Saleh Abdullah Salem al Khanjari, 28, undertook a 180km-kayaking trip from Bandar al Khairan to Sur in early February to promote tourism in the sultanate.
During the solo adventure, Khanjari had a pineapple for company with which he engaged in animated conversations to pass the time and keep his sanity.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Khanjari said that he “lives for adventure” and loves sailing. Starting out on February 4, 2020, at 8am from Bandar al Khairan, he kayaked along the sultanate’s dramatic coastline to the wilayat of Sur in South Sharqiyah covering the 180km in eight days. He concluded the trip on February 12, 2020, at 3:30pm.
The trip aimed to promote tourism and explore Oman’s pristine coasts. Kayaking through the day, Khanjari stopped at dusk on beaches to set up camp for the night. “I camped overnight in nine spots. The first was on a private beach close to Bandar al Khairan,” Khanjari informed.
Overnight camps at Bandar al Rawada, Sifah, Daghmar, Dhabab, a site near Hawiyyat Najm (Bimmah Sinkhole), Ras al Shajar, Haydah and the final one at Sur on the last night followed. To train for the arduous trip, Khanjari worked on his fitness level by kayaking at different times of the day in varying sea conditions, besides swimming for long hours.
“I had safety equipment, a tent, drinking water, rehydrating fluids and canned food to last the journey. I had a first aid kit and wore a life jacket all the time,” he said, emphasising the need for safety and preventive measures during such adventures. “I thank the Coast Guard Unit and the Muscat-based kayaking service provider Wave Summit for their support throughout the trip.”
While he chose February for the challenge owing to the pleasant weather with low wind speed conditions generally associated to the month, high waves and strong winds were a constant challenge throughout the eight days he was out at sea. “I encountered 3m high waves on some days,” Khanjari recalled, adding that the trip challenged his determination, patience and endurance in no small measures.
Khanjari claims to be accustomed to such physically as well as mentally challenging conditions having undertaken several such adventures in the past. “I don’t miss any creature comforts or luxuries when I set out on such trips,” he claimed. Giving in to wanderlust, he left his job as an engineer in Petroleum Development Oman in 2016. “My lifelong dream has been to travel and see the world while promoting Omani tourism. So far, I have been to 54 countries.”
Khanjari has also set up a tourism company called Saraina in partnership with three friends and plans to offer guided tours and related services to tourists. I don’t miss any creature comforts or luxuries when I set out on such trips Saleh al Khanjari Saleh