Hot Hot Hot

The Middle East – AKA hot unlivable zone

Well, I am busy again, this time I find myself in Ajman, in the smallest Emirate of the United Arab Emirates, about 30 km away from Dubai – but driving there takes about 6 hours, due to traffic.

I am in the busy Arab Heavy Industries shipyard, in, what feels like the middle of nowhere, assisting with some modifications and upgrades to a 20 year old Japanese built tug (read – sore head and tight spaces, and generally over engineered), destined for it’s new owners in Canada. After the major work is completed here, we are sailing it the vessel to Canada for final fit out.

Our route is suppose to take us out of the Arabian Gulf, to the Gulf of Aden and its friendly pirates, past the wonderful sounding, Djibouti, up the peaceful Red Sea, past Sudan and Mecca, into Egypt’s Suez Canal, to the Mediterranean Sea; Gibraltar, and across the “pond”. Well, at least that’s the plan so far.

The business end of the tug,
in drydock – Kawasaki Z drives

After a couple months of not knowing where work was going to be, I was happy to be heading on to the ship, although, I was a little apprehensive about the whole idea of the Persian Gulf, its culture, weather and different social values. Maybe a bit much potential adventure in my “wiser” years. But hey, professional sailors do this all the time, for millenniums; so off you go I said!

So let me tell you about Ajman…. its sunny, dusty, hazy, lots of sand, and its %*$(&*ing hot. Like burst into flames hot. Like you turn on the hot water tap in the shower, to get water cooler than the “cold” water tap and its uninsulated pipes – that’s hot. Often the mercury reads 44, 38 in the shade is normal. Its so frickin hot you can even lean up on the bulwarks. …and the worst part, its only spring! Just in case I have not made my point yet, its really warm here.

Ajman, stays busy well late at night,
when the temp is down to 33C

I come from BC, so the four months of 6c Celsius and the perpetual gray drizzly days are quite fine with me – I quite like it actually. I do enjoy the sunny days, especially when the sun comes out and the mercury reaches 21; 28 C, and my wife and I start snipping at each other. But really, who the heck decided to build a major, major metropolitan area in the dessert with temperature reaching in the fifties.

I will try to post more of my adventures here, well see how it goes, shipyard work can be taxing enough in cool weather… catch you later.

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