoT seem unable to find one.
And for God's sake, look after that original deed from HM...
Readers. I encourage you to patronise the CAYC and give them some support. Most members are Omani, and it is a lovely place. After Ramadan, a lovely place for a swim, snorkle, a quiet ale and good value food. Not expensive to join either. Just mention that you're a guest of the Dragon and I'm sure you'll be taken care of. Note: this offer does not apply to one Mohammed Al Sunani - Director General of Planning & Projects at the MoT, a man who has better things to do than lounge around the CAYC, like maybe completing all the unfinished tourist development projects he's already started, perhaps?
In other news, a cautionary tale for my sailing chums.
a dear reader sent me these excellent photos from mid-July, when the Chairman of OHI, (HE?) Maqbool bin Hameed Al Saleh, had a bit of trouble with his nice beautiful yacht.
Photo: Not how it looked in the instruction manual.
I'm told he was out
Dragging its anchor under the squall, the crew were unable to get the engines started, and she quickly ran roughly aground, ripping her guts out.
Photo: Note to self: Million dollar Yachts and jagged rocks don't mix.
Fear not. Business is still good it seems, and the replacement craft (bigger, nicer) is on order.
BTW. Rumours I've heard, that this was an insurance job, really are totally ridiculous. HE was on board at the time, and people could have died. So, interesting as it may be to speculate, I'm afraid I can say it was not an insurance job, as anyone who knows anything about boats would probably know. And, I'll tell ya, get a boat like that in a swell/wind near rocks with no engines, and .... well, you're screwed.
OK, perhaps the crew, and almost by definition, her Captain, were more than a little remiss in their responsibilities. But we all know how hard it is to find good help, and the electrics were always a bit iffy since Gonu.
The real story is that, apparently, the ROP took some convincing it was important enough to come to the rescue. They thought it was either a hoax, or just some drowning illegal Afganis better left to... er... well, drown.
They had to be convinced by HE himself yelling down the phone with some gusto before they decided to leave port, it being a bit rough and all.
[A big thanks to my sources on this one: N, SM, S. ] You know who you are...