(Originally published in Unbound Vol. 14, Spring2003)

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Photos and text submitted to unbound with permission for one-time use only.
All rights reserved. TC Anderson 16 November 2002
Angling The Arabian Sea
By Rafiki Yako
Special Correspondent

Arising and meeting just before dawn, we were teeming with excitement to begin our first fishing trip in Oman. The day started with many challenges, however, we determined to make the best of whatever circumstances arose. Having hired a yacht, we learned that the captain's sister had died the night before and he was attending her funeral. We waited an hour for his last minute replacement, a Zanzibari fisherman named Captain Suleiman. Then, we set sail in his cozy, covered, fiberglass fishing boat instead, which was under repair. Captain Suleiman immediately took a liking to us and decided to take us to his favorite fishing spots. Although fluent in English, he insisted on speaking KiSwahili and Arabic, his native tongues, making the trip a good language workout for us both. Listening to Captain Suleiman speak, we learned a lot about his native land and the history of the ancient trade routes along this eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula.

We stayed out from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., which was ideal for fishing, but a personal challenge, since the onboard toilet was broken. I decided against swimming once I learned that the sea was crowded with stinging jellyfish that the bottlenose dolphins eat. The mid-October weather was beautiful, reaching an air temperature of about 75 degrees at midday. I still managed to overheat and burn my part Irish, part Native American, part African cheeks, despite having donned a cap, dark glasses and 40+ sun block. The lighting was amazing, with the stark brown, volcanic mountains on one side and the smooth blue sparkling waters of the open Arabian Sea around us. I exhausted myself running around the boat shooting photographs from every angle.

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2002 Rafiki Yako
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