It must be a fascinating experience to sail on this Royal Navy Oman vessel, which is currently en route to the port of Aalborg in Denmark to arrive there on August 4 for the final celebration of the Tall Ship Races 2022.
At first glance, Shabab Oman II, a sailing training ship with 94 people on board, 36 of which are trainees, is an eye catcher. But when you get the chance to visit the ship, the deeper role it plays becomes apparent. With Shabab Oman II in 2014 as the new classic sailing training ship replacing the previous ship of the same name, the ancient maritime history of the Sultanate of Oman is further honored and revived. As Oman is still a seafaring nation.
(click on thumbnail to enlarge the pictures)
“Did you know that Shabab Oman II means “Youth of Oman,” explains the Captain Mr. Issa Al-Jahwari, while moored in the port of Antwerp, Belgium. “The average age of the people on board is 27, that’s young. In April we set sail from the Said Bin Sultan Naval Base for the 6th international voyage of this ship titled Oman, Land of Peace.” By participating in events such as the Tall Ship Races, it gives us the opportunity to show the world what the Sultanate stands for.”
When Hilal Ali Al Habsi, the Sailing master of Shabab Oman II took me on the deck overlooking the three masts, one of which was 51,2 meters high, and explained how the trainees had to learn to adjust the 34 sails that spread out covering a total area of 2630 square meters, I understood why he suddenly said: “You feel when something goes wrong with the ship. In this way we teach the students how to handle her so that she can move and react correctly to water and air. In fact it is then that you realize that Shabab Oman II is an entity, a living organism so to speak to take care of. I can assure you that our hearts are sad when we have to abandon the ship. When we go sailing, our heart rejoice,” he smiles.
It was then that I pointed out that this ship is a Custodian for me in the truest sense of the word. And coincidence or not, in The Custodians, my latest publication, young people (Shabab Oman II) play a fundamental role. The sketch at the end of the book has a human figure (entity) as its basis.
Fortunately (my book) or rather The Custodians travels with them.