A group of 5 paddlers met at Manumah Beach for the 10mile/16km crossing to the Central Daymaniyat Islands. With certain safety precautions in place, including the presence of 2 support boats for most of the trip, the group set off at 08:30, heading for the horizon, guided by a northerly compass heading.
A modest NW breeze in the early morning kept the paddlers relatively cool although the associated waves required some effort and skill to negotiate. About half-way the support vessels caught up and then charged ahead to the islands which were slowing coming into view. After nearly 3 hours the group arrived at a picture-perfect beach, greeted by the 9 crew on both vessels.
The islands themselves have a certain Robinson Crusoe feeling to them, apart from a near-total lack of vegetation, some mangroves aside. The near-shore reefs and extreme clarity of the waters make this one of the world’s premier dive spots (or perhaps due to the warm waters too?).
We exchanged the kayaks for a place on-board and the whole group enjoyed a tour around the islands, dropping anchor at a few places (carefully on sandy spots to avoid damaging the beautiful corals) for superb snorkelling and swimming.
With NE wind on the return leg, the return journey was completed in a little over 2 hours, again part- shepherded by the support vessels. A nice team dinner at the club completed an excellent day, worthy of a repeat later in the year!.
NOTE: an open water crossing by kayak requires extensive preparation and sea kayaking experience and should not be attempted by unprepared and inexperienced individuals.
The Daymaniyat Island nature reserve is closed from May till October.