Sunday 31 January kicked off the 2016 Kuwait Yacht Show. A bit of a misleading name. Certainly there are yachts! But it's also an exhibition for all Gulf-relevant marine sports.
The event took place near Marina Waves, a lovely spot to spend some time with interesting architecture right on the coastline. That in and of itself made attendance worthwhile.
Sunday evening, one of the coordinators of the Beach Clean-Up efforts and I staffed the KDT Booth for the Show's opening VIP Night. We had a good evening sharing stories of the Team, answering questions from divers and non-divers alike, and greeting kids with our marine life colouring books and stickers.
The evening brought with it the greatest concentration of non-Kuwaitis I've ever seen in the country. It was very strange to speak with Americans and Europeans after so much time almost entirely in the exclusive company of Gulf natives. My presence helped to boost some of the attendance at the booth I think, though, as people stopped by to figure out what the random girl was doing. ;)
After our shift ended, I had the chance to visit a friend's beautiful 3-bedroom vessel. The owner has just started a 'Safe Sailing' organisation in Kuwait, training seafarers in marine safety and encouraging more sailers in the country. Waleed and I have been helping them to hone their mission and vision, and the group made their first major public appearance at the Show. It was great to meet them in person and, of course, a riot to play on the boat a little bit. Plus there was cake!