Thuraya plays a vital role in “ Around Oman Kayak”
second phase of the Around Oman kayak journey, British
adventurer Mark Evans recounts the role that his Thuraya
satellite phone played in the kayak expedition success.
Evans successfully attempted to paddle around the entire
1700 km coastline of Oman, raising awareness of the
work of a small Oman charity, the National Association
for Cancer Awareness, and of Oman as an adventure tourism
phone has been a key component of the team. On previous
polar expeditions I have used Iridium satellite phones,
and had not heard of Thuraya until I started exploring
the options for the Oman kayak journey.
part in or led over 20 expeditions to all corners of
the globe in the last 25 years I can safely say that
the Thuraya phone is the most useful, impressive and
reliable piece of technology I have used.
1 of our journey the SMS / GPS facility proved to be
On this leg,
this has continued to be the case, especially since
we were in a part of Oman so remote that cell phone
coverage is non-existent or extremely patchy. Thuraya
phone enabled me to communicate with my Land Rover based
support team on a regular basis.
used to be launched at dawn, and I would paddle hard
(at the great speed of5 kph!) for two hours before having
a quick break and pushing on for two more hours. At
10.00 hrs each morning I would switch on the Thuraya
and use the GPS facility to find my location. I would
send this information as an SMS to the support team.
Using the 'relative position' mode I was then able check
how far I have traveled from my start point, and was
also able to calculate my speed of travel. This facility
enabled me and my support team to project ahead and
plan for a good landing point.
kept in a waterproof bag on the deck of my kayak, where
it was swamped with numerous waves and dropped into
sand on several occasions, and yet it still functioned
perfectly every day, and never let me down once. In
addition to enabling me to do al lot these things, the
Thuraya also enabled me to keep in touch with family
and friends at home in the UK, especially during this
particularly hazardous section of the journey.
this brief message (sent to you via my Thuraya data
link out here in the Omani desert) I have to mention
how widely known Thuraya is amongst Omani people out
here in the remote sands - after we've shared a coffee,
the first question, after they've scratched their heads
as to why anyone would be silly enough to paddle a small
boat around Oman, is- “where is your Thuraya phone?”!”
on Second Phase of Around Oman Kayak Expedition
Evan's first leg, which started in Musandam in December
2004, covering some 600 kilometers before ending at
Ras Al Hadd, the most easternly point of the Arabian
peninsula. The second leg, which began in March second
week, saw the team progress past the infamous Ras Madrakah,
an area of 200 metre high vertical sea cliffs, and currents
so strong that several shipwrecks lie at the base of
the cliffs. The final leg of the Kayak journey to Salalah
will commence in late December 2005.