01-Jan-2004 -- While Bulgaria was covered with snow in early 2004, a small group of Bulgarians arrived in Dubayy to meet the New Year there. Most of the people visiting the United Arab Emirates were hastily shopping; others just managed to make it to the restaurants and museums. Only the crazy son Bogomil with his crazier father Penko rented a car to make an extremely crazy dream come true. As walking into the desert is quite risky and should be done by at least two automobiles – jeeps – we decided to use a car to fulfil our dream – reaching the intersection point of the 25th parallel with the 55th meridian at the sea.
After lurking for a day through the Free Zone sea port in Dubayy, we found out that we could only hire ships of over 100 tons there. Suddenly, we came across a US guy who used excellent Russian to explain to us that there is a hotel in the near with a sea club. As the sun sets around 17:00 at this time of the year, and the day was December 31, we left the fulfilment of our dream for the next year.
At 13:00 on the next day, we went to the pointed out location of the sea club but we had evidently taken a wrong road, as we were met by military officers that were charmed by our idea to visit the intersection point of parallels and meridians. However, they said they did not dispose of free boats at that moment.
About 10 km further west we found the sea club we were looking for. Unfortunately, the fishing boats were out at sea and were to come back by 18:00. After seeing our deeply grieved faces, the port manager promised to try and solve our problem by finding us a vessel. Half an hour later he came and offered us to hire a scooter with two outboard engines for the amount of 250 dirham – about $3.65. The scooter took us within less than 5 minutes to the area of 55N 25E. The point is close to an oil platform, which is obviously following the environmental requirements extremely accurate, as I did not notice any oil stains. Few manoeuvres later the GPS zeros showed us that we had reached the point. Probably due to the higher concentration of salt in the Persian Gulf seawater, the photograph of the point could not be done clearer. But, at least, you can see it.
Coordinator's note: After activating this confluence visit, the DCP received the following note from Alasdair MacKenzie: "The Bulgarians claim to have photographed an oil platform. It's definitely not an 'oil platform', but is probably one of the dredgers working on 'The Palm, Jabal `Aliy'. There are two of these massive developments being built, and both now clearly visible on satellite photos."